Symbols of death, like tombstones and skeletons, help to create all those eerie and unsettling feelings we come to expect this time of year, and cemeteries provide the perfect inspiration. To mark the occasion, here are a few photos of artists’ graves I visited this summer in France. The phantoms and spirits were on their best behaviour during my daytime visits, and the only unsettling visuals came from the public washroom. There are times I’m SO grateful I can’t smell.
MAN RAY (1890-1976), Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris. An American Modernist artist, who was also a major contributor to Dadaism and Surrealism.
CESAR BALDACCINI (1921-1998), Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris. French sculptor, and contributor to the Nouveau Réalism movement.
MAX ERNST (1891-1976), Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris. German painter, printmaker and sculptor. One of the founders of the Dada and Surrealist movements.
EUGENE DELACROIX (1798-1863), Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris. French Romantic artist.
GEORGE PIERRE SEURAT (1859-1891), Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris. French Post-Impressionist painter and draftsman.
CONSTANTIN BRANCUSI (1876-1957), Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris. Romanian-born artist, considered to be one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century.
If you’re interested in seeing more photos of graves like those of Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf,etc. you can have a look at my Cemetery Collection on Flickr. The number of kisses left on Oscar Wilde’s grave is insane! His grandson apparently can’t understand why women do this, since Oscar clearly had a preference for men. Go figure.