Thursday’s Special: Sweet Vi

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In Norwich’s fine cathedral is a sculpture which really caught my attention. Somewhat out of sight in a corner of the north transept it is easily missed. But there is something so profoundly sweet about the face of this young woman which caused me to spend an inordinate time photographing her from all angles.

In Caister Churchyard was laid to rest by Bertram Bishop of Norwich
All that could die of Violet the lovely and beloved only child of Penry and Evelyn Vaughan Morgan
Who on February 22 1919 at the age of twenty years passed this life to the life eternal.

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No voice shall break the glory of the stillness,
Or touch the joy that our two soul’s fulfil,
And we shall see the splendour of dawn on the hills
(V.V.M )( Violet Vaughan Morgan)

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I knew a maid; a young  enthusiast
Birds in the bower, and lambs in the green field,
Could they have known her, would have loved; methought
Her very presence such a sweetness breathed,
That flowers, and trees, and even the silent hills,
And everything she looked on, should have had
An intimation how she bore herself
Towards them and to all creatures. God delights
In such a being; for, her common thoughts
Are piety, her life is gratitude.

~ from Wordsworth’s The Prelude, Book Twelve

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Monument to Violet Vaughan Morgan †1919. Marble. Commissioned by her parents Penry and Evelyn Vaughan Morgan and signed Derwent Wood R.A. 1921. Intended for Holy Trinity, Caister, but accepted by the Dean and Chapter, on 28 July 1921.

Paula’s (Lost in Translation) challenge this week is Calm

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Heyjude

I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

34 thoughts on “Thursday’s Special: Sweet Vi”

  1. How lovely she is, but not actually Vi? How strange to create a sculpture to your daughter but then model her on someone else. And then placing her in Norwich instead of Caister church. It opens lots of questions doesn’t it? What a fascinating find Jude and beautifully photographed of course.

    1. Her swept-back hair, high brow, intense gaze and pronounced chin resemble Derwent Wood’s bust of Fiametta, exhibited in 1908 and now in the Lady Lever Art Gallery. Although Fiametta was perhaps prompted by the account of Boccaccio’s meeting with Maria d’Aquino, the inspiration for Fiametta in Edward Hutton’s recently published biography, its portrait-like character suggest that Derwent Wood based it on a model, whom he re-used for Violet Vaughan Morgan.

      This guy has a load of information about the sculpture and why it was moved to the cathedral, including why it is now pushed into a corner out of the way!

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