Saturday, January 28, 2017

Paris Morgue

Below is an illustration c. 1845 of the famous (certainly notorious) Paris morgue. Once located near Notre Dame on the Isle de la Cite, the morgue opened in 1860 as a place where friends and families could come and identify the bodies of their loved ones. After it expanded in 1864 into a larger building it quickly became quite the tourist attraction by the end of the 19th century.

Want to learn more about the morgue or to read a contemporary account (published in the Harvard Crimson in 1885?

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Sarah Bernhardt D44 in Père-lachaise

Two undated photos from Paris archives depicting a gathering of local notables to honor  the life of internationally acclaimed actress and artist, Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), followed by a present view (note the plaque is gone).

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

View from Mont-Louis

Before it became Père-Lachaise the cemetery was called Mont-Louis, for a long time a retreat for Jesuits.

Here's a print dated c. 1750 showing a very unique view of Paris from the top of the eastern hills. The house in the left of the photo is about where the chapel is today; the large cluster of trees that dominate the photo corresponds roughly to division 53. (Thanks Marie for forwarding the link1)

Two puzzles solved!

Thanks to Marie Beleyme, we now have answers to our two sculpture puzzles.

The large relief, dated 1829, in D39 is the grave of Cappon/Capron/Carron, the spelling is unclear at this point.

(all photos from Pierre-Yves Beaudoin, wikimedia)

In D6 the eroded stone with the relief of an eagle on both sides is in fact part of the original monument to the Memorial to the Victims of June, which is located close by. As you can see from the monument itself it, too, has the same eagle relief and you can now make out the words liberte ordre public.

The puzzle and its answer:

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Two puzzles in Père-Lachaise Cemetery

OK, up front there are way more than just two puzzles to be found in those 107 hilltop acres on the east side of Paris. As some of you know, I've been working on identifying and locating all the artwork in Père-lachaise and right now I'm trying to identify two very specific and rather dramatic reliefs.

The first one is in D6, along the same line as the bust of Lapommeraye, and not far off of Chemin Lebrun. It's a unique stone with very same relief on both sides of the monument but aside from the word ordre there is no identifying inscription (as you can see one side is much eroded).

The second relief sits in D39 just along Avenue des Acacias where it becomes Avenue Transversale No. 1, close to the Turpin mausoleum and just up from Chemin Suchet.

(photos by Pierre-Yves Beaudouin, wikimedia)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Elisa Mercoeur D17 Père-Lachaise

Elisa Mercoeur's (1809-1835)  monument has been completely overhauled is as good as new -- right down to carving her poem la cimetière. (Thanks Marie for forwarding the new image.)

The way it looked . . .

. . .  and the way it is now:

Oh, and this was the monument c. 1840: