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Illuminated Tailpiece with Thistle and a Skull for William T. Walters' Drawing Album "Original Sketches"

C. M. B. (American)1859

The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum

This drawing was specially commissioned from an as yet unidentified artist as the tailpiece to one of William T. Walters' albums of drawings. It shows a thistle growing up through the eye of a skull. The word "emigravit" appears below on a scroll. This is Latin for "departed," a word sometimes chosen for gravestone inscriptions. The thistle down blowing away in the wind is also a kind of momento mori.

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  • Title: Illuminated Tailpiece with Thistle and a Skull for William T. Walters' Drawing Album "Original Sketches"
  • Creator: C. M. B. (American)
  • Date Created: 1859
  • External Link: For more information about this and thousands of other works of art in the Walters Art Museum collection, please visit art.thewalters.org
  • Roles: Artist: C. M. B. (American)
  • Provenance: Commissioned by William T. Walters, Baltimore, by 1859; inherited by Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
  • Object Type: watercolors; tailpieces
  • Medium: Watercolor on yellow paper
  • Inscriptions: [Initialed and dated on palette] 18 CMB 59; [Inscribed] EMIGRAVIT
  • Exhibitions: American Artists Abroad: Works from the Permanent Collection . The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2014.
  • Dimensions: H: 8 1/16 x W: 6 in. (20.4 x 15.3 cm); Paper support H: 9 1/4 x W: 7 1/4 in. (23.5 x 18.4 cm); Mat H 19 1/4 x W: 14 1/4 in. (48.9 x 36.2 cm)
  • Credit Line: Commissioned by William T. Walters, by 1859
  • Classification: Painting & Drawing
  • Accession Number: 37.1948

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