Frazer Mausoleum – Rookwood Cemetery preparatory

August 28, 2012

More thumbnails from photos of Rookwood Cemetery, getting a handle on some of the historic architecture in particular, prior to an on-site visit. I don’t often get inside the buildings I sketch, especially to get a “mirror image” inside of how they look on the outside. The three I’ve sketched this week will all be open to the public on the upcoming Rookwood Cemetery Open Day, so I look forward to that.

Today’s is another building/monument from the north-west corner of the 700 acres which seems to have eluded me in the past. It’s a mausoleum though the family members buried there have long gone; the family kindly denoted the building to the Cemetery Trust for use as  a bird sanctuary but not long after the windows were closed up again, presumably because of pigeons.

The dome at the top is not spherical but more ovoid. From the photos it seems to be covered in slate, though it resembles the copper domes of the Queen Victoria Building which I suspect is roughly its contemporary. Like the QVB, it has a Venetian-Byzantine feel about it, though the fenestration in the four towers is very English. Not obvious in my thumbnails is the fact that at the ends of the roof gables there is free sculpture (?vegetation) on the sandstone which I find unusual since it is not ‘framed’ or ‘contained’ in any way. I wonder if it isn’t the funereal ivy common to tombs. At the base of the fenestrated towers is a gargoyle.

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