13.12.10

Montmartre Cemetery - painters

Painters at the Montmartre Cemetery ...there are so many tombs … , some of painters I didn’t know, some tombs I didn’t find. I have tried to mention the ones I found in a more or less chronological order.

Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805), was considered as a rococo painter, but quite moralizing. He reached quite early considerable success and honors, however when he was not accepted at the Academy of Art as a historical painter – which was his ambition; he was accepted only as a “genre painter” – he stopped exhibiting, with as a result, reduced income. He died quite poor.

He has some 15 paintings exhibited at the Louvre, but you can also find his works at the Hermitage, National Gallery, Rijksmuseum…

He painted also this portrait of the seven or eight years old Mozart who stayed in Paris for a couple of months 1763-64.





Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806), more or less contemporary to Greuze , was also a rococo painter with a large production (some 550 paintings known). His paintings have often an erotic touch; he fulfilled the demand of the wealthy art patrons especially during Louis XV’s pleasure-loving years. His touch and technique certainly influenced the much later impressionists. His works can today be seen at the Louvre (some 25 paintings), MMA, National Gallery, Hermitage…

Here is a painting by him of his good friend Diderot that I photographed at the Louvre.

His tomb has actually disappeared. There I just a plate.





Ary Scheffer (1795-1858) was born in Dordrecht, but spent most of his life in France. Although his name is mostly referring to romanticism, his style was different, described as “frigidly classical”. He’s represented at the Louvre, MMA, Hermitage… The two paintings you see here were taken by me recently at the Louvre.

Looking through the closed gate, you can (hardly) see a sculpture he made of his mother on her deathbed and some reproductions of his paintings.
Scheffer’s name is also linked to the “Musée de la Vie Romantique” (see previous post), which used to be his home. This is also the place where people like George Sand, Chopin, Liszt, Dickens, Delacroix, Lamartine, Ingres… were his frequent guests, some as close neighbours. He was an excellent portrait painter and he portrayed also some of these friends. Actually, the portrait of Marie Taglioni (see previous post) is also painted by him.

The next tomb relates to two brother painters, Jacques-Eugene Feyen (1815-1908) and Auguste Feyen-Perrin (1826-88).

Van Gogh was a fan of Jacques-Eugene: ”… one of the few painters who pictures intimate modern life as it really is and does not turn it into fashion plates…”. Many of his motives are from Brittany.

Auguste concentrated more on historical scenes.

I was actually attracted by the statue of the young lady, made by Ernest Guilbert, a sculptor who obviously left other statues around, but - as many others - mostly melted by the Nazis during WW II.

Gustave Moreau (1826-98) is considered as a “symbolist” painter; his works are mostly linked to mythological history. His art was quite special and has been an inspiration for the more abstract impressionism and the later surrealism. Links to later painters like Klimt and Munch are also obvious, as well to the “art nouveau”. It seems that Oscar Wilde was one of his fans and that Moreau’s paintings inspired some of Wilde’s works.

(I actually never found his tomb, but it's somewhere on the photo in the collage.)

I highly recommend a visit to his personal museum (14, rue Rochefoucauld, Paris 9) on which I once made a post. Many of his 8,000 paintings, watercolours and drawings can be seen there and the building , his home and workshop, is fascinating. This is where I took the photo of his painting “Jupiter and Semele”. He’s also represented at the Louvre with some 20 paintings, and also at MMA, Musée d’Orsay, National Gallery…

Addendum 31/12: Finally I found Gustave Moreau's tomb. Here it is.










Edgar Degas (1834-1917), actually De Gas, is of course known especially for his paintings and statues of dancers. He may be referred to as one of the impressionist artists, but he himself rather considers himself as a “realist”. He participated in the first impressionist salons, actively participating in the organizing, but he never really felt that he was part of the movement, also preferring working more indoors than outdoors.
However, he also painted other motives than dancers. Here are some examples from his Italian period 1856-60 (the Bellini family), his “horse period” during the 1860’s, his stay in New Orleans (1872), a portrait…
I rather recently had the opportunity to visit an atelier (see here), which he obviously used the last years of his life, more or less blind. This was the period when he concentrated on his ballerina sculptures.

I believe that there is no need to mention the names of the museums where he’s represented.


Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville (1835-85), who was one of Eugène Delacroix’ students, was “classic”, the subjects are mostly patriotic, war scenes... Maybe not so well-known today, he was highly appreciated during his lifetime.

You can find paintings of him at the Louvre, Hermitage, Quai d’Orsay…

Gustave Guillaumet (1840-87) spent many years in Algeria, those days a French colony. He shared the life of the inhabitants, including in distant and desert regions. This is what we can see in most of his paintings. I was attracted by the sculpture that decorates his tomb, made by Louis-Ernest Barrias, who has left many other sculptures in Paris and around, e.g. in the Tuileries Gardens and maybe especially “La Défense de Paris” made to glorify the French soldiers defending Paris during the French-Prussian war 1870-71. This statue gave the name to the business quarters “La Défense”, just outside Paris, where you can find it and where I photographed it in a previous post.

Guillaumet is also represented at the Louvre, Quai d’Orsay, National Gallery… He participated in the first impressionist exposition in 1874 together with Monet, Renoir...

Finally, some words about Francisque Poulbot (1879-1946). His name is very much linked to Montmartre, known as the illustrator of the “Kids of Paris” (see previous post). His “kids” have served as models for a lot of illustrations made by other artists, illustrations which are often referred to as “pulbots” and which you often find on postcards, however mostly having nothing to do with the real ones.

If you are interested to find these tombs, this is where you can (try to) find them.

(I have again "stolen" some pictures - white frames - mostly from Wikipedia. If there is a copyright problem, I will immediately withdraw them.)

26 comments:

Owen said...

Your series of posts on Montmartre Cemetery is simply excellent Peter... I have no doubt that you are contributing to encouraging others to go visit this place, which is one of the best kept secrets of Paris...

Mystica said...

Saying thanks again seems a bit blaise for what you are doing for my education! but thank you all the same.

Olivier said...

ce que je disais, un vrai musée a ciel ouvert....Impressionnant

Anonymous said...

The shiniest female star in the Impressionist firmament was the lovely Berthe Morisot whom Degas simply adored. She commanded great respect from all of the painters of her time. Most of all from her friend M. Degas. When she died, he was among the very close friends who took care of her daughter and her Gobillard nieces. When the girls grew up to be very nice and lovely young ladies M. Degas decided it was time to play Cupid. He was so much in earnest in this role that he almost got his two young friends(and favorite candidates for the girls) Paul Valery and Ernest Rouart running for the hills! But as time went by the perseverant M. Degas was the guest of honor at the double wedding ceremony of Julie Manet(Morisot's daughter) with Ernest Rouart and Mlle. Gobillard(Morisot's niece) with Paul Valery. As usual Peter this post is "maravilloso", "increible, "fascinante!! Muchisimas gracias. Maria o. Russell

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Peter, this is an amazing post with historical details and your own photos... What great research! Please tell me you didn't try to go out there in the snowdrifts!

I am just blown away by this post!

Many thanks for this treasure trove of information...

Bises,
Genie

V Rakesh said...

A treasure trove of history! Thank you for some of the very best, truly!

claude said...

Tu mets combien de temps pour faire un post comme ça.
C'est toujours super bien documenté.
Je viens d'apprendre bien des choses sur Poulbot.
J'aime les danseuses de Degas mais je préfère la Liseuse de Fragonard.
Que de grands personnages dans ce cimetière.

Studio at the Farm said...

Thank you once again, Peter, for a most fascinating post!

Shionge said...

It is so creative and artistic that I am awe-struck to say the least :)

I've given your blog address to my girlfriend who is visiting next Sept so hope she will find your blog helpful in travelling around Paris.

Currently planning a holiday trip soon so I hope we get to meet for coffee if ever we do visit Paris again :D

SusuPetal said...

Thanks once again, Peter, for a fascinating post.
Those statues are just amazing, almost alive!

Your texts and photos should be made a book.

caterpillar said...

So many creative geniuses...it's amazing how much information you've collected and shared......once again, great post...thanks for the trip... :)

Cezar and Léia said...

Wow so interesting details and history!
I'm enjoying a lot this series!
Hugs
Léia

ALAIN said...

Si je comprends bien, ce sont les tombes des inconnus qui sont rares dans ce cimetierre.

Olga said...

Hi Peter!
Thank you, that you mentioned my favourite artist - Degas. He was a contradictory and exceptional person, like all geniuses. I really love reading stories about him. By the way, throughout his life, he loved all types of music.

Thérèse said...

Quelle jolie galerie tu soumets à nos yeux aujourd'hui. Superbe. Tiens nous irons voir du Greuze, entre autres, au musée Getty très bientôt. Je penserai à toi.

Virginia said...

Desgas, now you tell me it's de Gas. You always help me limp along with my français. Merci.

I loved this cemetery when we visited in November 2008, I think. I smile now about the chat noir I photographed there. Now I have one of my own, that I dearly love.

A really great post. I think Mary and I might need to have another look soon.
V

arabesque said...

hi peter, it's like studying art history again, which btw, used to be one of my fave subjects. thanx for showing and compiling these impressive fotos and infos.
i was surprised to see degas read as de gas. interesting.

hpy said...

Quel boulot!

Maddalena said...

Absolutely fascinating! I will be back to read your post again, later. I absolutely love the sculptures!

Bagman and Butler said...

You are creating a true blogspot monument to Paris. I always learn so much from your research. Thanks.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Your life is consumed in the blog. I don't see how you do it all and still find time to pay visits. Good luck. Have a happy holiday with family and friends.

Annie said...

Thank you for all the interesting information and photos Peter - I fly into Paris on Sunday for Christmas and will be using your blog as my tour guide - you make history breathe again.

Starman said...

I'm not a celebrity grave checker, but it's interesting to see on your map, the locations.

Anonymous said...

Mille fois bravo pour votre travail! Moi aussi étant une bloguese je sais bien combien de temps et d´éffort vous avez du y mettre!
Hana de Prague

Trotter said...

De Gas! Amazing!!

Vagabonde said...

This is a well researched post on the inhabitants of the cemetery. So many artists there, I did not know that.