Carrara Angel

LOUISA PORTER

BORN JULY 10TH 1807 DIED AUGUST 5TH 1888

Even though, many famous people are buried in the Laurel Grove Cemetery (North) in Savannah, Georgia, the Louisa Porter grave site is one of the most visited and photographed monuments in the graveyard. Porter was known to Georgians of her day for her philanthropy and generosity to organizations that aided children even though she had none of her own. Porter served on the Savannah Free School Board, as director of the Savannah Female Society, and was instrumental in the creation of the Industrial Relief Society and Home for the Friendless, which, upon her death, was renamed the Louisa Porter Home for Girls in her honor.

Her monument includes a full-length figure of a female winged angel bending over a marble table-top marker. A scroll rests on top of a cross which is laying atop the length of the top slab. The angel’s right hand is hovering over the scroll which has the inscription, “THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.”  The top slab rests on four ornate columns which stand, as does the figure, on a larger base slab of granite. Each of the column capitals is adorned with lilies

The monument is intricately carved of Carrara marble by the Italian sculptor Antonio Caniparoli. While biographical details are difficult to discover it is known that his work can be found in the city cemetery in Palermo, Italy. A reference to his work on the Martha Thomas monument in Palermo lists Antonio Caniparoli as the “marble architect” and lists his birth and death dates as 1828-1914. From his studio he produced works that were sold in far-flung locations such as Ireland, England, America, Spain, and Australia. He not only produced funeral monuments but also elaborate fireplace mantels and statues.

A statue of Murillo in a square in Seville, Spain, rests on a carved Carrara marble base attributed to Caniparoli. His studio is also credited for the carving the high altar at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, County Armagh, Ireland.

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1 Response to Carrara Angel

  1. gsb03632 says:

    Thanks for this. I must get down to Savannah before long! The lily capitals are rare and interesting: at least I don’t think I’ve seen any before.

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