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 Rome's '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 Story himself died and was buried in the same grave.
Blogging about Rome:
its art, history and culture.
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 and
small-group walking tours
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