Four Angels Mourning Sampler
Mourning pictures were not an uncommon art form in England and America during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Evolving from European commemorative art honoring deceased heroes, mourning pictures were a cherished way to remember loved ones, designed to hang in the most important public rooms of the house. Considered neither morbid nor cloyingly sentimental, they in fact reflected the religious, social and aesthetic ideals of the period. Creating a work of mourning art was not simply a schoolgirl’s exercise. Apart from cultivating and demonstrating a talent for needlework and oftentimes painting, it reinforced literary, religious and historic lessons by incorporating into the mourning scene important symbols such as the water of life, the fires of the holy spirit and angels harking back to the resurrection. Each mourning picture becomes a poem unto itself with its own specific symbolism.
This mourning sampler was designed using many of these elements. It has been left blank at the lower center in order to allow the needle worker to design his/her own memorial for their loved one who has passed. The verse was written by Lord Byron:
The Angels were all singing out of tune
And hoarse with having little else to do
Except wind up the Sun or Moon
or curb a runaway star or two.
There are angels hovering around.
Stitches used in the sampler include cross, petit point (tent), double running, counted satin, and bargello. On 35 count linen the finished sampler will measure approximately 10″ x 11-1/2″. It is recommended for intermediate level needle workers.