France

Square Père-Lachaise

Vintage postcard series ~ Between the cemetery’s northern wall and Avenue Gambetta Square Père-Lachaise has been renamed in honor of the French explorer Square Samuel du Champlain, who also has a lake named him in North America. Rarely visited by tourists, the park is a peaceful place to sit and plan how you’re going to spend the rest of your life in Paris.

Note that one of the views you can see the old northern entrance to the cemetery, which has been closed for many years.

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inside Porte des Osieux

inside Porte des Osieux

News from Père-Lachaise

Méliès tomb renovation.

t appears that the family of cinema pioneer Georges Méliès has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for renovating his tomb in D64. You can find out more online:

https://www.thegeorgesmeliesproject.org/index.php/home-uk

Georgian hero

Georgia Today reports that one of the early heroes of Georgian independence, Nikoloz Cheidze, is buried in PL, although that has yet to be confirmed.

http://georgiatoday.ge/news/14807/Hidden-Story-of-the-Georgian-Hero-


Update on Marie Beleyme’s research

I’ve posted here recently that Marie has provided online access to the first 3400 earliest burials to PL on her blog. Well, she’s now posted a wonderful timeline of important historical moments in the early historical development of the cemeteries of Paris:

http://perelachaisehistoire.fr/naissance-des-grands-cimetieres-parisiens-en-quelques-dates/

Chaudet in Montparnasse

Sculptor Antoine Denis Chaudet (1763-1810) and his wife, painter Jeanne Elisabeth Gabion madame Chaudet (1767-1832). Both buried in D4 Montparnasse Grande.

The following print of Antoine Chaudet’s grave is from Monuments funéraires choisis dans les cimetières de Paris et des principales villes de France, 2nd part, 1863, by L. Normand ainé; plate 40 and his wife’s grave is from plate 5. The photo of Antoine’s grave is from 2006.

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photo © Steve Soper

photo © Steve Soper

Thierry and Boichard in Montparnasse

H. Thierry (d. 1828) and A. Boichard (d. 1832); D2 Montparnasse Grande. Two carved portrait medallions, one of each man. Curiously Normand shows 11 May 1832 as the the death date for Thierry but visual examination shows 11 May 1828 and 18 July 1832 for Boichard. Normand does not mention Boichard. Sculptor: Hogler (Boichard) and unknown (Thierry).

The following print is from Monuments funéraires choisis dans les cimetières de Paris et des principales villes de France, 2nd part, 1863, by L. Normand ainé; plate 24; the photos were taken in 2006.

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photo © Steve Soper

photo © Steve Soper

photo © Steve Soper

photo © Steve Soper

Lenoir in Montparnasse

Marin Alexandre Lenoir (1762-1839), founder of the Musée des monumens Française. A singularly unique individual he rescued a great many monuments during the upheavals of the French Revolution of 1789. Stop by and pay your respects.

The following prints are from Monuments funéraires choisis dans les cimetières de Paris et des principales villes de France, 2nd part, 1863, by L. Normand ainé; plate 24; and Perrott 1855-65; the photo is from 2006, followed by a photo from 2006.

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photo © Steve Soper 2006

photo © Steve Soper 2006

Ridele in Montparnasse

Baron André de Ridele (1748-1837) in D8 Montparnasse Grande.

The following two prints are from (1) Monuments funéraires choisis dans les cimetières de Paris et des principales villes de France, 2nd part, 1863, by L. Normand ainé; plate 59, and (2) Revue generale de l’architecture et des Travaux publics, VOL. 7 1847 p, 197 plate 8.

Monuments funéraires choisis dans les cimetières de Paris et des principales villes de France,  2nd part, 1863, by L. Normand ainé; plate 59

Monuments funéraires choisis dans les cimetières de Paris et des principales villes de France, 2nd part, 1863, by L. Normand ainé; plate 59

Revue generale de l’architecture et des Travaux publics, VOL. 7 1847 P, 197 plate 8

Revue generale de l’architecture et des Travaux publics, VOL. 7 1847 P, 197 plate 8

Dumont D'Urville in Montparnasse

Jules-Sébastien-César Dumont d'Urville. (1790-1842), French admiral and explorer, his wife Adéle-Dorothée Dumont d’Urville (1799-1842), and two children: Adolphe-Eugène-Jules (d. 1832 age 21 months) and Jules-Eugéne-Hector (1826-1842). Division 15.

Description: Bust and various reliefs (1844) covering the entire base of the obelisk, highlighting d’Urville’s various voyages and discoveries, particularly his part in acquiring the now-famous statue referred to as Venus de Milo.

Sculptor: Antoine-Laurent Dantan.

The three prints below are from Revue generale de l’architecture et des Travaux publies, VOL. 8 1849, followed by a photo taken in 2007.

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photo taken 2007

photo taken 2007

D family in Montparnasse

Located in division 1 of Montparnasse Grande this stunning gothic chapel tomb (1838) by the architect Danjoy had been restored as recently as 2006 (see following photo).

The following prints are from Monuments funéraires choisis dans les cimetières de Paris et des principales villes de France, 2nd part, 1863, by L. Normand ainé; plates 50-51. The photo following is from 2006.

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photo © Steve Soper

photo © Steve Soper

Guide to the Earliest Burials in Père-Lachaise Cemetery

I've just just published my Guide to the Earliest Burials in Père-Lachaise 1804-1824. I've fallen under the spell of many others who have become obsessed with the first burials in Père-Lachaise and decided to share what I've learned so far.

Over 500 pages long with nearly 4,400 entries it weighs in at a little over three pounds and is chock full of many of those first souls interred in one of the world's most famous resting places. Each entry consists of: 

Surname(s) and personal information
Epitaph (if applicable)
Division (division number plus street name if applicable)
Reference citations

A sampling of the earliest guides used includes:

C. P. Arnaud (1817, 1823, 1825), Théophile Astrié (1865), Antoine Caillot (1808, 1809),  F. M. Marchant de Beaumont (1820, 1821, 1828), Jules Moiroux (1908), Louis Normand (1832, 1863), Fernando Quaglia (1832, Roger and son (1816), M. P. Saint-Aubin (1816, 1825), and F. T. Salomon (1855).

It's available on Amazon.

View of Pere-Lachaise Cemetery from the Greffulhe Chapel, engraved by Guiguet, Bibliotheque des Arts Decoratifs

View of Pere-Lachaise Cemetery from the Greffulhe Chapel, engraved by Guiguet, Bibliotheque des Arts Decoratifs

Porte Principale of Père-Lachaise

Lest you think the main entrance to Père-Lachaise is just a simple gate to a cemetery, think again. Because this is no ordinary cemetery this is no ordinary gate but a portal to a completely different world, a place to be experienced, to be felt, where you'll find stories to be told and retold. Oh, and the people you'll meet. . . 

1817 Arnaud

1817 Arnaud

1832 Normand

1832 Normand

1832 Quaglia

1832 Quaglia

1837 by Courvoisier

1837 by Courvoisier

1839-40 by Rousseau, Lassalle & Marty

1839-40 by Rousseau, Lassalle & Marty

1845 print by Gavard from an earlier print by Courvoisier (see above)

1845 print by Gavard from an earlier print by Courvoisier (see above)

1850-60 fanciful rendition by Ferat

1850-60 fanciful rendition by Ferat

1855 Bernard

1855 Bernard

1855 photo in Salomon, reprinted in Astrié 1865

1855 photo in Salomon, reprinted in Astrié 1865

1871

1871

1896 photo by Fraigneau, Le Monde Moderne

1896 photo by Fraigneau, Le Monde Moderne

photo postcard c. 1900

photo postcard c. 1900

2006 photo Steve Soper

2006 photo Steve Soper

2012 photo Coyau@WikimediaCommons

2012 photo Coyau@WikimediaCommons

2016 photo Wikimedia

2016 photo Wikimedia

The importance of documenting sculpture with photography: Halevy in Montmartre

A wonderful piece of sculpture in division 3 of Montmartre Cemetery by the noted artist François Duret: statue of the music composer Fromental Halévy in division 3 is now gone, replaced by just the original (?) bust, a truncated bit of stone. 

Tomb, c. 1900:

and today. . . 

and today. . .