Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Louis & Annie



Saturday morning found me seeking out Diplo, hoping I'd catch him defrosting a fox or something for his breakfast, but the familiar battle-scarred Landrover was not on the gravel outside Diplo Hall. So I decamped down the road to one of my favourite Northamptonshire churches at Southwick. Here the combination of church and hall is a perfect example of one of the essential Unmitigated England fantasies, viz: that rectors holding wigs against the wind still scuttle in buckled shoes across lawns bordered by hollyhocks between dark oil-lit vestries and their masters' sunlit drawing rooms. For once I'd remembered my tripod, and so was at last able to photograph the monument in the chancel: 'Sacred to the memory of George Lynn Esqr who departed this life on the 6th day of May 1758'. And there's his wife, looking up adoringly at her husband. The craftsman here is French sculptor Louis-Francois Roubiliac, and this must have been one of his last commissions, executed in 1760. I had stared at it a couple of times before I saw, with a pang of immense pleasure, Anne Bellamy Lynn's sculpted foot. So relaxed, so informal. The years rolled away as I imagined her briefing Louis-Francois, staring at him as she let her slipper casually drop from her heel.

8 comments:

Bill said...

There's a beautiful memorial by Roubiliac in my home town parish church of Wrexham (OK, not in England, but not far from the border) to Miss Mary Myddelton (1688-1747) of Croesnewydd Hall, Wrexham, the daughter of Sir Richard Myddelton, Bt. of Chirk Castle. The sculpture represents the day of judgement with an angel blowing his trumpet to summon the dead.

office pest said...

205 years and 5 days before I turned up. "Maykesyerthink, dunnit."

I have unmitigated Northamptonshire poppies currently showing at mine; slightly blurred as these pseudo 70's enthusiasts would have it.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Lovely. There is something rather chilling, though, about the cold, hard reality of the urn amongst all that gorgeous drapery.

Elizabeth of England said...

I wonder if the dropping slipper is a Roubiliac trademark - another example is a lovely informal touch on his statue of G F Handel (in the V&A).

Ron Combo said...

Wonderful post, thank you.
But if I may shoulder my way to the front with my usual ghastly red-faced expat banging-on, I was at a cemetery in Plymouth in June and the number of graves (including one of a soldier killed in Afghanistan) festooned with junk (teddy bears, windmills, plastic ribbons) makes one wonder somewhat about what sort of nation we have become.
Right, now for a Gin Fizz and a look at yesterday's Telegraph.

Val S. said...

Isn't there some association between bare feet and loose morals? Maybe the widow wanted to advertise her availability!

Peter Ashley said...

What interesting comments, thankyou. You have set me a-thinkin' Ron. Although we can't all have a Roubiliac to mark our passing, I too am aghast at the acres of Pound Shop tosh now filling acres of cemetery.

Wartime Housewife said...

I love that memorial too. Apart from the visual beauty, it's incredibly tactile and thus becomes rather sensual on all fronts.