“For centuries, everyday existence in Russia was a strenuous battle for survival; the life of the common Russian was grueling, and worry became entrenched on their face as a permanent reflection of their hardship.”

– From the WikiHow-article “How to Understand a Russian Smile”

Russians do supposedly smile – just not at strangers. Spending a vacation week in Moscow some years ago, that ocean of faces void of any emotion made me want to make a series of stony-faced Russian portraits. I choose not to, but turned instead to a different set of stone faces: those of proper stone.

These are photographs from the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.