21.1.11

More statues and tombs - Montmartre Cemetery

Some more tombs (there are some 20 thousand) and another cat (there are at least tens of them) from the Montmartre Cemetery. Many of them are also remarkable for their sculptures, statues…

Henri Murger (1822-61) belonged to a group of artists, referring to themselves as “water drinkers” (too poor to drink anything else). He invented the expression “bohèmes” (bohemians) to describe the characters of poor artists, living just for art (long-haired, smoking opium pipes…), in opposition to the “bourgeois”. He had some small jobs, among others as secretary to a Count Léon Tolsotoï (not the author) and had considerable success with a feuilleton, then published as a book – “Scènes de la vie de bohème”. However, he died quite young and poor, but popular. A large crowd attended the funeral and money was collected to pay a (more than) decent tomb.
Some 35 years after his death, the Puccini opera “La Bohème”, based on Burger’s writings, had its première (conducted by Toscanini). It has become one of the most played operas. Other operas, films and the musical “Rent” has Murger’s work as basis.


This tomb, and its statue, has something in common with another tomb – see below; the same artist made the statues. His name was Aimé Millet (1819-91). He had some eminent art teachers, and later, as a teacher, some eminent pupils. His name is perhaps not so well-known today, but he’s the one who among many other statues made the one on top of Opéra Garnier (see previous post) and also the one of Vercingétorix at Alésia. (Millet is also buried at the Montmartre Cemetery; a simple grave without statue.)
So, the other statue by Millet at the Montmartre Cemetery is on the tomb of Jean-Baptiste Baudin (1811-51). He was a doctor and member of parliament, famous for having been shot down on the barricades in opposition to the coup d’état by the future Napoleon III. He became a hero for the Republicans. He got a statue close to Place de la Bastille (see previous posts), but it disappeared with many other statues during the Nazi occupation. At least this one on his tomb remains.
There is a certain resemblance between this tomb and the one of Godefroy Cavaignac (1801-45), easily found close to the entrance and visible from the bridge that crosses the cemetery. Godefroy Cavaignac was another republican hero, journalist. Observer and defender in opposition to a massacre, called the “red night”, which took place in 1834, he was one of 164 “conspirators” who were imprisoned, but he organized (together with Barbès) an evasion - they were 26 - a year later. He was also largely celebrated by the Republicans when buried.
This recumbent effigy of Cavaignac is created by a great sculptor, François Rude (1784-1855), whose most remarkable work is perhaps “the Marseillaise” on the Arc of Triumph (see previous posts), but several of his works can be seen around Paris and its museums.
There are more remarkable statues by remarkable sculptors around. I will be back!

26 comments:

JPD said...

Les grands esprits se rencontrent !
Next time you come to Montmartre, tell me !
Cheers
JP

V Rakesh said...

I greatly appreciate the amount of research that goes into making each of these posts!

Thérèse said...

J'ai eu du mal à suivre mais encore une fois je suis contente d'avoir tout lu. On s'instruit avec plaisir ici.

Thérèse said...

I don't know for you in Paris, Peter, but I have ads in the side bar and one of them is for coupons in Phoenix, so this one must be for me in Arizona. But this other ad is about buying "nude statues" and by what the ad says: I have to compare offers and save up to 74%!!! No further comment! lol

Jack said...

Peter, I am once again impressed at the amount of research that you do for the benefit of your readers. Montmartre cemetery appears to have many stories to tell.

joanny said...

Peter:

By far I believe I linger here at your blog longer then any where else in this virtual world. Like a child looking through the glass window at the candy shop on the other side,,,

Again how can it be -- such sheer delight and yet it is a cemetery and you make it come alive with interesting historic facts. Loved the music when Anna Netrebko hit the first high note, my glass on the desk shook...

I just did a piece on Jean Cocteau -- a genius he was -- but alas he too had struggled with opium addiction. Is he buried there?

joanny

Studio at the Farm said...

Thank you, Peter, for another most interesting post. And give the cats a scratch under the chin when you see them again.

ALAIN said...

Mourir jeune et célèbre, comme Murger, mon rêve ! Enfin, ce sera pour une autre fois.

claude said...

Je n'ai pas pour habitude de prendre du plaisir à aller dans un cimetière, mais là c'est intéressant de voir toutes ces personnalités (dont pour certaines que je découvre d'ailleurs) reposer là sous des tombes qui sont des oeuvres d'art.

hpy said...

Alors c'est vrai que tu photographies des chats et des tombes!C'est Delphinium qui a cafté! (Je préfère les chats.)
Jussi te salue d'outre-tombe...

delphinium said...

hein? il a pas l'air de bonne ton chat... et jean-baptiste n'a pas l'air en forme. :-))

Cergie said...

First, Peter, tu voudrais qu'on serve du champagne à l'hôtel de ville de Strasbourg ? Pourquoi pas du coca ?
Strasbourg c'est l'Alsace et le crémant de la même région. Le marché de noël qui s'exporte à Tokyo et bientôt à NY maybe (coucou Olivier qd tu passeras). Sa grande-île est inscrite au patrimoine mondial

Cergie said...

J'ai vu et écouté "la bohème" à l'opéra Bastille.
(Le chat a un beau manteau bien chaud)

Ola said...

All the tombs are fascinating-beautiful sculptures and intersting life stories

Cezar and Léia said...

Very dramatic sculptures in those tombs! :)
That kitty is CUTE!Thanks for this adorable picture!
*** about your comment other day in my blog, I think it's time to plan a trip to SWEDEN! yes! We need to visit there! :)
Have a nice weekend,
Léia

Robert Alescio said...

I cannot thank you enough for the effort you put into these posts. What a remarkable gift for us.

Catherine said...

I have really enjoyed all your posts on the Montmartre cemetery - and that statue today of Baudin is amazing!! Thanks for all these wonderful photos - I would love to visit this place...

Virginia said...

Meeps LOVES les chats! :) I do as well.
Bon weekend Peter,
V

( I've had some major iPHoto issuses today . I am posting old drafts on both blogs! Quelle dommage!)

Trotter said...

Hi Peter! Puccini is not one of my favourites, but la Bohème is excellent, any point considered...
And the video is a treat!!

Hope to read you at the end of Egypt 2010 in Blogtrotter Two; it ended up in magnificent glory for Ramses II at Abu Simbel! Enjoy and have an exceptional weekend!

Vagabonde said...

When we went to New York last November we saw the opera La Boheme. I knew the music but had not seen the opera live. Your articles about the cemetery and its occupant are always so interesting and complete. Very enjoyable.

arabesque said...

hi peter, as always, i'm enjoying this series, I never realize that almost all of them are in that area. ^0^
interesting finds and facts about artists, etc.
i'm certainly learning a lot.

Maria O. Russell said...

I'm crazy about that cat, Peter. This post is absolutely wonderful! Thank you again.

wockley said...

Your posts are awesome Peter! I'm mad for them thank you so much.
Am off to Paris in March 2011, where about in Montmatre is the cemetery?
Paul

Starman said...

It's not very likely, but I certainly hope they don't do a 'sculpture' of me as a dead person. How very morbid. Those poor people must be "turning over in their graves".

Jeanie said...

More cats, more Montmartre, more sculpture and lots about composers! You had me at hello!

JoAnn's-D-Eyes said...

Hi P, as always interesting post, what a lovely cat, I am enjoying all little ANIMALS , see my puppy JOyi-JAN