Monday, November 28, 2022

Something About the Crusader

And either victory, or else a grave.

I've covered enough statues in the last few weeks that I'm stone tired.  However, there was one more I found that I think bears a brief discussion.

The Crusader is a statue marking the grave of Chicago newspaper publisher Victor Lawson (1850-1925), located in Chicago's Graceland Cemetery.  American sculptor Lorado Taft designed the piece of solid granite in 1931.  The statue of a medieval knight with a large sword and shield symbolizes the character of Lawson.

If anything, this statue looks the way I'd envision the ghostly visages of the Templar Knights that appeared to Professor Childermass and Fergie in 15th Century Constantinople during the events of The Trolley to Yesterday (1989).

More so, Taft's sculpture looks more similar to the image of Godfrey of Bouillon illustrated by Edward Gorey for the dustjacket of The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt (1983).  Both knights wear the mail coif, the flexible hood of chain mail covering the head, neck, and upper shoulders.  They look like the younger twins of the Grail Knight portrayed by Robert Eddison in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).

One wonders if Chicago native Edward Gorey or one-time resident John Bellairs ever visited the 120-acre Graceland Cemetery and later looked to anything there for inspiration.  It doesn't seem very likely, but it's fun to think otherwise.

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