Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Cemetery Symbolism: The Dove

Victorian cemetery art incorporated elaborate symbolism to convey the hopes and sorrows of those left behind.

The Dove: Symbolizing peace, purity, and the Holy Spirit in Christian and Jewish tradition. The graceful ascent of the soul to Heaven.

R. Ralston Neely
(Son?) of
Robert and Christiana Neely
Born Jan. 9th, 1816
Died Jan. 1st, 1865
None knew thee but to love thee
None named thee but to praise thee

Note: The epitaph is an adaptation of a verse from On the Death of Joseph Rodman Drake, composed by Fitz-Green Halleck, American poet (1790-1867), to honor his friend and fellow writer.

(Forks of the Brandywine Presbyterian Church, West Brandywine Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania)


Kelly Parra said...

Another beautiful contrast of elements and colors. =)

Mac said...

Well done, Jason.

Anonymous said...

Kelly, I caught the scene at a nice moment with the fall colors.

Mac, thanks for dropping a note. Hope all has been well with you.

Farzad said...

Nice picture J... Well done!
Oh, I think your description for the dove goes the same way for the Moslems.

Jeff said...

jason- Coming from a guy whose photography skills consist of picking up a disposable camera at wal-mart at the last minute before a trip, just in case he sees something he should take a picture of, I'm enjoying the quality and beauty of your cemetery symbolism posts. But, I think you already know that.:)

Anonymous said...

Jeff, thank you. I always appreciate the feedback, even if it's nothing more than to say you were here.

anne frasier said...

that's a beauty. :)

jane said...

Great find, I've never seen a headstone quite like that before.

Anonymous said...

Anne and Jane, thanks! So much more effort was put into monuments back then. I'm sorry we lost that. (One of my theories--I wonder if the Victorians used a softer stone to facilitate these intricate carvings, a stone which because of its softness deteriorates faster, giving the stones of this period their unique appearance)