Lakeview Cemetery near Cleveland, Ohio, contains over 100,000 graves, including those of presidents and business moguls. President James A. Garfield rests here, as well as the American business magnate and philanthropist John Rockefeller and the Prohibition agent, famous for his efforts to bring down Al Capone, Elliot Ness. However, its most striking grave marker may be the unsettling statue known as Haserot’s Angel, a piece of art with permanent tears.
Why would an angel cry?
Haunting, yet beautiful, the Angel holds his quiet keep, revering the dead for 80 plus years now. Thousands visit the cemetery to see this famous monument and his expression, solemn, steadfast, honorable, never changes, though covered in snow or fallen leaves, and his tears continue to fall.
Actually named “The Angel of Death Victorious,” the stoic angel is seated on the marble gravestone of canning entrepreneur Francis Haserot and his family. The life-size bronze holds an extinguished torch upside-down, a symbol of life extinguished, with its wings outstretched while it gazes straight ahead.
The statue’s most striking feature, however, is how death’s guardian appears to be weeping black tears, which pour from its eyes and drip down its neck. These “tears” formed over time, probably an effect of the aging bronze combined with the impressive sculpting work of the piece itself. As a result, it is often referred to as the Weeping Angel. The work was created by the Danish sculptor Herman N. Matzen who, originally from Detroit, studied in Europe and then returned to the United States, becoming one of Cleveland’s most famous artists. He died in 1938, at the age of 77, and was buried in the same cemetery as his famous angel.
Although Lake View Cemetery stretches over 280 acres, many visitors take the time to go searching for this melancholy sentinel. Even though she is undeniably macabre, she is also undeniably beautiful.
The angel is located in Section 9 on Lot 14 and maps are available at the gate, main office, and the Garfield Monument.
Images from web.