15 May 2012

William Mulready in Kensal Green Cemetery, London

A. D. 1786 DIED IN LONDON A. D. 1863'

This monument has been described as 'six-poster Lombard Renaissance' and was designed by Godfrey Sykes and created by James Pulham. The face above is based on Mulready's death mask.

The base of the tomb has a number of representations of Mulready's paintings.

Above, from left to right: Haymaking, The Last In, and The Younger Brother.

Giving a Bite, Choosing a Wedding Gown (an illustration for the first chapter of Oliver Goldsmith's The Vicar of Wakefield), and The Sonnet, which was apparently for a popular novel, although I don't know which.

The Travelling Druggist, Boy Firing a Cannon, and I can't identify the one on the right.

Between the two seated nudes is a representation of The Seven Ages of Man, which is an illustration of Shakespeare's As You Like It: in Act II, Jacques says:

'All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms;
Then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well sav'd, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.'

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