The Angel of Grief
The statue of the Angel of Grief was created by the American sculptor William Wetmore Story (1819-95) for the grave of his wife Emelyn, who died in 1894, and is buried in the soi-disant 'Protestant' Cemetery. The full title of the work is The Angel of Grief Weeping Over the Dismantled Altar of Life.
Story, who was devastated by his wife's death, described the sculpture: 'It represents the angel of Grief, in utter abandonment, throwing herself with drooping wings and hidden face over a funeral altar. It represents what I feel. It represents prostration. Yet to do it helps me.'
A year later, in 1895, Story, who had lived and worked in the Eternal City for more than 40 years, died and was buried with his wife.
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My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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