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My Favorite Sculptures at Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, Paris

Named after Louis XIV's confessor, Cimetière du Père-Lachaise in Paris is reputed to be the world's most visited cemetery, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, to the graves of those who have made significant marks in history over the past 200 years.  Naturally, I couldn't resist such allure when in Paris.

The vast cemetery was incredibly beautiful, as comforting and pacifying as it should be for such a place - something in the Western culture I was truly grateful for, in opposite to what you might find, say in China, grim and gloomy.

There were many beautiful spots with incredibly monuments and sculptures marking the resting places of the famous and the nameless, solemn, comforting or sentimental.  I was particularly drawn to the resting spots of artists, dramatists, writers, musicians and performers.  The two most impressive ones I remembered well were those of Oscar Wilde and Eugène Delacroix.

The famous playwright and wit Oscar Wilde's tomb was a combination of a bit of a shrine and the living performing art.  His rather somber tomb, with a flying figure carrying huge amount of load, simple and attention seeking, often covered on its base with countless pink lip marks.  He was the personification of a certain love, perhaps, a love that dared not to speak its name:

Oscar Wilde, Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, Paris _ 8696

Like the one for Wilde, many sculptures, memorial and monuments there, from grandiose to humble, from flamboyant to serious, were often true works of art and commended attentions.  Yet, the other one truly gave me long lasting impress was very plain and simple, erected for the romantic French painter, Eugène Delacroix.

It was a solid black stone monument, in the shape of a simple sarcophagus, with polished but rich looking finish, sitting on top of plain granite base.  The painter's name was clearly inscribed onto the front of the black stone, filled with golden color, which contrasted with the black mass wonderfully.  More over, circling the spot, there were many tall trees with late fall colors, echoing the golden inscriptions and adding extra warmth to the site, and made this place magical and truly romantic: 

Eugène Delacroix, Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, Paris _ 8697



My Favorite Museum Collection Series

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Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 5/28/12 | tags: figurative abstract paris sculpture cemetary







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