the angel seems to be rooting for God's own team
Herman N. Matzen *1861 †1938, was a Danish immigrant to Detroit. He then studied sculpture in Paris and Berlin. From 1885 to 1926 he taught at Cleveland School of Art. He won many commissions to sculpt monuments for local governments. He had done statues of Schiller (Detroit) and Wagner. American germans had great enthusiasm for cultural heroes. The war ended those commissions from the germans. He was especially busy in Cleveland in the years before America’s entrance to the Great European War (WWI).
He did two religious lawgivers (Moses, Gregory) for the Cuyahoga County Courthouse, and Cain and Abel for the Lake County one, and two allegorical figures (Law, Justice) for Summit County. The bronze seated Mayor Tom Johnson on Public Square, Cleveland is his work. He was the best in his craft in the area.
The 1908 bronze relief for the victims of the Collinwood school fire in Lakewood was his work. He did a number of funereal monuments for the wealthy at Lake View. Recently, whether it is the goth fascination, or the ease of digital photography, the most shared photo of his work on the internet is a bronze angel he sculpted for Haserot in 1923.
This seated angel leans on an overturned torch as on a cane. There is many stone angels in this graveyard, most stand on top of massive pediments. Matzen’s angel is on a slight red granite one, on which you can easily step upon. It is a statue one can go face to face with. The massive wings are fully opened, and further suggests, that, the angel is enthroned. The torch’s flame is out, and the angel is contemplating judgment, or somberly reflecting upon the deceased.
I like the work. Many are fascinated with it. At what time did its popularity begin?