and Mysterious Inscription
Monument sits in the gardens on the north side of
Shugborough Hall (the
ancestral home of the Earls of Lichfield), Staffordshire in England.
Shepherd's Monument was commissioned in 1748 by the then earl,
(brother of Admiral George Anson, 1st Baron Anson), and carries a relief
that shows a woman watching three shepherds pointing to a tomb and a
mysterious inscription with the letters
D O.U.O.S.V.A.V.V M
inscribed below of
Monument takes its name from its central marble relief carved by the Dutch
artist Peter Scheemakers. The relief is based on a painting by the French
artist Nicholas Poussin, known itself as "ET
IN ARCADIA EGO" (the painting's
other name is "Les Bergers d'Arcadie II"). The relief is a mirror image of
The relief is surrounded
by a rustic arch. It is believed that Thomas Wright instigated the
design of monument, basing it on an idea he published in 'Six
Original Designs of Arbours' (1755).
The columns and Doric entablature with crestings of Shepherd's
Monument were probably added in 1763 by James (Athenian) Stuart.
On the tomb is depicted the Latin text "ET
IN ARCADIA EGO" ("I am
also in Arcadia" or "I am even in Arcadia").
has a number of modifications ;
noticeably that it is reversed horizontally.
Another difference is a change in which letter of the tomb a
shepherd is pointing at. In the painting The letter R in ARCADIA is
being pointed to. The finger in the sculpture is broken, but was
pointing to the N in IN.
sculpture also adds an extra sarcophagus to the scene, placed on top
of the one with the Latin phrase.
the relief is the mysterious cryptic inscription etched on a marble
inscription has been said to indicate the location of
The Holy Grail.
Poussin was believed to be a Grand Master of the
Knights Templar, an
order which captured Jerusalem during the Crusades and were known as the
keepers of The Holy Grail.
Chief among these is the belief that the connections of the estate's
creators, The Anson Family, with the grand masters of the closed society
For over 250 years, the cryptic inscription has exercised the minds of
Britain's finest theologians, historians and scientists, including
Charles Darwin, Josiah Wedgwood and, most recently, the Second World War
code-breakers of Bletchley Park. But it has never been decoded.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia
House inscription". This article also uses material from
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