Mourning Clothing Customs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USpaP7ru5Wg

An informative five minute video about mourning observances in the Victorian era.

The mourning of Queen Victoria and preparation for burial practices.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WDtFC6eKr0&feature=related  Part II may be access to the right side of the video.  Running time for both, 1bout 17 minutes.

Victorian mourning in art

 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.”

                            

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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.

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The Old Shepherd’s Chief Mourner by Landseer

Animals and children were especially popular as subjects to portray pathos and grieving.

Death of a Young Child

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The 1894 sketch above is called For Such is the Kingdom by Frank Bramley and illustrates the custom of little children dressed in white walking in procession in front of a small white coffin containing a young person.  Often four young maidens, also dressed in white attire served as pall bearers for the departed child.  The custom of children wearing white to funerals continued well into the twentieth century.