Skip to main content

Figure of a Mourning Woman: M.1-1969

An image of Figure

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

Object information

Current Location: In storage

Titles

Figure of a Mourning Woman
(Study for the monument to Nicholas Rowe (1676-1718) in Westminster Abbey)

Maker(s)

Sculptor: Rysbrack, John Michael

Entities

Categories

Description

Figure. Terracotta.

Notes

History note: Cyril Humphris. Christie's, 18 June 1968, Important Medieval and Renaissance Works of Art, p. 16, lot 56.

Legal notes

Purchased with the Cunliffe Fund, with contributions from the National Art Collections Fund, the Pilgrim Trust, Dr E.M. Forster through the Friends of the Fitzwilliam, and grant-in-aid from the Victoria and Albert Museum

Measurements and weight

Height: 44.5 cm
Width: 35.5 cm

Relative size of this object

35.5 cm44.5 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1969-05-01) by Christie's

Dating

Second quarter of 18th century
George II
Production date: AD 1740 : Signed and dated 1740

Note

Leaning heavily on her elbow, head on her hand, eyes downcast and clutching a handkerchief to her face, the female figure speaks of the universal feelings of pain and grief at the death of a loved one. Figures of this kind were commonly used as mourning motifs in sculpture throughout the 18th century. However, the final version of Rowe’s monument depicts an older woman with less idealised features, presumably those of Rowe’s widow, Anne Devenish. The last lines on the monument seem to invite us personalise the woman’s sorrow, ‘To these, so mourn'd in Death, so lov'd in Life! / The childless Parent & the widow'd wife, / With tears inscribes this monument Stone, / That holds their Ashes & expects her own.’

This terracotta is a study for the mourning figure in the marble monument to Nicholas Rowe (1674–1718) in Westminster Abbey. Rowe was a highly regarded playwright and poet, who published the first critical edition of Shakespeare in 1709–10, and was appointed Poet Laureate in 1714, four years before his untimely death in 1718. The monument was commissioned by Rowe’s second wife, Anne Devenish, as a joint memorial to him and their only child, Charlotte Fane, born six months before Rowe’s death; she died October 1739, aged twenty-two. In 1742, the monument was erected in Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey, close to where Nicholas was buried, near the memorial to his beloved Shakespeare.

School or Style

Baroque

People, subjects and objects depicted

Project

  • Sculpture UK

Project

  • Sensual Virtual

Materials used in production

Terracotta

Techniques used in production

Hand-modelling : Terracotta

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Mich. Rysbrack 1740
  • Location: At back at top left side (right when viewed from front)
  • Type: Signature

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.1-1969
Primary reference Number: 29781
External ID: CAM_CCF_M_1_1969
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 18 August 2022 Last processed: Thursday 18 August 2022

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Figure of a Mourning Woman" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/29781 Accessed: 2022-12-06 18:54:36

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/29781 |title=Figure of a Mourning Woman |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-12-06 18:54:36|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/api/v1/objects/object-29781

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src="https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/imagestore/aa/aa20/M_1_1969.jpg"
        alt="Figure of a Mourning Woman"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Figure of a Mourning Woman</figcaption>
    </figure>
</div>
    

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

More objects and works of art you might like

Ring

Accession Number: PER.M.243-1923

Ring

Accession Number: PER.M.259-1923

Okame

Accession Number: C.259-1934

Statuette

Accession Number: GR.10.1928

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...