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General View of Iona

General View of Iona

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1775

Shelfmark: Vol. 49

Item number: 37.2.A

Genre: Topographical Drawing

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View of the Abbey on the Isle of Iona in Scotland. Iona Abbey was founded by St Columba in the 6th century and until the 11th century this was also the burial place of early Scottish Kings. In the 12th century Reginald MacDonald of Islay rebuilt the monastery adding to it extensively- it was to become a renowned centre for Christian learning in Europe. A 15th century Celtic cross known as MacLean’s Cross can be seen in the centre of this watercolour. It is one of the last circle headed crosses of the medieval tradition and is decorated with an interlaced design and represents the unbroken traditions of Christianity. It stands at what was once an important crossroad on the island.

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