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…
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.)