Cemetery Statues And Their Meaning

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cemetery-statuaryI recently took some pictures in an old cemetery and found the statuary both beautiful and sad. I preferred the grave statuary to blocky tombstones.

A tombstone is a fitting symbol for death.  It is an impersonal, abstract representation of death.  The angular shape suggests annihilation and oblivion.  Gravestones are rock, and stone is similar to bone.  Stones could be called the bones of the earth.  Rock is an apt symbol for the skeleton.  Both rock and death are permanent.

Statues in cemeteries bring the illusion of life to stone.  A statue seems to say death is not oblivion.  Giving human form to stone hints we endure beyond death.  It is a more hopeful symbol then just a square block marking the deceased’s location.  Statuary suggests the immortality of the human personality.  Statues are an act of creativity that endures beyond death.  I prefer that symbolism!

In this cemetery I noticed statues of female angels, mourning women and children.  I did not see statues of adult male figures.  What could this mean?  I’d guess society thinks the female is considered more emotional then the male and is a better symbol for mourning.  Men are not supposed to cry, and a statue of a man mourning might be considered an uncomfortable symbol of weakness.  It is curious how culture influences even grave statuary.



6 Responses to “Cemetery Statues And Their Meaning”

  1. gloriagirl Says:

    I always admired all of the statues, and yes they are all femals…I think I have seen in books or in the web some male. Now we really don’t have statues like in those days..it whould be highly expensive..some people who do are either really wealthy or have been saving for a special love one.

  2. David Says:

    Hi Gloriagirl,
    I have a wish, that when I croak, I am able to have a statue. Something dramatic and attention getting. Square stones are boring. I want my final resting place turn heads!

  3. demaster Says:

    wow you know thats extremely true! its a cultural thing as well as historical thing. some cultures were big on men being preserved as majestic, in control, mild tempered and with dignity and preservation. this is definitely the image we have of the male in our species. i think when i die, i would appreciate a male angel statue with his hands out over my grave and a tear coming down his cheek.

  4. David Says:

    I agree. Men have sorrow as deep as women. Culture demands men show a strong facade, but beneath the facade there is no difference between men and women.

  5. Norava Says:

    Now however watch out for the angry looking Weeping Angels :3

  6. dia tsung Says:

    loved these pictures, and your comments. great job with this post/site.
    don’t disturb the dead and don’t let them disturb you!
    best wishes

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