About this artwork

In 1884 the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh responded to the demand for a room where ‘bodies can be left reverently and lovingly for the parents before the burials’. A disused coalhouse was turned into a mortuary chapel and the young artist Phoebe Traquair was invited to decorate the walls. These small works are studies for the murals on the room’s north wall and are titled, from left to right: ‘An angel escorting an angel towards heaven’, ‘The Virgin and Child with angels’ and ‘The Holy Spirit awakening the spirit of the deceased’. Traquair was fascinated by pre-eighteenth century art and incorporated a mixture of Celtic, Byzantine, gothic and baroque elements into the design. The interlocking circles on the frame are a sign of the Holy Trinity.

Updated before 2020

see media
  • artist:
  • title:
    Three Studies for the Decoration of the first Mortuary Chapel, the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh
  • date created:
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    24.80 x 20.00 cm (framed: 48.00 x 98.80 x 3.50 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Bequest of the artist 1936
  • accession number:
    NG 1867
  • gallery:
  • subject:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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Phoebe Anna Traquair

Phoebe Anna Traquair

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