2.5.11

More tombs... Montmartre Cemetery

If you thought I had finished with the Montmartre Cemetery, you are wrong. I have still more in stock. :-)

This time it’s about some specific, spectacular, tombs, rather than about personalities.

The first one was erected for one (or two?) families: Delamare-Bichsel . I have not been able to find any information about who they were, only that the architect was called Boiret, who has left a few rather insignificant buildings in Paris, but who here obviously have excelled in an “art nouveau” style! (See also top picture.) This is one of the first tombs you see when you enter the cemetery. There are still flowers in front of the tomb now and then, so there must be family or friends around.
A second, very different one, was designed for himself and his family by Pierre-Léonard Laurecisque (1797-1860), who worked as an architect in Constantinople (e.g. the then French embassy – now the consulate general - , a church for the French community… ). His wife and son who both died young are actually buried in Turkey, but the cenotaph is dedicated to the whole family in a peculiar, very personal style, which is reflecting his architectural ideas.
For the third one, I have only been able to read that it’s the tomb of the Countess Potocka – Princess Soltikoff, who as far as one can read was born in St. Petersburg in 1807 and died in Paris in 1845. There are or were a lot of Potockas and Soltikoffs around, .. I found a number of articles and portraits, but nothing about this lady. (The bottom portrait is of a countess Potocka who was born in 1807, but died later than 1845; she was a good friend (and mistress?) of Chopin.)
The tomb seems to be under restoration (by the Paris municipality). I managed to find out that Francisque Duret (1804-65) has contributed to the creation of this tomb and then it may be interesting to know that he has left a number of statues around in Paris and elsewhere, including e.g. the St. Michel statue, part of the St. Michel fountain created by the architect Davioud (see previous post), Place St. Michel (see previous post).
Not really falling under this spectacular-tombs-chapter, but immediate neighbour to the previous tomb, is that for another famous architect, Jacques Hittorff (1792-1867)… and there is a link between the two tombs: Hittorff has left a lot of landmarks in Paris including the decoration of Place de la Concorde (including the fountains) (see previous posts, here and here), the plan and the buildings around Place de l’Etoile (see previous posts), Gare du Nord (see previous post)… and the “Cirque d’Hiver” (see previous post) … and Francisque Duret, who thus created the previous tomb, decorated the walls of the Cirque d’Hiver.
I’m more and more impressed by how all the painters, sculptors, authors, architects, composers, musicians… seemed to know each other, work together. Those days’ “salons” certainly played a great role. Here is an example where we can see Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, Georges Sand, Paganini, Rossini… listening to Franz Liszt. Where are today’s “salons”?

 
 
 


Here is where you can find these tombs, if you are interested.
 

37 comments:

Dianne said...

These beautiful headstones/tombs are an intrinsic part of the Monmartre cemetry - The detail is exquisite. Thanks for another wonderful visit to this amazing place.

Owen said...

Hi Peter !
Beautiful job here, in your venerable style which you execute so well, it is always a pleasure to stop here and see what you've been up to. The Montmartre Cemetery is so dense and rich in subject matter, one could probably make many visits there and not see the same things twice. I really must get around to posting some of the photos I did in there last August... to give another perspective on that beautiful place. Hope all is well with you and that we can catch up one day soon. I've been quietly going crazy... but hope to be back to a more normal level soon...

Thérèse said...

Comme quoi le monde est beaucoup plus petit que l'on ne croit et au bout du compte nous nous retrouverons tous pour faire la fete, j'espere tout du moins. La question que je me pose souvent c'est ou trouve t'on des emplacements pour les nouveaux venus?

Thérèse said...

Il y a probablement des limites dans le temps en ce qui concerne les concessions.

Studio at the Farm said...

Needless to say, you have done it again ... a fascinating and well-researched blog with great illustration.
The Delamare mausoleum I find quite intriguing; I would never have imagined seeing the art deco style in combination with religious themes.
Thank you, Peter, for a most interesting post!

V Rakesh said...

I notice a great deal of uniqueness in architecture, something that is perhaps very signature to this place, perhaps!

Thanks for these interesting observations!

J Bar said...

It's all so beautiful.

Olivier said...

sur la première photo, le dôme est magnifique.

Pierre BOYER said...

Ces monuments funéraires sont vraiment spectaculaires !
Ils nous montrent que le rapport à la mort peut être très différent suivant les personnes et les époques...

Pierre

ALAIN said...

Le monument rose fait penser à un vaisseau spatial qui aurait illustré un livre de jules Verne. On reste dans la science fiction avec le curieux cénotaphe qui prévoit une aération pour les doigts de pied.

Stephaniej said...

You have definatley captured some beautiful photographs

Mrs A said...

great post again! I passed the St Michelle statue everyday i was there, its wonderful to see it again.

Synne said...

Those details are amazing! I love how everyone important and artistic seemed to interact and influence each other in the old days. Imagine being a fly on the wall in one of the salons!

Starman said...

It seems you spend as much time in research as you do in photography.

Cheryl said...

Cemeteries here in the US are no where near as beautiful. but there's something disconcerting about tombs so pretty. You almost think, I want mine to look like that!

Marie-Noyale said...

Today's salons...
are individuals sharing ideas through a lighted screen that connects them all around the world from their own private homes!
Not that I want to compare to Dumas and Lizt!!

Ruth said...

Yes, where are the salons now? On blogs? After all, I met you and your talents here.

I thought I might see some Turkish tiles in the mausoleum of the architect who worked in Constantinople. What a strange desing that one is! How about those toes under "Saint Louis de Pera"?

Simony said...

I miss you too!
I see your pictures and really wish I was there.
One of these days I will meet you in person and we can go for some coffee.
Enjoy your beautiful weather for me, here is only rain and clouds. Pretty soon I will have to buy a boat to move around town.

claude said...

Les visites des cimetières (endroits que je n'aime pas beaucoup fréquenter) sont toujours fort intéressantes quand on passe chez toi.

Gunn said...

Du er omringet av så mye vakker kunst og kultur.
Tusen takk for at du deler det med oss bloggere.

Julie said...

Peter, this post is a delight and I thank you for it. It is the manner in which you range over your subject taking in such a range of interests which is so impressive.

However, I am a little confused with the map. On my recent visit, I went off the roadway and down the steps, into the main gate and nearly immediately UNDER the roadway. Is this about the only cemetery in the world over which the town has then built a road. Anyways, I did not get to see the cemetery to the right of the main gate, but it looked more extensive that this map shows.

Cezar and Léia said...

The details and sculptures are awesome.I love that first shot, the angle and colors!
Thanks for sharing!
Léia

arabesque said...

It's interesting to know that the salon was once a meeting place for the who's who, but times have changed. ^0^

another informative post,
the whole scary cemetery scenario has been made interesting, thanks to its beautiful details and cenotaphs and its rich history.

Jeanie said...

I really do love your Montmartre posts -- the only thing missing from this one is a cat! Some of these are so very beautiful! I have often found peace and comfort in cemeteries, but rarely as much beauty as what you share.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Very informative post with lovely photos. I enjoyed it.

Best wishes,
Joseph

Cergie said...

Tu t’es surpassé cette fois ci, Peter : partir du cimetière de Montmartre et terminer au cirque d’hiver il fallait le faire !

Nathalie said...

MDR Cergie !

N'empêche que c'est en effet un plaisir que te suivre le fil de tes recherches, qui en effet sortent du cimetière pour courir dans tout Paris.

J'espère que tout ça va te donner des idées pour ta propre tombe. Quelque chose à base de street art sûrement ? Ce n'est pas que ce soit urgent, j'espère, mais si tu veux faire les choses bien il faut y penser longtemps à l'avance...

Où sont les salons d'aujourd'hui ? Oui sur le net certainement, mais aussi dans des lieux que nous ne fréquentons pas... nous ne sommes pas de ce monde-là.

JM said...

These are some of the most fantastic tombs I've seen. You made me feel like visiting this cemetery right now! :-)

Maria O. Russell said...

Is the lady leaning against the piano Marie d´Agoult?

Beautiful post, Peter!

Peter said...

Maria: Yes, always close to Franz! :-)

Elizabeth said...

How beautiful! I was just there on Saturday...

Simony said...

So much art everywhere you look. It must be great to live in a city like this!

joanny said...

Peter

I never seem to tire of Montmartre Cemetery either,,, I am as you are Peter fascinated with the way so many talents have been thrown together in a short span of history at the turn of the century, people who were unknown at the time, but certainly changed history, and it seemed this phenomena was apparent to some of them at the time,, I was reading about Eugene O Neill and Louise Bryant(she is buried in Paris) and they were part of the group called the Bohemians there was a comment from a writer at the time who pointed out this very same thing you are noting here as well. I am sure there is a important story here to be discovered and written about, at least to my writers mind there is.

Good week end to you Peter, I love your blog and I love your photo's on Montmartre Cemetery

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Brasil said...

Great stuff from you, man. I’ve read your stuff before and you’re just too awesome. I love what you’ve got here, love what you’re saying and the way you say it. You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it smart. I can’t wait to read more from you. This is really a great blog.

Trotter said...

You'll need a week to check everything at Montmartre...

PS: It seems you're getting some Swedish spam... ;)

Anonymous said...

I purchased a portrait of countess maria potocka artist vigee le brun I believe it was sent back to canada during ww2 also have the soldiers metals and letter to his parents. Everything I,ve read says its beleived to have been destroyed in berlin bombing.there is smoke residue on outer frame. The portrait on this site I strongly believe I have it. Please contact me if any info johnnypoolboy@gmail.com