Iconographic Analysis - Cemetery Symbol

Essay by egeoHigh School, 12th grade August 2005

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The human being is by nature a creative creature. We sometimes convey our ideas, thoughts and meanings through out creations. The cemetery is one of them. It is where lives are commemorated, and deaths are recorded. The stonecutters are artist. And yet, the sculptures found in cemeteries are as beautiful to view as those found in the finest museums. Symbols are the most creative artworks from the stonecutters. They may carry secondary meanings represent abstract concepts or ideologies of a particular culture. They may express ethic identity, religious affiliation, association membership, etc.

Having visited the Symonds Street Cemetery, one of the oldest burial grounds. I was attracted to an interesting gravestone; the gravestone was built to memorize two young girls, Agnes Hane Alison who died at the age of 3 days and Mary Beatrice Alison who died at age of 2 years and 9 months.

An angel from the heaven landed on the gravestone with her knees half way bended.

Her eyes are full of sympathy. They express vividly that her heart is weeping, bleeding, and praying. She is sorry for the losses of the Alison family. Her talking lips are telling the loved ones of the girls not to worry much, not to be too sorrowful. Interestingly, there is column carved on the gravestone. So the people can always pass their messages to the girls through the column. The angel has one of her arms lain on the column as if she will take the message to the girls. Meanwhile she is passing the voice of the God to people and comforting people's broken hearts. What a sculpture!

As an ordinary person, I was moved by this scene. As an artist, I think this gravestone is unique. Having an angel on the gravestone is a great...