Thursday, January 12, 2006

Cemetery Symbolism: Cross and Crown

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

Cross and Crown: Symbolizing the eternal reign of God and everlasting life in Heaven (Christian).

In Memory of
James M. Dorlan
March (unreadable)
(tombstone appears broken and reset in the ground)

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


Kelly Parra said...

I like the age that these tombstones show. It's like battle scars. It says history. It says, to remember. =)

Jeff said...

Another good one. Thanks, jason. :)

jason evans said...

Kelly, what a great observation! Yes, the stones battle the passing years, don't they.

Jeff, :)

beadinggalinMS said...

A beautiful one. :) It would be neat if we could lay a hand on top of it and it would tell the story of the people it was put there for.

R.J. Baker said...

What is the process where you put a piece of paper over a tombstone and then rub it with pencil? A tombstome rubbing? Anyway, I've seen some cool ones - they are a work of art. This one would make a good one. Where do you find all these?

Shesawriter said...

Never thought I'd think of a tombstone as beautiful, but that one is. I love the Christian symbolism in it.


jason evans said...

Sorry I haven't responded sooner. Blogger has been on the fritz for me.

BeadinggalinMS, yes, it seems so wrong that everything about a person is condensed into a couple of lines at best, but most often merely a birth date and death date.

R.J., grave rubbings used to be very popular for genealogists. I wonder if digital cameras have replaced the need for them. As for where I find these tombstones, we have many old cemeteries spread around. In the spring I may even visit one of the seriously old ones in Philadelphia during a long lunch break.

Tanya, the way the blackness (mildew?) has shaded the stone is very striking.

Mary Louisa said...

Jason, another beautiful memorialization of a beautiful memorialization. If I may ask, what kind of camera do you use, and would you recommend it to an amateur photog?

p.s. I am adding your blog URL to my list right after sending this comment! :)

Dana Y. T. Lin said...

Only you can make a tombstone, well, less spooky.

I'm just catching up on your blog - love the pictures.

(added you to my links as well)

jason evans said...

Mary Louisa, my cameria is out of date, I'm sure. It's a Nikon CoolPix800. If you promise not to tell, I'll let you in on my most guarded secret. Other than framing the picture itself, the most important component is light. Get a camera which permits spot metering, meaning it calculates the exposure based on the light in one single spot (I think any middle of the range camera which has a "manual" setting allows for this). What I do is move that spot around the scene choosing just how light or dark I want the picture. Once I find it, I lock the exposure by half-pressing the button, re-frame the shot, then take it. Bad lighting will kill a good picture every time.

Dana, making a tombstone less spooky...I like that! Thank you for the link. I would be happy to link back. I should be adding the next Caroline part late tonight. I'll make sure I add you then, if not before.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Isn't Brandywine a place in Lord of the Rings?

Great image. And I think Kelly summed it up nicely.

jason evans said...

Sandra, don't the Brandybucks live on the Brandywine? The hobbits' adventure in the "Old Forest" and Tom Bombadil are among my favorite parts of the novels.

Mary Louisa said...

Thanks for the tips, Jason.

I'm such a lazy-ass snapper that I don't even know if my camera has that function. It's five years old at this point, which is nearer seventy-five digital years, I imagine.

Lisa S. said...

The picture is great. I love old gravyards (New England born and raised) Have you ever seen some of the really old ones for women?

One rather amusing thing on a few of them that were for women who died after their husbands was that the woman was referred to as "Relict of....." the husbands name.

And thank you for the encouraging words on the layoff. Something is bound to come around and in the meantime I'll write more.

jason evans said...

Lisa, thanks for the visit! The cemeteries around here are not as old as the ones in New England, so the pre 1800 examples are not very numerous. I hope you find your time at home productive!