Saturday, August 14, 2010

Morbid moments in Montparnasse

In desperate need of a study break, I took a stroll in the nearby Montparnasse cemetery. Although not quite as epic and scenic as Père Lachaise, Montparnasse was, as all French public spaces, nicely manicured, full of polite, elderly and well-educated upper-middle class French people (one man, seeing I was looking for a specific tomb, asked if he could help--apparently he had the layout of notable graves memorized, even down to a picture drawing science!) and unnecessarily difficult to navigate (it only had maps posted at select entrances, and the numbered sections of the yard spiraled out in a snail-like way, not unlike the Parisian arrondissements). Despite being rather lost most of the time, I still managed to snag a few good pictures.

Here is the little garden in the center of the spiral:
I found this Gargoyle watching over tombs on the Eastern side of the graveyard:
Some tombs incorporated works of art. This Venetian sculptor chose to have a bust of the Mona Lisa placed on his tomb, in honor of his fellow Venetian artist, Da Vinci :
Another grave had a copy of Canova's "Psyche revived by Cupid's Kiss", one of my favorite Louvre pieces:
Sculptor Cesar's tomb had one of his own bizarre pieces:
I don't know if it's appropriate to "aww" a grave, but..."awww!" A sleepy kitty:
I always love the overgrown ones the most:
Oddly spacey cross--looks like something out of Star Trek:
Cool close-up on the detail of a shiny, mobile-style modern art tomb:
A pretty tacky tribute to a fellow Kiwi:
The grave of much adored French crooner Serge Gainsbourg was stacked with fan tributes:
Close-up of some of the shrine-like offerings:
The madonna, watching over the Tour Montparnasse in the background:
The winner of 'creepiest grave' (yes, those are giant hands):
and the award for best grave. Simple yet elegant:

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