Yellow Marigolds in Marble Vase with Papa and Mama Inscribed, Lafayette Cemetery No 1, New Orleans
Yellow Marigold flowers in a marble vase in a found still life photograph from Lafayette Cemetery No 1, in the Garden District of New Orleans, Louisiana. Inscribed in the vase are the words Papa and Mama showing a filial reverence to the departed. Symbolic of death and grief, yellow marigolds express a feeling of bereavement and tragedy of the loss of one’s parents. At the same time, the word marigold is derived from “Mary’s Gold”, as the flowers were used as offerings to the Virgin Mary in lieu of money offerings. The reference to the Virgin holds a hope of life and salvation.
The tones of blacks, browns, and tans emerge on the image as whitewash fades from the stone of the crypt. The brilliant yellows of the flowers impart a sensation of the bright New Orleans sun. Pale blue washes of the marble vase provide a counterpoint to the predominant warm and dun colors of the photo.