The Angel of Grief at the non-Catholic cemetery in Rome

November 7, 2023
The Angel of Grief at the non-Catholic cemetery in Rome

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Rome is not only the eternal city but also a very romantic one. Have you ever heard of the Angel of Grief, the sculpture inside the non-Catholic cemetery in Rome? This unique statue tells those who admire it, of a very deep love story that everyone should know. Read on. We’ll tell you the story of William and Emelyn and of the beautiful Angel of Grief, at the non-Catholic cemetery in Rome.

Rome Angel of Grief: history and curiosities about the work

The marvellous marble and stone sculpture was made in 1894 by William Wetmore Story. He sculpted this to honour his dead wife Emelyn and it is widely known as the Angel of Grief.

William was an American sculptor, poet, art critic and lawyer who arrived in Rome in 1848 and once moved here, he devoted himself exclusively to art.

It is said that The Angel of Grief is the work that most represents the artist. The sculpture represents an angel weeping on his knees in front of a pedestal. With great suffering, the angel bends his head over his outstretched arm from which his hand protrudes and drops flowers on the ground. The wings embrace the body to create a feeling of abandonment, suffering and deep sadness. These are the characteristics that the artist wanted to represent through his extraordinary work.

Angel of Grief L'Angelo del Dolore

The Angel of Grief – L’Angelo del Dolore

The story of William and Emelyn

William was very much in love with Emelyn. Amongst them was an overwhelming and boundless love, without which he could not live. It was for this reason that he decided to honour her with a special gift. He sculpted the Angel of Grief to which he devoted himself completely in the last period of his life. Once the work was finished, however, the artist died and was buried next to his beloved Emelyn and their young son Joseph, who died at the age of six.

Where you can find the Angel of Grief

The Roman sculpture is known all over the world. It boasts many reproductions in other cemeteries around the world.

Do ask us to see this marvellous sculpture. Take one of our tours. It can be seen at the non-Catholic cemetery in Rome, behind the located in the shadow of the pyramid of Caius Cestius in the city’s Testaccio district. Talking a stroll in the non-Catholic cemetery is a wonderful experience. You will be dazzled by the beauty of the Angel of Grief.