This particularly beautiful tall arch is to be found in the central west end of Oak Grove and is a familiar symbol of passing through from one state to another- from earthly to celestial, from life to the hereafter.
There are smaller arches, gateways and doors to be found in Oak Grove, some found carved onto tabular monuments and others carved completely as the symbol itself. This one has an Egyptian inspiration- complete with canopic jar.
A popular epitaph
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so you must be.
Prepare for death and follow me.”
The Young Widow 1877, exchanging the wedding gown for mourning
The Victorian preoccupation with death is reflected in the art of the period. Photographs, paintings, death portraits, steel engravings, lithographs, etchings, and other art forms embraced the most sentimental and heartrending portrayals of loss and bereavement.
These works by both amateurs and the great artists such as Landseer and the Pre-Raphaelites were displayed in the parlor or sometimes in the bedchamber as a perpetual reminder that death is always with us.
The Old Shepherd’s Chief Mourner by Landseer
Animals and children were especially popular as subjects to portray pathos and grieving.