Karl Marx's Grave, Highgate Cemetery, London

Karl Marx's grave in the Eastern Cemetery of Highgate Cemetery, Swain's Lane, London N6. Prussian-born Marx (1818-1883) had been expelled from both Cologne and Paris before settling in London in 1849. "From this time on he was one of the leaders of the socialist party in Europe, and in 1865 he became its acknowledged chief" ("Obituary").

Marx, who had been in poor health for some time, was laid to rest in the same grave as his wife Jenny, who had died less than a year and a half before him. A grand total of eleven people attended his funeral. As the years passed, however, many more came to visit his grave, and it was moved to a more accessible spot. The celebrated granite monument surmounted by the great bronze of Marx's head was unveiled only in 1956. Erected by the British Communist Party, it is by Laurence Bradshaw (1899-1978), and conveys the presence and power of perhaps our best-known German exile, an extraordinarily influential thinker of that time. Bradshaw aimed to express the "dynamic force of his intellect" and wanted the sculptured likeness to be at eye-level rather than "towering over the people" (qtd. in Bullus 140).

Right: The inscription on the pedestal, with his wife's name first, and other family members below. Left: The monument in context.

Photograph at top right, text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. All other photographs (taken in a different season) by Robert Freidus. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL. Click on the images for larger pictures.]

Sources

Bullus, Claire, and Ronald Asprey. The Statues of London. London & New York, Merrell, 2009.

"Obituary." Times, 17 Mar. 1883: 13. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 31 July 2013.


Victorian Web Homepage Visual Arts sculpture next

Last modified 1 August 2013