I like to visit beautiful cemeteries—especially those with strong Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century monuments. Highgate in London, Père Lachaise in Paris. A quiet afternoon here is an afternoon well-spent. Cemeteries are quiet, verdant, and usually well-appointed with beautiful sculpture and architecture. So, when I found myself with a little extra time in Budapest, I made my way to the Kerepesi Cemetery—at the end of the Metro line, in what was once "just outside" of the old city. Here I spent a wonderful couple of hours, meandering amongst the graves and admiring the handsome sculpture-rich monuments erected by loving survivors.
The bronze-clad bookends above were modeled by sculptor Julio Kilenyi in the 1910's or 1920's. Kilenyi was born in Arad which, at the time, was a part of Hungary (and is now in Romania). He lived and worked in Buenos Aires, Argentina before immigrating to New York City. I don't know if any of Kilenyi's works grace the Kerepesi Cemetery but I do know that his aesthetic is entirely in-keeping with the early Twentieth Century monuments I found within it. The muscular "builder," heroically holding-up a wall, reflects the classic notion of the human form "personifying" abstract qualities or concepts (like "building," "liberty," "death" or "freedom"). Such artistic and aesthetic conceits continued into the Art Deco period, but seem to have fallen out-of-favor in the new world born after WWII.
Please click on the photo above to learn more about these handsome bookends.
More handsome bookends tomorrow.
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