Melancholy Angels

What Are You Thinking?

“Show me your cemeteries, and I will tell you what kind of people you have.”
~ Benjamin Franklin (1706 ~ 1790)

Melancholy Angel

Old burial sites are fragile treasures that are reliquaries holding our past. Full of sacred, artistic, historic, and genealogical information, they tell us who were are, what was important to us, and how we got where we are today.

Angel Wings

Iconography is the art of representation by pictures or images on gravestones.

Likenesses on stones give clues to the date of death, religious beliefs, and even the artisan who produced them.

Angels represent spiritual messengers…


Angel Kiss

An angel with praying hands signifies the hope that the child is now in God's care…

Peaceful Prayer

Books denote mortality, and hourglasses mean the sands of time of life have run out. The lamb, seen most often on a child’s grave, signifies innocence and purity.

Out to Pasture

Booty Call

The dove with an olive sprig symbolizes hope. Broken columns, often draped, usually typify the loss of a family head.

A hand pointing downward shows a sudden death…

Guardian Angel

While an upward pointing hand and perhaps even the tilt of the head

confirms life after death…

Angel Child I

My Heavens!

During the 1800s flowers and plants became popular. Flowers represent the fragility of life and plucked flowers indicate the early severance of a life in bloom. A rosebud is usually on the stone of a child. A rose in partial bloom is for a teenager. A rose in full bloom means death in the prime of life, while a broken rosebud denotes life cut short.

I have always been fascinated with cemeteries ~ I do appreciate the iconography, but also the scale of the architecture, the beautiful angels, the decorative wrought iron gates and crosses, the mystery.
New Orleans Cross IV

New Orleans Cross I

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I am now offering a new collection of ACEOs in the form of collectible hang tags in my Etsy shop, which will be listed early this week.

Using my original black and white photographs from my “Classic Sculpture” collection, I have printed these images on Strathmore, acid free, 140 lb. cold press watercolour paper in my studio. Each photograph is initialed in pencil and the entire image of the original photograph is shown, while leaving a tiny outside border. The border allows for framing without having to crop the image.

They are mounted on a hand cut gift tag also made of Strathmore, acid free, 140 lb. cold press watercolour paper and I added a little black scalloped edge to the photo to make it “pop.” A generous eight-inch (8”) black organza or tiny polka dot ribbon pulls through a black metal eyelet for tying.

Remember, these are original photographs, not clip art!

These are not only collectible ACEOs, but also may be used for lovely hang tags for weddings, anniversaries, religious holidays, St. Valentine’s Day, and just to say “I love you” to someone. They are perfect to hang from a gift basket, to use as a party favor at a baby shower or bridal shower, tie on a bottle of champagne or a bouquet of flowers. They may be used in scrapbooks as keepsakes or even framed.

With your order you will receive an assortment of four (4) tags. I will make the selection, but if you have any preferences please let me know when you place your order. I will be happy to accommodate your request. They are priced at $18 for a set of four.


All of the photographs shown are available in my shop as Limited Edition ACEOs (with the exception of the tags which are open edition), and enlargements with image sizes approximately 5” x 5” or 5” x 7” matted to 11” x 14”; and 8” x 8” or 8” x 12” matted to 14” x 14” or 14" x 18".
If you are interested in any photograph shown here (or anywhere else on my blog and/or my Flickr photostream) but it is not listed in my shop, please send me an e-mail. I would be happy to do a custom order for you.
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(Some of the information regarding iconography came from various sources. All of the photography is my original work.)


SherryRoseBella said...

This was sooo interesting! I never knew that the angel or cherub statues were chosen for a specific reason. Thanks for sharing the info & the beautiful pictures.

Vita Lenta nel Bel Paese said...


Che interessante la tua cronica. I certainly did not know about the simbolisms. And where on earth did you find them all? Just lovely.Complimenti! My favourites are the "Booty Call" and "out to Pasture". Bacione, Ingrid

Priscila said...

those peaches on your banner look so good! and booty call on the angels was funny :)

Italian Girl in Georgia ~ Suzanne MacCrone said...

Thank you all for your comments. When I learned about the iconography of tombstones, I became even more interested in photographing them. Some of the angels you can find are just beautiful.

"Booty Call" is a cutie too! Wouldn't that be a great photo in a twins' nursery?

Ciao amici,


Grace@PoeticHome said...

Wow Suzanne! What a wealth of artistic inspiration. I never knew about the symbolism behind each slight difference. The tilt of the head may seem so natural, yet with your explanations, it is so metaphorical too.

Your new additions to the shop are so lovely! I love the black and white photos against the red.

Daisy Cottage said...

Just beautiful Suzanne!


Poppins said...

I have also always liked cemetries and often walked around just to feel the calmness and beauty of the places. I photographed som nice tombs in the country when we were in Normandy and will publish them on Flickr later on.
love Poppins

Italian Girl in Georgia ~ Suzanne MacCrone said...

I am so glad that you all enjoyed this post and thank you for letting me know your thoughts on it, as well.

Grace & Kim ~ thank you for the compliments on my new products and photographs.

Poppins ~ I look forward to seeing your cemetery photography. I know it is going to be stunning.

Tanti baci and ciao for now,


Charmed Eras said...

What beautiful photos and great information. I was not aware of the symbolic nature of the statuary. I thought I was the only one facinated by the beautiful Angels in cemeteries. I have an Angel in every room in my home, they bring the same sense of peace to the living. Thank you for sharing, I will take a look at your Etsy shop.

Sea Angels said...

Hello, these are the most beautiful pictures, I am enraptured, I also find the statue analysis completley facinating, what a supurb post.
Hugs Lynn xx
Ps that book is spooky ha !!

Italian Girl in Georgia ~ Suzanne MacCrone said...

Esther and Lynn,

Thank you for your compliments on the angels...and for writing. I am glad to know you both.

Ciao amici.

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