|The sculpture at this grave was pretty over the top! The
figures were arranged in a towering vertical "stack" with
robed woman below, looking up to a radiant man in military
uniform and topped with a winged angel. It's all very
grand but what I liked the most was the attention to detail,
even on the secondary/supporting figures. The woman
highlighted here is reaching up with an offering of flowers
in one hand while the other hand is frozen in mid-gesture.
The delicacy of the work wonderful, especially since the
materials used are incredibly heavy when used on such a
massive scale. If that bouquet came loose and tumbled down
down onto your head it could easily crack your skull open.
|I should have take more pictures of this one... The flowing
lines of this angel are extraordinary. The arc of the wing flows
sympathetically into the folds of her robes. That graceful
frame gives the entire statue a sense of movement despite the
long, heavy sword that securely anchors the figure.
|I just like the intensity of the facial expression on this
figure. The deep set eyes, the sharp nose, strong cheekbones
and neck thrust forward all work together well. The way her
hood opens wide at ear level add to the effect as well. You
feel like she's about to jump out of her skin.
|The Recoleta cemetery is a shaped like a rectangle with some
hard barrier marking the border on each side. Just passed that
barrier (a fence, a wall, a gated stairwell, etc...) are city
streets on three sides. And the fourth side is dominated by a
gatehouse which is locked at night. On that note, here's a
helpful tip to other visitors. Don't ignore the bells they ring
if you're there late in the day or you might get locked inside
like I did! But I digress...
The end result of the high demand for final resting
places in Recoleta and the strictly limited space is a unplanned
collage of mixed styles, messages, scales, etc... The photo
I've included here is an example of the odd sorts of visual
images you see from vantage points where neighboring crypts are
viewed together. This shot shows a seated, stern figure from
one memorial, with a angel from another crypt hovering over his
shoulder and a couple of apartment buildings behind them both
for good measure.
|This was my favorite statue in the cemetery for a couple of
reasons. First of all, it was part of one of the simplest
graves in the place but still managed to have an emotional
impact. It's smaller than human scale and boxed in on three
sides by the walls of other much larger crypts. It stand in a
long, narrow spit of ground dwarfed by it's imposing neighbors.
But somehow that adds to the vulnerability and internally focused
serenity of the figure.