Of light and loss

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Nov 28 2021

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Category: Europe, Italy

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I like visiting cemeteries. Gravestones, a name and two dates, sometimes a picture of the deceased. Sometimes other testimonies of loving memories which in all their simplicity and – often – cheap taste can be touching. Gravestones remind us of the dead underneath, but they also tell us something of the popular culture.

Then there are graves that are made into real monuments, like the one on the photo at the San Miniato cemetery in Florence. The woman of marble captures the late sun on her cloak which illuminates her arm and face. I think the person lying under her, enveloped in darkness, will briefly raise an eyelid in the sudden abundance of light.

At a cemetery in Rome I was moved by an angel hanging over a tomb. She is devastated. Her posture exudes great sorrow. She must be the guardian angel of the deceased whom she has protected and loved since birth but in the end couldn’t save from death. Brokenhearted she sheds her tears over the grave.

Cemetery, Rome, Italy 1998

Photo of the week: Cemetery, San Miniato, Florence, Italy, 1997