PARIS, FRANCE
«Sep. 2016»

CIMETIÈRE MONTPERNASSE
&
CIMETIÈRE PÈRE-LACHAISE

Photos © Ruud Leeuw

A visit to France's capital Paris, a brief stay of only a few days.
The main objective was to visit three photo museums and walk about afterwards, wherever our tired feet would take us. We found our hotel was more or less next to the Montpernasse cemetery and that visit brought us to consider a visit, on another day, to the Père-Lachaise cemetery.
I hope you enjoy my photography and will understand there is no disrespect intended towards the deceased.

 


CIMETIÈRE MONTPERNASSE

Cimetière du Montparnasse
Baudelaire

Charles Pierre Baudelaire (b.09Apr1821 – d.31Aug1867) was a French poet who also produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe.
His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil), expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the 19th century.
He is credited with coining the term 'modernity' (modernité) to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, and the responsibility art has to capture that experience. [-Wikipedia]

 

Cimetière du Montparnasse

Cimetière du Montparnasse

Georg Henri Anton 'Joris' Ivens (b.18Nov1898 – d.28Jun1989) was a Dutch documentary filmmaker.
Among the notable films he directed or co-directed are 'A Tale of the Wind', 'The Spanish Earth', 'Rain', '17th Parallel: Vietnam in War', 'The Seine Meets Paris', 'Far from Vietnam', 'Pour le Mistral' and 'How Yukong Moved the Mountains'.
He definitely brought it upon himself to find his subjects in countries hard to enter at the time: Soviet Union, China...
In 1929 (!), Ivens went to the Soviet Union and was invited to direct a film on a topic of his own choosing which was the new industrial city of Magnitogorsk.
Ivens was known for his anti-fascist and other propaganda films, including 'The Spanish Earth', for the Spanish Republicans, co-written with Ernest Hemingway.
In 1938 he traveled to China. 'The 400 Million (1939)' depicted the history of modern China and the Chinese resistance during the Second Sino-Japanese War, including dramatic shots of the Battle of Taierzhuang. Robert Capa did camerawork.
A fascinating person with an equally fascinating career; much more on Wikipedia.

 

Cimetière du Montparnasse
You will understand why photographers, or persons linked with photography, hold a special interest for me.

Brassaď, pseudonym of Gyula Halász (b.09Sep1899 – d.08Jul1984), was a Hungarian–French photographer, sculptor, writer, and filmmaker who rose to international fame in France in the 20th century.
He was one of the numerous Hungarian artists who flourished in Paris beginning between the World Wars.

As a young man, Gyula Halász studied painting and sculpture at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts (Magyar Képzomuvészeti Egyetem) in Budapest. He joined a cavalry regiment of the Austro-Hungarian army, where he served until the end of the First World War.
In 1920, Halász went to Berlin, where he worked as a journalist for the Hungarian papers Keleti and Napkelet.
In 1924 he moved to Paris to live, where he would stay for the rest of his life.
To learn the French language, he began teaching himself by reading the works of Marcel Proust. Living among the gathering of young artists in the Montparnasse quarter, he took a job as a journalist.

Halász's job and his love of the city, whose streets he often wandered late at night, led to photography.
He first used it to supplement some of his articles for more money, but rapidly explored the city through this medium, in which he was tutored by his fellow Hungarian André Kertész.
He later wrote that he used photography "in order to capture the beauty of streets and gardens in the rain and fog, and to capture Paris by night."
Using the name of his birthplace, Gyula Halász went by the pseudonym 'Brassaď', which means 'from Brasso'.
[-Wikipedia]

 

Cimetière du Montparnasse
Man Ray
Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky, b.27Aug1890 – d.18Nov1976) was an American visual artist who spent most of his career in France.
He was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. He produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all.
He was best known for his photography, and he was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer.

During his career as an artist, Man Ray allowed few details of his early life or family background to be known to the public. He even refused to acknowledge that he ever had a name other than Man Ray...

Man Ray's father worked in a garment factory and ran a small tailoring business out of the family home. Man Ray wished to disassociate himself from his family background, but their tailoring left an enduring mark on his art.
Ray was offered a scholarship to study architecture but chose to pursue a career as an artist. Man Ray's parents were disappointed by their son's decision to pursue art, but they agreed to rearrange the family's modest living quarters so that Ray's room could be his studio.
The surviving examples of his work from this period indicate that he attempted mostly paintings and drawings in 19th-century styles.
Man Ray abandoned conventional painting to involve himself with Dada, a radical anti-art movement. He started making objects and developed unique mechanical and photographic methods of making images.

In July 1921, Man Ray went to live and work in Paris, France.
Shortly after arriving in Paris, he met and fell in love with Kiki de Montparnasse (Alice Prin), an artists' model and celebrated character in Paris bohemian circles. Kiki was Man Ray's companion for most of the 1920s. She became the subject of some of his most famous photographic images and starred in his experimental films.
In 1929, he began a love affair with the Surrealist photographer Lee Miller.
For the next 20 years in Montparnasse, Man Ray was a distinguished photographer. Significant members of the art world, such as James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, Bridget Bate Tichenor, and Antonin Artaud, posed for his camera. [-Wikipedia, more..]

 

Cimetière du Montparnasse
Susan Sontag. Some left, probably as some sort of tribute, a card or subway ticket on the grave.

Susan Sontag (b. 16Jan1933 – d.28Dec2004) was an American writer, filmmaker, teacher, and political activist. Her best-known works include 'On Photography', 'Against Interpretation', 'Styles of Radical Will', 'The Way We Live Now', 'Illness as Metaphor', 'Regarding the Pain of Others', 'The Volcano Lover', and 'In America'
.
Sontag was active in writing and speaking about, or travelling to, areas of conflict, including during the Vietnam War and the Siege of Sarajevo.
She wrote extensively about photography, culture and media, AIDS and illness, human rights, and communism and leftist ideology.
The New York Review of Books called her "one of the most influential critics of her generation." However, her essays and speeches sometimes drew controversy.

In 1977, Sontag published the series of essays 'On Photography'. These essays are an exploration of photographs as a collection of the world, mainly by travelers or tourists, and the way we experience it.
In the essays, she outlined her theory of taking pictures as you travel: "The method especially appeals to people handicapped by a ruthless work ethic – Germans, Japanese and Americans.
Using a camera appeases the anxiety which the work driven feel about not working when they are on vacation and supposed to be having fun. They have something to do that is like a friendly imitation of work: they can take pictures."
[Wikipedia, more..]

 

Cimetière du Montparnasse
I can only conclude that this man loved his women young and his cars fast..?

Cimetière du Montparnasse

Cimetière du Montparnasse
J.Ottavi, 'Orateur' - family of Napoleon (Find a Grave)
"un orateur, journaliste et critique littéraire français.."

Cimetière du Montparnasse

Cimetière du Montparnasse
A working cemetery, a grave being prepared

Cimetière du Montparnasse

 

Cimetière du Montparnasse
 

Cimetière du Pčre-Lachaise

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise
While this cemetery is perhaps more known for the last resting place of famous people, such as Jim Morrison and
Oscar Wilde, I experienced this cemetery more for photo opportunities.

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise
As if in conversation, sharing casual observations

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise
As if contemplating the person lying down beneath the tree.
Félix François Faure (b. 30Jan1841 – d.16Feb1899) was President of France from 1895 until his death in 1899.

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise
Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry (b.07Nov1828 – d.17Jan1886), he was a French painter.

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise
A deadly stare

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise
He seems to have been frequently touched in peculiar places..?

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise
Oscar Wilde's grave and monument. A sign pleaded not mess up the place.
Obviously there are people who are disrepectful at graves. An unbelievable sad fact.

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise
A break in the workplace

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise
A moment of contemplation perhaps, or just a pleasant message on her smartphone.