Tombstones of the Romantic Era

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“Romantic” is a vague term, but in the Allegheny Cemetery there is a certain class of tombstones for which no other adjective seems appropriate. Asymmetry and an imitation in stone of forms from the vegetable kingdom are their distinguishing traits.

Click on the picture to enlarge it.

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The Wilkins family monument crosses the line from simple romanticism into morbid romanticism. It depicts the Wilkins family as a tree trunk, with each deceased member as a branch cut off from the trunk. The metaphor, if carried to its logical conclusion, suggests that the family is extinct, leaving nothing but a dead stump. But someone must have paid for that monument, which is really quite colossal in person.

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