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Angel of Grief

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Emelyn_Story_Tomba_(Cimitero_Acattolico_Roma)Author: William Wetmore Story
Date: 1894
Location: Protestant Cemetery in Rome, Italy

The Angel of Grief is a monument built in 1894 by the American sculptor William Wetmore Story. It is situated on the grave of his wife Emelyn, in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome. It was completed before his own death, and therefore today the stone angel is the funeral of the couple and their son, Joseph, died in Rome still young.

Angel of Grief is a beautiful sculpture in marble and stone. The rules of the Catholic Church forbade burial in consecrated ground of non-Catholics (Protestants, Jews and Orthodox, but also suicides and actors), so after the death of these people were rejected by the Christian community in the town and were buried outside the city walls, or extreme edge of these.

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The angel is kneeling in front of a pedestal, with his head resting on his arm, while crying with her face hidden. His hand dangling helplessly over the front of the pedestal, and the curvature of the fingers so well detailed gives an incredible feeling of sadness and emptiness for the whole front part of the sculpture. Some stone flowers are scattered at the base of the pedestal, as if the angel had made them fall gripped by pain in a moment of despair. Even the wings, which normally ergerebbero tall, straight and fairs, are sadly curves and graceful angel on his back, giving the impression of lost hope. The body is like totally abandoned to her grief and the feeling that conveys the work is heartbreaking humanity.

The result of remarkable realism has made famous this image, and it is no wonder that it has become a model tomb copied throughout the world, making it popular especially in the United States, where there are many reproductions of the work.

Translated and adapted from Wikipedia.

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