The Ribaudo family grave in Staglieno’s Cemetery, and a song by Joy Division

Seventy years after it was sculpted, the prostrate angel of the Ribaudo family grave – in the Cemetery of Staglieno, in Genoa – was featured on the cover of a famous record, the 1980 single “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by British post-punk band Joy Division.

The symbolist monument had been placed under the semi-circular portico of Genoa’s monumental cemetery in 1910; its designer, Onorato Toso, was also behind the pulpit in the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora della Misericordia in Savona.

The song – whose title is now engraved on the tombstone of Joy Division leader Ian Curtis, who killed himself in 1980 – ends with lyrics that seem spoken by the inconsolable angel: You cry out in your sleep, / All my failings exposed. / […] And desperation takes hold.

Tomba Ribaudo, Cimitero monumentale di Staglieno, Genova - Staglieno Monumental Cemetery in GenoaTomba Ribaudo, Cimitero monumentale di Staglieno, Genova - Staglieno Monumental Cemetery in GenoaTomba Ribaudo, Cimitero monumentale di Staglieno, Genova - Staglieno Monumental Cemetery in GenoaTomba Ribaudo, Cimitero monumentale di Staglieno, Genova - Staglieno Monumental Cemetery in GenoaTomba Ribaudo, Cimitero monumentale di Staglieno, Genova - Staglieno Monumental Cemetery in GenoaTomba Ribaudo, Cimitero monumentale di Staglieno, Genova - Staglieno Monumental Cemetery in Genoa

The Ribaudo family grave in Staglieno’s Cemetery, and a song by Joy Division

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