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Ruthwell cross

Ruthwell cross (Dumfries and Galloway). Though now heavily restored, this carving epitomizes the classical tastes of early Anglo-Saxon monastic art. Originally some 17 feet high, it is elaborately decorated on all four sides. The narrow faces carry full-length panels of vine-scroll; around their borders is a runic text of part of the Old English poem The Dream of the Rood. The broader faces are divided into a series of deeply cut figural panels whose iconography, and accompanying Latin inscriptions, focus on the recognition of Christ's divine power, particularly as expressed in the eucharist. The carving probably dates to the first half of the 8th cent.

Richard N. Bailey

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