Aix la Chapelle [drawing]
Aix la Chapelle Cathedral
Pen and ink, approx. ? × ? cm (image only).
The editors of the Library Edition describe the image as a “nearly full‐page one of a large Continental church” (Ruskin, Works, 2:350 n. 2). The drawing is in the manner of Samuel Prout (1783–1852), and seems clearly enough intended to depict Aachen Cathedral, although Ruskin distorted the proportions of the building, making it seem more vertical than broad, by over‐emphasizing the Gothic structures that encircle the Carolingian core of the building. Ruskin orients the viewer from the southwest. On the left of the drawing, rises the cathedralʼs distinctive octagonal Palatine Chapel (which Ruskin represents as too narrow and spire‐like), capped by its baroque cupola. Outside the frame on the left, he has omitted from view the cathedralʼs west‐work (the neo‐Gothic tower that presently defines the western end was added to the Carolingian base 1879–84). On the right of the drawing extends the fifteenth‐century choir.
"Aix La Chapelle" [section title]
"Aix La Chapelle" [essay]
Hast ever heard of the peace of Aix‐la‐Chapelle,
reader,—. 1 If thou ever travellest from Spa to Aix, 2

or from Aix to Cologne, thou shall find various
treaties of peace have been entered into, and rat‐
ified, which thou wilt not approve of.—. Thou
shalt find a treaty whereof the first condition
is, that the postillions whip be not closely ac‐
quainted with the back of his quadrupeds, more
than two or three times in a stage, or so.
Item. That the above mentioned quadrupeds, be
not compelled to draw any carriage, chariot a
gig, or other vehicle, whatsoever, at a greater b
rate than two miles an hour.
Item, that the above mentioned quadrupeds, be
not compelled to trot upon the paved centre of the
road, but that they be permitted to draw the car‐
riage, chariot, gig, or other vehicle, into the beds of
sand and dust, denominated by the postillion,
“la terre”, even although the carriage, chariot, gig
or other vehicle, be in imminent danger, of be‐
ing overset into the ditch, which commonly bor‐
dereth upon the road.
Item, that the postillion be permitted, when

upon the back of his horse, to indulge himself with c
a comfortable pipe, and half hours nap, or so, dur‐
ring which time his above mentioned quadrup‐
eds, be surrendered to their own will, guidance,
and management. 3
Alas, every article of this treaty was strictly ful‐
filled with regard to us, and the consequence was,
that in a six hours ride of twelve miles, I was d
first fevered by the sun, then smothered by the
dust, and finally was,— but let that pass
for the present.
A cathedral is a noble, a beautiful, a sublime
thing, 4 by twilight, with its white, fretted, mar‐
ble columns, looking out from the dark retiring
immensity, of the long aisles, and the faint e
streams of coloured and variegated light, fal‐
ling faintly through the Gothic windows,
streaming at intervals along the chequered
floors or ruddily lighting up the countenan‐
ces, of the marble figures, giving a ghastly re
semblance to reality, a mockery of life, that

makes you start when you look upon the hollow
eyes, and rigid muscles starting out of the stone
You almost think that the dead forms of depar‐
ted monarchs have sprung forth from their nar‐
row dwellings beneath that ancient pavement &
that the peers of Charlemagne are rallying again
around their monarch.
Saw Charlemagnes easy chair; 5 Arms stone, back
stone, hard independent unaccommodating
granite, Thin velvet cushion however, on the seat
as a mediator. Very ancient affair, product of
the dark ages I suppose, His sarcophagus al‐
so, sculptured, Grecian, basso relievo,— 6 The f
revolutionists amused themselves by depriving the
poor stone gentlemen of their olfactory nerves, ali‐
as noses, consequence they look all terrible flats,
Night coming on; left the cathedral just in
time to be tantalized by grinning at a magni‐
ficent picture when it was pitch dark (Last
judgment, Michael Angelo, I think, in the Ho‐
tel de ville). 7 Return,d g to the inn in very bad

humour, off early next morning for Cologne
Good night.