Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Beautiful headstones

as i may have mentioned before, there are not that many statues of angels and such in most of the cemeteries i have been so far around boston. by now, i actually have been to some where they do have statues, but the very old ones in the center of boston have none. instead, i noticed that the graves have often beautiful motifs on the stone itself, below which there is a short text listing name and (often) the exact age of the deceased (e.g. "49 years,  5 months, 12 days"). when we were at the most visited graveyards of boston, i actually mostly focused on the imagery, i see now. above pic was taken at the king's chapel burial ground, which is very close to the granary burial ground where servant frank is buried, as i showed you last week. the kings chapel burial ground is the oldest burial ground in boston, established in 1630. many headstones had toppled over and/or were broken, and visitors were asked not to walk around the graves, but to remain on the path. many english puritan colonists are buried here (as well as the first girl to step off the mayflower (she was only 13 or so! actually the wiki-entry is quite interesting..)), and that is probably the reason for the absence of angels and stuff; puritans did not believe in religious icons or imagery. so instead... the people of boston used the headstones to display their creativity and ideas about afterlife. the most popular image was the soul effigy; a skull or head with a wing on each side that is a representation of the soul flying to heaven after death. or like above; an image of death and father time. i thought it was really beautiful, and so well preserved!
i have to admit i do not even know whose grave the above image belongs to. i was too focused on that image! i uploaded a few more pics on flickr from both burial grounds, as you can see here...
for the other taphophiles; go here.