Heeren Monument, Allegheny Cemetery

Gustav Heeren died in 1885, and that is probably the date of this curious monument, which seems determined to confront us with everything that is excessive about Victorian romanticism. The sculpture itself is a work of some skill, but it is very “romantic” in the sense in which old Pa Pitt once defined the term: “The essence of the romantic style in cemetery monuments, Father Pitt has decided, is the peculiar combination of realism in details with unlikeliness in composition.” Among the many odd things: the sculpture is a bronze that appears to have been painted black, perhaps in an attempt to arrest corrosion.

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