Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Division 27 - Armand Joseph Bruat (1765-1839)

Named commander of the French fleet in the Black Sea during the Crimean War in 1854, Armand Bruat (1765-1839) died of cholera while at sea near Toulon in 1855. Sculpture by Hippolyte Maindron (1801-1884).


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Division 24 - Dominique Catherine, Comte et Marquis de Perignon (1756-1818)

Marshal of France and politician and supporter of Napoleon, Dominique Perignon eventually supported the restoration of the Bourbons and Louis XVIII. He also voted for the execution of Marshal Michel Ney (division 29). Bas-relief of military accouterments by Jean-Baptiste-Louis Plantar (1790-1879).

Friday, February 24, 2012

Division 20 - Leon Noel (1844-1913)

French actor and comedian. For what it's worth, "Leon" is "Noel" spelled backwards and, "Noel" is, well, you get it. (And if you're living somewhere other than the US or Canada, it's "spelt.") Bust by Gustave Deloye.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Division 18 - Francois Vincent Raspail (1794-1878)

French chemist and republican politician, Francois Raspail was imprisoned during the reign of Louis Philippe (1830-1848) and again shortly after the aborted revolution in 1848. It was while he was in prison that his wife died. Sculpture representing the spirit of his dead wife attempting to visit him in prison by Antoine Etex, buried in division 8 Montparnasse Cemetery.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Division 16 - Charles-Angélique Comte de La Bedoyere (1786-1815)

A supporter of Napoleon's return from exile, Charles La Bedoyere was eventually tried for treason and executed by a firing squad in 1815 (as was another supporter, Marshal Ney, buried in division 29).

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Division 15 - Georges Rodenbach (1855-1898)

A Symbolist poet, Georges Rodenbach certainly has one of the more intriguing sculptures in the cemetery. His epitaph reads:

Seigneur, donnez-moidonc cet espoir de revivre
Dans la melancolique eternite du livre

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Division 12 - Jean-Joseph Carries (1855-1894)

A sculptor, Jean Carries was a noted miniaturist and ceramist. Sculpture by Carries himself.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Division 12 - Jean-Antoine Louis Théodore Gericault (1791-1824)

One of the pioneers of the romantic school of painting in France, Theodore Gericault is perhaps most well-known for his profoundly moving "Raft of the Medusa" (see relief below). Based on one of the most disastrous shipwrecks in the 19th century, the creation of the canvas is a tale all its own and one well-told by Jonathan Smiles in his masterful The Wreck of the Medusa (2007, Atlantic Monthly Press).

Sculpture of Gericault reclining with brush in one hand and his palette in another, was created by Antoine Etex (1808-1888), who is buried in division 8 Montparnasse. 

The statue is surrounded by three bronze bas-reliefs, representing his most well-known work:

"Raft of the Medusa":

"The Charging Chasseur"

Friday, February 17, 2012

Division 11 - Fernand Arbelot (1880-1942)

Sculpture in bronze by Adolphe Wansart (1873-1954).

"Ils furent emerveilles du beau voyage
Qui les mena jusqu'au bout de la vie."

"They were filled with wonder at the beautiful voyage
Which carried them until the end of life."

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Division 10 - Pierre Gareau (1766-1815)

Probably a well-known merchant in his life, Pierre's singular claim to fame today is to have one of the few remaining early monuments still standing in Pere Lachaise. "La Douleur" by François Dominique Milhomme (1758-1823).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Division 10 - Dominique Vivant, Baron Denon (1747-1825)

Vivant Denon was an artist, diplomat and archeologist. Napoleon appointed him  the first director of the Louvre Museum. Sculpture by Cartellier (division 53).

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Division 9 - Paul Dubois (1829-1925)

Dubois was a sculptor and painter; sculptor of Paul Baudry's monument in division 4.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Division 8 - Etienne-Gaspard Robert (1764-1837)

Better known by his stage name Etienne Robertson, was a Belgian stage magician and early exploiter of the "phantasmagoria." A professor of physics in his native Liege, in 1784, he gave an exhibition of an improved magic lantern, the phantasmagoria. He was also a serious balloonist.

Bas-reliefs by Hardouin:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Division 7 - Jacob Robles (1782-1842)

Sculpture "Le Silence," representing a woman holding a finger to her lips, by Auguste Preault (division 49-2).

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Division 7 - Heloise and Abelard

Separated in life, together in death. Abduction, castration, terror, fear and the profound anguish caused by the loss of your one and only love, Heloise d'Argenteuil and Peter Abelard remains ultimate romantic tale of "undying" love.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Division 6 - Cassereau

There's just something about this particular sculpture -- I have no idea whether it represents someone buried in this location or is merely symbolic of the quality of a life lived. There seems to be no direct historical appeal, either. It's the movement, a gesture forever captured in the state of moving, the act of being caught doing something delicate, tender and so alive.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Division 4 - Paul-Albert Bartholome (1848–1928)

Bartholome is best known for the group of statuary inspired by his wife's death, ‘Aux morts’ (1895), and for the monument to Rousseau in the Panthéon. He also created the monuments to Dubufe in division 10 and Meilhac and Pam, both in Montmartre Cemetery (division 21 and 3 respectively).

Division 4 - Monument aux morts

Said to be inspired by the death of his wife (1895), this incredible group of sculptures was created by Paul-Albert Bartholome (1848–1928), who is buried just a few meters away, also in division 4.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Division 4 - Ignace Hoff (1836-1902)

Ignace Hoff, often called "Sergeant Hoff," was a national hero during the siege of Paris in 1870. Sculpture by Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904), buried in division Montparnasse Petit Cemetery. And yes, you're quite right -- Bartholdi was the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty sitting in New York harbor.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Division 4 - Francois Felix Faure (1841-1899)

The seemingly peaceful figure of Felix Faure, president of France from 1895 until his death in 1899, belies the turmoil of the last years of his life which saw his administration embroiled in the notorious Dreyfus Affair. Sculpture by Rene de Saint-Marceaux (1845-1915).

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Division 4 - Louis-Tullius-Joachim Visconti (1791-1853)

Louis Visconti was an Italian-born architect and designer. He designed many Parisian buildings and squares, including the Place Saint Sulpice, but is perhaps most well-known for designing the tomb of Napoleon at Les Invalides.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Division 2 - Ernest Caillat (1839-1899)

Monument designed by the French art nouveau architect Hector Guimard (1867-1942), who designed many of entrances to the Paris Metro. (Visit Felix Caillat's monument in division 56.)


Wednesday, February 1, 2012