Then and Now: Robertson in division 8 of Père-Lachaise Cemetery

Étienne Robertson (Étienne-Gaspard Robert, 1764–1837), Belgian stage magician and early exploiter of the phantasmagoria. A professor of physics in his native Liège, Robert was better known by his stage name, Étienne Robertson. In 1784, he gave an exhibition of an improved magic lantern, the phantasmagoria. He was also a serious balloonist. 

While the sarcophagus at the tomb of the monument has some interesting skull carvings, the two frieze panels are the most engaging elements of this tomb: on one side is the Last Judgment, while the other depicts what is believed to be the first balloon flight. It is thought that the figure to the far left is American Benjamin Franklin, who did indeed watch the first balloon launch from the Tuilleries Gardens on 1 December 1783. Sculptor: Hardouin.

In 1840:

photograph from wikimedia

photograph from wikimedia