Since 1915 this stunning symbolic painting has been displayed in the Edinburgh Association of Spiritualists. It can now be seen in the Library at the Arthur Conan Doyle Centre, where the church is now based.
Originally started in 1878 and worked on till 1885 it lay unfinshed for some time. In 1913 Jane Stewart Smith, the Edinburgh Artist, finished the work. Two years later it was ready to display and was part of an exhibition to raise funds for the First World War.
The picture expresses the heaven-sent fruits of Earth’s labour and love. It also portrays the dual nature of all living things. Every human soul emerges from the mystic veil to appear again on the higher plane. On reaching the Bridal Bower of Two-in-Oneness they win the crown of Anglehood. On passing up the to the sunlit sphere the Angels proclaim ‘The Dawn of Peace’.
Jane spoke of the painting symbolism at an exhibition to raise money for the Red Cross. She explained that it represented:
…the Mystic roll call of the White Cross warriors who have volunteered from every nation and every clime to fight against the Antichrist – the Demon of Hate and Destruction, whose overthrow they are here being called up to witness…
A fuller history on Jane Stewart Smith can be found here