Tag Archives: cemetery

greyfriars body…

Greyfriars kirk and graveyard…is it strange that many of us Scottish city dwellers take our lunchtime sandwich into one of our numerous ancient graveyards to have our lunch? Some of my Italian friends think so. But hey, it’s calm, quiet…and you always find somewhere to sit…

I find more mortsafes (blogged about them before, see here and here) they were used to protect a coffin underground for the first 6 weeks after burial – one of the desperate measures used by relatives terrified of body snatchers during the first half of the 1800’s. Anyway this time i find them in the form of metal cages rather than iron coffins…

Now they are tourist attractions…see, now i can learn stuff while i munch on my sandwich…

more monumentale…

So indulge me a little longer with my trip to Monumentale, it was too big to fit into one post, and there were so many, many things to see, for example these beautiful fonts:

…and there was unbelievable glamour and almost creepy eroticism:

i thought that some of these were pure Busby Berkely

beautiful shapes…

When we came upon this particular grave, my companion and i had very different reactions, he was a quite repulsed by the object and also affected by the fact that it represented the death of a child and what that meant and how it had been depicted, he moved on quickly.

I on the other hand was fascinated by the aesthetics of the thing, the monochromes of the sculpture and the contrasting faded colour of the fake flowers, i was obsessed with how it looked, with its almost corpulent volume. He reacted humanly and i rationally, and even clinically.  It made me think how sometimes being an artist can desensitise you…but looking now i still find the images beautiful, arresting even…

“For those interested in conserving this grave, come and see us in the office” – did the family run out of money, is there no one left to pay? i don’t know…

more Monumentale photographs:

click here for full set of  photos on my flickr

I guess at some point Monumentale was situated outside the city, but now it is pretty central. Its easy to get to and if you can you really should go.

monumentale…

While in Milan i went to see “Io sono l’Amore” (i am love) as there is nothing better than seeing films set in the city where you happen to be at the time of viewing. The film is kind of ludicrous and i loved every minute of it, it makes Milan look a little stark and very beautiful. At a climactic pivotal point of the film, when misery is heaped upon misery, the action moves to Monumentale, the city’s cemetery for the milanese rich and upwardly mobile.  Tilda Swinton was in full breakdown mode among the gravestones and mausoleums…I went there the very next day…

I happen to love old graveyards (and Edinburgh is a great place to indulge this interest, see previous posts), i have been to a lot in my time, but this is one of the strangest, for a start it was constructed in the eclectic style which means you have gothic, classical, neo classical…even Mayan style architecture side by side.

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And it is VAST, I can’t really do justice to the scale and weird juxtaposition of styles, but the details like the fonts used, the sculptural style of individual graves…well you will see…

The cemetery is a hall of fame to the city’s industrial past.

yes, that is the (larger than life size) Last Supper brought to you by Campari

monumental in Monumentale

Apparently Eva (Duarte de) Peron is buried there as Maria Maggi, (1919-1952), i could not find her…it’s a big place…am going back… but this glamorous and beautiful lady made me think of her a little:

and this was her neighbour, like i said, juxtaposition is the only common thread to this place:

…and the place was full of beautiful eccentricities like this magic carpet grave:

the magic carpet man was a university professor, a man of letters,  i checked, but for every charming eccentricity, there is a polar opposite, for example, what were they thinking of here? Tim Burton?? I don’t wish to disrespect the human condition in its grieving  process, but i certainly am baffled by it…

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…and i thought these were rather lovely (see below) – veristic portraits of old ladies at their graves, there were rather a lot of these. Am not sure how it must have felt to visit a life size sculpture of your nan…standing over…well, your nan.,.,.

click here for more photos on my flickr

more monumentale in the next post…