Interior, Compton Cemetery Chapel, Compton. Designed by Mary Seton Fraser Tytler Watts. Photograph by Jacqueline Banerjee. [This image may be used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose.]

Indoors and out the burial chapel is covered with mystic symbols. The great frieze running round the outside walls suggests in symbolical ways the idea of the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Scenes of angel faces look down, and there is a charming band of faces in the triple arch of the doorway. In the door itself is a wrought-iron cross copied from a gravestone at Iona. The remarkable interior with walls of plaster has silver roots of the Tree of Life round the walls below, and in the roof the Circle of Eternity. On the walls are four great groups of angels, all carrying symbols of such things as night and day, ebb and flow, growth and decay, life and death, good and evil, joy and sorrow, labour and rest, stability and change, the real and the ideal. The walls are covered with mystical work in ruby plaster and gilded; there are over a hundred medallions and winged cherubs. There is a picture of Mr Watts painted to express the idea of the All-Pervading, with suns and rolling systems in the lap of a great enfolding figure encompassed by the hands of Love. [Mee, p.80]

Reference

Arthur Mee, ed. The King's England: Surrey: London's Southern Neighbour. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1938.


Victorian Web Homepage Visual Arts paintings George Frederic Watts

Last modified 28 August 2006