Green Mount Cemetery’s Creepy “Little Red Riding Hood”

Green Mount Cemetery’s Creepy “Little Red Riding Hood”

I did a brief photo shoot in Baltimore’s beautiful and historic Green Mount Cemetery last week. It’s home to the graves of many famous people, including John Wilkes Booth, Johns Hopkins, CIA director Allen Dulles, and plenty of Baltimore luminaries. I drove around the cemetery, just to familiarize myself with the layout, but a statue alongside the road made me stop. I had to get out and see it up close.

Statue of Little Red Riding Hood at William Black's grave

Statue of Little Red Riding Hood at William Black's grave

Click on the above image for a high-res version—it’s an HDR photo and you can only get the full effect with the larger image.

I haven’t been able to find much information about William Black or the statue itself, although this news article indicates that the statue was a favorite of Black’s and he kept it on his fireplace mantle before leaving instructions for it to be placed on his grave after his death. I hope to do a little more, um, digging into this subject because I find the sculpture so beautiful and weirdly out-of-place.

Michael Hughes
Written by Michael Hughes

Michael M. Hughes is a writer and performer. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

3 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    November 15, 2011

    Great photo. Great statue. BUt it has nothing to do with Little Red Riding Hood.

    Check out this site:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/deatonstreet/4151344779/

    Interior of the mausoleum belonging to Benjamin Bosworth Smith (1785-1846). Quote from the book Cave Hill Cemetery: A Pictorial Guide and History of Louisville’s “City of the Dead”:

    “Symbolic statue by Emile Wolff (1802-1879) of Rome. The German-born student of J.G. Schadow (1764-1850) cast a child in the Nemean lion skin mythology reserved for Hercules. The animal’s tail acts as a Herculean club, while the fruit of spiritual struggle for immortality is grasped in the child’s left hand.”

    If you look down at the top of the child’s head, the cap clearly resembles the face of a small lion.

  2. Avatar
    December 06, 2011

    Thanks so much for the clarification!

  3. Avatar
    December 07, 2011

    But perhaps it was a wolf cloak after all. Here’s some information dug up by my good friend and scholar, Daniel M. Perrine:

    Here’s some pay dirt of sorts; also a more likely interpretation of that tail….twas a sheherd’s inverted crook?:

    Thorvaldsen: His LIfe & Works. footnote page 236: “Emile Wolff is settled in Rome, where he enjoys a deserved reputation He has followed religoiusly the principles of his master, for whom he cherishes a deep and touching veneration”…. Among his numerous works….”

    Also, turns out Emile did have two f’s in his name, like maybe a good wolf should, and was Jewish and mostly lived in France, 1802-79.

    Another auction in Britain
    A 19th century Italian sculpted white marble figure emblematic of Winter, after Emile Wolff, the child with downcast expression, draped in a wolf skin cloak and resting on an inverted shepherd’s crook, on a stepped circular base — 25in. (63½cms.) high, overall.

    Auction at Christie’s….seems it is a “wolf-skin” cloak:

    A 19th century Italian sculpted white marble figure emblematic of Winter, after Emile Wolff, the child with downcast expression, draped in a wolf skin cloak and resting on an inverted shepherd’s crook, on a stepped circular base — 25in. (63½cms.) high, overall.
    Lot 88 / Sale 4472

    Price Realized £825 ($1,461)

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