Sarah Morley monument - Gloucester Cathedral.

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Sarah Morley monument

 

This monument by John Flaxman is to Sarah Morley (d1784) who died a few days after giving birth whilst travelling back to England from India. Both Sarah and her child were buried at sea.

 

The sculpture shows the mother and child rising from the sea and being transported to heaven by three angelic figures. In the bottom left is a medallion showing a Pelican feeding its young with its own blood which is a symbol for Christ's sacrifice. The medallion on the right is a turtle dove symbolising fidelity. The tableaux follows Flaxman's Swedenborgian beliefs in the transformation of the material body into a spiritual one.