The Girl in The Box (Luyties) - Bellefontaine Cemetery - St. Louis MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 41.288 W 090° 13.645
15S E 741153 N 4285818
is highly artistic tombstone is known locally as "The Girl In the Box"
Waymark Code: WM15J1C
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 01/10/2022
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member PISA-caching
Views: 1

County of structure: St. Louis Independent City
Location of mausoleum: Inside at Hawthorn & Memorial; 4947 W. Florissant Ave., St. Louis
Built: 1922
Architect/Sculptor: Giulio Monteverde

The only text, or writing, on the tombstone is the residents last name

Architect/Sculptor: Giulio Monteverde, sculptor (attributed)
Date Erected: 1922
Granite and marble. Granite arch on classical columns frame “box” with standing robed female, arms and legs crossed. Glass covers Carrera white marble statue." ~ NRHP Nomination Form

"During a trip to Italy in the early 1900s, Herman Luyties, owner of the first proprietary drug store in St. Louis, met a voluptuous model for an Italian sculptor. He fell in love with her and proposed, but she declined. Heartbroken, Luyties commissioned the sculptor to render a 12-foot marble statue of his beloved.

"The statue was shipped to St. Louis, where he kept it in the foyer of his Portland Place home. The several-ton statue was moved, because of its extreme weight, to the family burial plot in Bellefontaine. When the weather began to deteriorate the marble, he had to enclose her in a glass-fronted case. Luyties died at age 50 and was buried at the foot of “the girl in the shadow box.”' ~ Bellefontaine Cemetery

"IN ST. LOUIS’S BELLEFONTAINE CEMETERY stands a beautiful marble sculpture encased in a stone chamber with a glass window, commonly referred to as “Bessie, the Girl in the Shadow Box.” It does not depict a person buried there, but a girl for whom a local man longed.

Herman Luyties, owner of the first proprietary drugstore in St. Louis and one of the pioneers of homeopathy in the area, visited Italy in the early 1900s. During this trip he fell for a beautiful girl who was modeling for the Genoese sculptor Giulio Monteverde. After she turned down his proposals, the heartbroken Luyties commissioned Monteverde to create a 12-foot marble statue of her.

"On his return the sculpture was shipped to St. Louis, where he kept it in the foyer of his home on Portland Place. Due to its massive weight, it had to be relocated to the family burial plot in Bellefontaine. Luyties added the glass screen for protection when it started to wear and weather away.

"When Luyties passed in 1921, at the age of 50, he was buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery, at the foot of his beloved. While this story may sound romantic to some, one often-overlooked fact is bound to burst the bubble: Luyties had already been married when he proposed to the girl in Italy.

"As for the girl herself, not much is known about her. She was the model for the universally praised “Monteverde Angel” in the Monumental Cemetery in Milan, whose imitations can be found around the world. It’s unclear what her name was, what her life was like afterwards, or where she was buried." ~ Atlas Obscura

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