The gray granite rock-face monument for Theresa Schmidt in the St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas, has a masterfully sculpted bas-relief bronze inset. The bronze was created in Fonderia Nelli, one of the top foundries in Rome, Italy, producing works by famous European sculptors during the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. The foundry also produced works for Tiffany & Company in New York. This particular neo-classical sculpture features a contemplative male angel. His head is slightly bent leaning against his hand. His other hand rests on top of an inverted torch which represents a life that has been extinguished.
The winged angel leans against a column that has an urn resting on top of it. The urn was an almost ubiquitous 19th Century symbol found in nearly every American cemetery. The urn symbolically represents the mortal body. The Roman cross adorning the face of the urn is the universal symbol of Christianity.