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Abstract

The Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery was established in 1792 in the village of Wielka Wola near Warsaw on Młynarska Street. It was probably designed by the architect Szymon Bogumił Zug. From the mid-19th century the cemetery aroused much admiration for its appearance. The site was carefully maintained and covered with lush vegetation. It contained many fine tombstones executed by the most outstanding sculptors from Warsaw. Among those was Paweł Maliński, Professor of the Sculpture Department at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Warsaw and his pupil Jakub Tatarkiewicz. Both studied under Bertel Thorvaldsen in Rome. Another talented sculptor whose works could be found in the cemetery was Konstanty Hegel, a former pupil of the Academy of St. Luke and the French Academy in Rome. The necropolis also contained funeral monuments made by the stone-carving workshops of Warsaw. This article aims to introduce about 30 of the most interesting funeral monuments executed in the first 60 years of the history of the Warsaw cemetery. The oldest tombstones preserved in the churchyard are eclectic works drawing from Baroque art. An interesting tombstone is that of Anna Regina Kilemann (d. 1793), modelled on Johann Augustus Nahl’s funeral monument for Mary Magdalene Langhans, and dated 1753. The cenotaphs in this group show some elements traditionally used in the early modern sepulchral sculpture – the carved figure of the deceased; the shape of the sarcophagus; the motif of the gate; or the obelisk on a pedestal. The fantasy form is often adorned with neoclassical decoration. The types of tombstones widely used in the Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery in Warsaw show a mourner (a weeper), a genius angel or an allegorical figure holding an upside-down burning torch. One of the finest is the headstone executed for Krystian Gotthilf Helbing’s grave (d. 1845), decorated with the sculpted personification of Death executed by Paweł Maliński. Konstanty Hegel, on the other hand, displays the sculpted personification of the Evangelical community on the gravestone of Samuel Leopold Neumann (d. 1844), shown there as a Mourner. Whereas Jakub Tatarkiewicz made several sculpted busts for family mausoleums, including that of the lexicographer Samuel Linde (d. 1847), and the physicians Wilhelm Malcz (d. 1852) and Karol Henryk Kühnel (d. 1836). In addition to the classicist gravestones inspired by Greek and Roman antiquity, there are also neo-Gothic monuments and those inspired by ancient Egypt in the cemetery, for instance the pyramid-shaped tomb commemorating Jan Riedel (d. 1808). Moreover, there are many burial chapels (mausoleums) on Młynarska Street, and four of these deserve a special mention. The first one is the monumental Halpert Chapel dated 1834, representing templum in antis in the Doric order of the Roman variety. The second one is the Skwarcov Chapel dated 1851, distinguished by its oriental decoration in the Old Russian-Arabic style. The third one is a cast-iron openwork mausoleum of the Braeunig family (1821), considered one of the most elegant mausoleums in the cemetery, probably from Germany. Another chapel worth mentioning is the Dückert mausoleum (1828), a Polish example of the Greek Revival style. The funeral monuments in the Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery in Warsaw commemorate well-known scholars, doctors, military people, merchants, bankers, industrialists, and owners of important real estates. Many of these people were deserving figures not only in the borough, but in the whole of Warsaw. Their place of burial in the Evangelical-Augsburg cemetery can be seen as an important point on the map of the city. It testifies to the multiculturalism of the capital of Poland and the Lutheran inhabitants, and is a gallery of sculpture reflecting all the styles and trends in art.
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