York St John University student Emily Kecic was behind the illumination of Undercliffe Cemetery in Bradford.
More than 100 people visited the listed site on Thursday evening to see it in a different light.
Miss Kecic, who hails from Bradford and is in her final year studying theatre, chose the site for her project after researching the cemetery.
The 22-year-old said: “After much contemplation, I noticed how many successful mill owners, actors, prestigious families and so on were buried in Undercliffe Cemetery and after visiting the website I found they wanted to be buried there because it is at the highest possible point and overlooks the whole city.
“Therefore I had the idea to softly illuminate the cemetery at night, to not only show the finest artworks but to bring the community together to remember why the people buried there were so proud of their city – highlighting the beautiful.
“Furthermore a lot of people who live in Bradford have never actually seen the artwork in the cemetery, and I am a firm believer that when you have something you are proud of in your city you should celebrate it and show it off.
“Last night was wonderful. We had a really good turnout. Everyone was pleased I had done something positive.”
Three sections of the cemetery were illuminated with different coloured lights and members of the audience were provided with candles.
The tomb of Alfred Illingworth, an English worsted spinner and Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons in two periods between 1868 and 1895, was among those which were illuminated.
Undercliffe Cemetery was opened in 1854, contains 23,000 graves and holds a total of 124,000 burials.