|Some of the best carved sculpture to be found today resides,
largely unknown and unappreciated, in large city cemeteries.
|Michelangelo's original plan for the tomb of Pope Julius II.
The tomb was to be freestanding Michelangelo's Dome of
St. Peters Basilica so there were just as many figures
populating the other side.
|The tomb of Pope Julius II in Rome.
|One of the most common themes in sepulchral sculpture involves
"Waiting for the Second Coming" (resurrection).
It's become a long wait.
|For mourners also facing a similar wait for the resurrection
of the dead in the final days, this family decreed a pleasant,
living room setting carved from black stone ebony featuring the
oval headstone in place of a TV.
|Johnny Ramone's bronze headstone sculpture located in the
Hollywood Forever cemetery is neither the best nor the worst
to be found in many of today's large, park-like cemeteries.
|The mournful figure just above, while reflecting a
heavily emotional theme reminiscent of the 19th-
century, the overall design of the modern seems
very 20th-century in its modern simplicity.
|The crossword puzzle marker manages to impart both a personal
liking and a great deal about the one buried beneath it.
|Sculptural works such as those above, while dedicated to
physical love relationships, also would seem to invite various
forms of vandalism.
most cemetery norms, I've saved the really weird ones until last. Below, we see a late-model stone car carved from a single boulder which, in fact seems to be crushing the car. Below that, the ridiculous image of a man who, for lack of a more appropriate phrase, seems to demand only the freshest of dairy nutrients. Perhaps he was, in fact a dairy farmer; the man with the crushed car an auto dealer battling crushing debt. Or, it could be that both cemetery pieces simply refer to the two men's causes of death.
|Weird, stupid, funny, or perhaps the cause of their deaths.
|An expression of sympathy.