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Rest in Peace
Confederate Memorial Lion, Atlanta, Georgia


Dear Editor, In an Internet article from an old issue of your magazine (2000, I believe) you described the Lion of Lucerne, one of the most famous and moving sculptures in the world, in my opinion. On your website you also asked for 
information regarding other lion sculptures which are apparently your specialty. In this regard I would refer you to the wonderful and equally moving replica of the Lucerne Lion which can be found in Atlanta, GA, in our historic Oakland Cemetery. 

This sculpture, if you are not already aware of it, was completed in 1894 and stands guard over the graves of 3000 unknown Confederate dead. It was carved by T.M. Brady of Canton, GA, and was given by the Ladies Memorial Association at its dedication on April 26, 1894. This is a magnificent lion after the one in Lucerne.  (Sent to us by RWRGA)

More on the memorial: In an article written by the Hon. John Temple Graves, Editor of the New York American, and published in the Atlanta Georgian on June 14, 1914, Mr. Graves, who played a central role in creating support for the Confederate memorial carving on the face of Stone Mountain here in Atlanta, included a replica of the Lucerne Lion in his vision of how the carving would appear. 

"The Lion of Lucerne, carved upon the mountain rock, commemorating the courage of the Swiss Guard and attracting the attention of visitors all over the world, lies couchant five hundred feet lower than our Confederate soldier's feet. Every traveler to Egypt from Herodotus through the Roman Caesar, the French Napoleon and the English Gladstone to the American Roosevelt has stood in awe beside the silent Sphinx -- massive and solemn -- cut from stone, and now remaining as a monument to a departed civilization."

The mountain carving which was started by Gutzon Borglum in 1915 and finished by the State of Georgia in the 1970s, did not, however, include that feature of Graves' vision. The sorrow and pathos that we see in the face of the dying lion is attributable, I believe, to the proposition of our knowledge that this noble and innocent creature, suffering from the pain of his own mortal wounds or the inconsolable grief of losing his master, must do so alone and in silence, unable to articulate or express in any other way the depth of his anguish. 


Editor's note: We are pleased to publish this tribute to the fallen Confederate soldiers and add it to our continuing investigations of stone lions. This particular lion earns a special place in our hearts.

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Clever Magazine has been investigating lion statues for years. If you're interested, 
here's the list of articles on the subject so far:

The Investigation begins ~ main page
The Lion of Lucerne ~ the Swiss lion
Lions in Paris ~ Paris photo essay
Confederate Memorial Lion ~ a memorial to Confederate soldiers
Timmie's Lion Obsession, a photo essay

If you have any lion photos or information to share, we'd love to hear from you. 
Contact editor@clevermag.com

 


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