Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Carved in stone

Back to the Venetian cemetery island of San Michele (my first post on it here) and the art of headstones. I concentrated on the beauty of the older tombstones and memorials, often with stone carving and mosaic work. Especially the former seems to have been very much in vogue in the 19th and early 20th century. We saw a few rather impressive busts (some of which might have been cast though) and lots of portrait reliefs.

In many, if not most of the older carved tombstones the topic was a religious figure of some sort. There were mourning maidens, oftentimes probably Mary or another saint. I always find them fascinating as we have very little, if any, of this kind of imagery in our graveyards. It is a pity not to know anything about the symbols of even the most important saints. I must unravel the basics one day.

There were many angels, naturally. Nothing like the modest ones we might see in our graveyards.

We spotted a few figures even we could identify as Virgin Mary plus an occasional Jesus. 

To me, the most striking was the below headstone with two embracing ladies. They must be the two Marys who stayed by Jesus until the end and further; Mary the mother of Jesus holding the cross and Mary Magdalene, one of his disciples.

It is early morning on Christmas Eve. The rain has stopped and I will wrap one or two final presents while watching over the ham in the oven. With these photos I wish you a very happy holiday season.


  1. Kiehtova postaus.
    Hyvàà ja rauhaisaa joulun aikaa sinulle Teresa Maria!

    1. Kiitos samoin sinne! Meille tuli ensimmäiset vieraat vasta Tapanina, joten ainakin pari päivää tässä vielä joulua vietetään.

  2. San Michele on ehdottomasti yksi mieleenpainuvimmista hautausmaista, jonka olen kokenut. Ja olen aika monella vieraillut, koska viihdyn hautausmailla, kaikkien niiden tarinoiden keskellä. Ihanaa uuden vuoden odotusta!

    1. Kiitos samoin teille sinne upeisiin maisemiin! Odottelen innolla lisää Chileä...