Set of tombstones in section 31 (Brno, Central Cemetery, sect. 31). Sample of typical tombstones of the stonemasonry company A Loos’ Witwe and the former family grave of Marie Loos.
In terms of quantity, the production of the Loos Company was very large. The main field of its activity was stonemasonry and sculptural work in architecture, and the production of tombstones, including accessories (lamps, candelabra, perimeter grids, etc.). Standardized tombstones were reproduced many times, popular patterns can be found in numerous cemeteries in Moravia and Bohemia.
Common company products included small sacral works in the countryside, especially stone crosses, most often cut of Nedvědice marble in neo-Gothic forms. Also known are the monuments to the victims of World War I produced by the Loos Company, as well as a number of stonemasonry memorial plaques. To a lesser extent, the company was engaged in figural sacral work that served to furnish churches and chapels.
In grave section 31, several tombstones made by the Loos Company can be found, and among them are the three probably most common types – their numerous variants occur repeatedly:
Tombstone of the Novotný family (Brno, Central Cemetery, sect. 31, grave Nos. 71‒72), after 1900, white Nedvědice marble, signed: A. Loos.
The grave of the Novotný family is the first of them. It is a symmetrically composed tombstone made in three parts of white marble; the central cross is supplemented on the sides by side walls, decorated with a neo-Gothic arcade and terminated by protruding pylons. The socle is decorated with sculptural ribbing on the front, forming a diamond pattern. Nearly identical tombstones can be found in many cemeteries in Moravia; they are almost always signed with the company’s mark.
Tombstone of the Zezula family (Brno, Central Cemetery, sect. 31, grave Nos. 69‒70), after 1900, sandstone, Nedvědice marble, signed: A. Loos.
The grave of the Zezula family is another example of the most common tombstone designs supplied by the Loos Company: It takes the form of a pedestal in the shape of a stylized rock carved of sandstone, with a thin inscription plate embedded on the front at a slight angle. A simple Latin cross made of black, grey or whitish stone with a smooth or polished surface (here in Nedvědice marble) rises from the pedestal. The company’s signature is usually cut on the side of the cross base. The naturalistic concept of the rock evoking the impression of a real product of nature is probably a symbolic reference to Golgotha. This type of tombstone was regularly presented in illustrations of Loos Company advertisements in the period press.
Tombstone of the Horníček family (Brno, Central Cemetery, sect. 31, grave No. 3), after 1900, Nedvědice marble, signed: A. Loos.
The gravestone of the Horníček family in the form of a cross made of Nedvědice marble with pointed logs and stylized neo-Gothic decor represents another characteristic type of Loos Company tombstone.
The romantic neo-Gothic decor convenes with the use of Nedvědice marble as a material allowing delicate pointed shapes to be cut.
The grave section 31 also includes the former family grave of Marie Loos (Brno, Central Cemetery, sect. 31, grave Nos. 93–95) that she founded in connection with the death of the youngest daughter Hermína (died on 1 October 1904). On 3 October 1904, Hermína Loos was buried in the family grave together with the relics of her father Adolf Loos Sr. (died 1879), transferred from the abandoned Municipal Cemetery on Kounicova Street. It was probably on that occasion that the tombstone of the Loos family was transferred to the Central Cemetery from the Municipal Cemetery, or that a new monument was made. Three years later, on 25 July 1907, the second daughter of Marie Loos, Marie-Irma Pirschl (died on 23 July 1907), was buried in the family grave. Later, on 6 October 1921, Marie Loos herself, who died on 2 October 1921 in Vranov nad Dyjí aged 88, was also buried there. It is therefore the resting place of both parents and two sisters of the architect Adolf Loos (currently the grave of the Šikula family is located there). It is possible that the central part of the existing tombstone comes from Loos’ workshop, including the decorative cast iron lattice enclosing the grave.