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St Agnes is shown holding a lamb, the animal with which she has been traditionally associated in Christian iconography, because of the similarity of the Latin word 'agnus' (lamb) to the saint's name. Burne-Jones's cartoon was first designed for a window in the chancel of St Helen's Church at Welton in Yorkshire, but was also used a further seven times for other ecclesiastical buildings. One of the later uses of the figure was for the chapel of Whitelands Training College (originally an institution for ladies in Chelsea, but now in Putney), where it was joined by a group of other exemplary women saints that Burne-Jones designed at John Ruskin's behest.

August 2004