Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Classic Motifs: The Victorian fascination with the ancient world

In cemeteries which were established during the Victorian period, it is not uncommon to find tombs and tombstones which reflect the Victorian fascination with art and literature from the ancient world of Greece and Rome. Eschewing symbols commonly associated with the church, such as angels and crucifixes, some Victorians chose to be interred in tombs dominated by female figures of the classic period. In their flowing garb and sandals these figures are sometimes featured with urns, a symbol associated with the cremation and burial of ancient Romans. Wreaths also appear with some of these figures, sometimes wreaths of laurel leaves, a symbol of victory over death, and sometimes full circle wreaths of flowers, a symbol of eternity.

Featuring a full circle wreath symbolic of eternity
Note that the urn is topped with oak leaves, a symbol of strength
This stone features both an urn and an artist's pallet, as well as the broken tools of an artist/sculptor: a mallet, a shield bearing an unfinished image, a broken work bench.
This stone features an urn and a full circle wreath.
*Click on photographs to view larger version.
All Photographs Copyright © J. Geraghty-Gorman 2010. All Rights Reserved.
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