Cedar Hill Cemetery’s picturesque landscape features many figural monuments including angels and allegorical statues.
Most angels in American cemeteries are rooted in Christian tradition. Although there are Biblical references to angels, there are no physical descriptions included in the text. Early representations on sarcophagi depict angels as young men.
The earliest depiction of an angel with wings is in a 5th-century mosaic in a church in Rome. The way we perceive angels today was developed in the Middle Ages and refined during the Renaissance. Religious art introduced halos, white garments, swords, horns, harps and wings – to differentiate angels from humans.
Most angels found in cemeteries are generic, although Gabriel is popularly seen in memorial art. Cedar Hill has several examples of Gabriel including most notably the bronze statue on the top of the Colt Monument.
Besides angels, figural forms are commonly found in cemeteries. The most popular figures are Memory, Hope, and Faith which can be identified by what they are holding – a wreath, anchor, and book respectively.
To learn more about the angels and allegorical figures at Cedar Hill, join us for the popular Angels Among Us walking tour.