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Silk mourning picture. Two women in white dresses and black shawls lean on either side of a memorial with urn on top. The figures, the background, and the ducks in a pond in the foreground are all painted in watercolor. The trees, foliage and memorial are embroidered. Stitches used: satin stitch, long and short satin stitch. Framed in a gilt wooden frame with reverse painted glass.
needlework (visual works)
Displayed in Cherished Possessions, 2003-2005: This mourning picture was worked by fourteen-year-old Clarissa Page Fowler in memory of her grandfather, Samuel Page of Danversport, Massachusetts. Mourning pictures were an outgrowth of the widespread interest in classical motifs during the early nineteenth century. Their popularity grew after the death of George Washington in 1799, when memorials to the founding father appeared everywhere. Clarissa's example shares a number of features with the hundreds of memorial pictures that survive from this period, including the classical tomb and urn; the female mourners dressed in classical white rather than the traditional black of mourning; the willow tree, a symbol of resurrection; and the oak tree, a symbol of strength and hope.
"In Memory of / Samuel Page, Esq. / Ob. 2nd Sept. 1814, AET 62. / "Weep not for me; O, let each tear be dry; you soon will meet me in the worlds on high. / Go, trim your lamps, let hope each murmur drown, / And win, like me, an everlasting crown." (handwritten)
"Wrought by Clarissa P. Fowler, AE 14, 1816" (reverse glass painted (on the glass of the frame))
Original To Samuel Fowler House (Danversport, Mass.),
Fowler, Clarissa, 1802-1873 (Embroiderer)
27 3/8 x 23 5/16 (HxW) (inches)
Gift of Mrs. George F. Weld and Mrs. R. H. F. Standen
Massachusetts (United States)
Danvers (Essex county, Massachusetts)