One of the most famous gravestones in New England is the stone carved by John Bull for Charles Bardin (1773). I'm always reluctant to call something the "only" example of a motif, but it's the only stone I've ever seen that has a literal depiction of God as the tympanum design. The cherubim on the finials are also particularly lovely — they have that slightly abstract quality that separates quality English painting of the 18th century from the rigid specificity of the American provincial style. Luti says John Stevens I may have been the greatest of the 18th c New England carvers, but John Bull was undoubtedly an artist of considerable merit.
That is astonishing Caitlin! I have never seen the face of God on a gravestone. Completely unorthodox, and makes you wonder about the religious statement being made.
I've never seen one anywhere else either. Rhode Island's great for this sort of thing — lots of religious heterodoxy from an early date.
There are some stones in eastern Connecticut that seem to have staring eyes formed by the marks left by a compass beneath a conventional soul effigy. I think Alan Lugwig argues that these are intentionally made to signify the eyes of God, but I think they're ambiguous.
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