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013. inverted torches

Inverted torch, Recoleta Cemetery

Inverted torch, Recoleta Cemetery

Inverted torch, Recoleta Cemetery

Inverted torch, Recoleta Cemetery

Life is often represented in religious art as a flame—a source of illumination & warmth. An eternal flame takes this notion one step further. But sooner or later all flames burn out. Turning a torch upside down will extinguish the flame due to lack of oxygen & is a poignant way of representing death.

Inverted torches are one of the most common symbols in cemeteries worldwide. Whether in pairs, crossed or standing alone, they remind us that someone’s flame has gone out.

Published in:Symbols

2 Comments

  1. Lisandro Orlov

    Considero que se puede mirar la significación de la antorcha invertida desde otra perspectiva: aún en la muerte, simbolizada por la antorcha invertida, la luz no se extingue. Podemos pensar que es símbolo que nos habla que las tinieblas de la muerte no tienen la última palabra porque aún en esa situación la luz no se ha apagado.

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