Valentine Cameron Prinsep (1838-1904), Brompton Cemetery

Grave monument of the artist Valentine Prinsep (1838-1904). This copy of a thirteenth-century Siennese saint's memorial was bought by Prinsep's father-in-law, Frederick Leyland, as an original, in order to provide a suitably "distinguished monument" (see Brompton Cemetery 23). But it is now thought to be a fake; it is Grade II listed, and the listing text dates it to c.1904. The text continues: "Stepped plinth surmounted” by chest on pink marble on 8 columns. This is carved in high relief with 14th Century style figures in a colonnade of cusped ogee arches, the spandrels above, pierced with quatrefoils." The grave is marked no. 66 on the Cemetery Guide.

The bronze medallions at either end of the tomb-chest's plinth are inscribed, within bay-leaf wreaths, in memory both of the artist and his wife Florence, who died in 1921.

A factor in the dating of the tomb was the weathering of the stone-carving: "it can be seen as having weathered badly and so is obviously a fake," Brompton Cemetery, 23). Such weathering would usually suggest a greater age, but Siennese stonework might be expected to wear better. At any rate, it is still a striking monument.

Related material

Photographs by Robert Freidus; text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on pictures to enlarge them.]


Brompton Cemetery: An Illustrated Guide. London: The Royal Parks, 2002.

Tomb Chest of Valentine Cameron Prinsep. British Listed Buildings. Web. 4 January 2016.

Last modified 23 May 2012