Saturday, August 20, 2011

Père Lachaise - Thomas Couture


Thomas Couture was a classical 19th Century history painter and portraitist, most famous for his "Romans in the Decadence of the Empire" found today in Musée D'Orsay at a grand 472 x 772 cm (15 feet by 25 feet).

He was critical of the moral decadence of France under the July monarchy (the ruling class) and alluding to French society the "Romans" of his masterpiece translated to "French in the Decadence." He later left Paris and started his own school, and among his students were Edouard Manet, Henri Fantin-Latour, and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes.


26 comments:

Suzi said...

I have wandered the little paths of this wonderful place and looked at the many names "resting"- it is quite incredible. x

Bienvenue chez French Girl in Seattle... said...

Love going to Le Père Lachaise, always. Last month, it was so hot in Paris while we were there! Our visit to Lachaise under the canopy of the old trees provided much needed shade. It's always interesting to read the in scriptions on the graves, famous or not. I was surprised to see that Jim Morrison's grave is not the most "decorated" one anymore. Oscar Wilde's fans have made sure of that. Never seen so much lipstick on a piece of concrete ANYWHERE! Veronique aka French Girl in Seattle

dive said...

What a wonderful legacy to leave, being the teacher of such great artists.
In death, however, he appears to be frowning somewhat grumpily at the old guy taking a lie down in front of his grave.

beau gosse said...

He looks as if the cherubs have shared an inappropriate joke amongst themselves! Bon weekend, Genie! ^_^

Karen Xavier said...

Yeah, he does seem grumpy... and the cherubs couldn't care less, they seem amused.

Julie said...

There are some wonderfully 'self-important' memorials in PL.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a fascinating statue. He seems to be saying something to the angel on the left. He hung around with some of the movers and shakers of his day if one of his students was Manet.

If I ever get to Paris, the Musée D'Orsay will be my very first stop. I've seen quite a few original French Impressionists paintings and it makes me want to see more and more.
Sam

Virginia said...

Well at least the cherubs seem well behaved here for M. Couture. The one on the right slightly bored! The light is beautiful.
V

Birdman said...

Looks like such a quiet, cool spot in one's travels.

Ninny said...

Thank you for posting this beautiful picture. I'm a fan of cemeteries large and small and like to visit them in the different places we travel. They are an historical account of the lives of people and their ornate or not so ornate headstones are works of art. I like the play of sunshine and shadows that you captured so well in this photograph.

Ninny said...

Ha, I just noticed the "guy" resting in the foreground. The bust of Couture seems to be looking down as the resting man is looking up. It's as if they are having a meaningful conversation with one another, perhaps French philosophy!

Bibi said...

Wonder what Thomas would have thought about decadence today. I ate once a dessert called a decadence, but can't find it on Google.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Love your pictures from Pere Lachaise Genie, it's such an interesting place to visit, Aimee and I spent a good couple of hours totally fascinated by the place, so many incredible people laid to rest there.Looking forward to churches tomorrow, no pressure Genie haha!!

Pet said...

Ah, le Cimitiere du Pere Lachaise!
If you haven't already, you must absolutely watch "Forever" a film by Heddy Honigmann that I saw at San Sebastian Film Festival some years ago:
ehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0w74gc4NGc
And if you even remotely like Marcel Proust it will be a sin not to :-)
That I know you can rent it at Amazon online videos:
http://www.amazon.com/Forever/dp/B002APA98G
Probably you can get it in more places too, probably for free somewhere too.

Starman said...

M. Couture appears to be looking at the person laying prone next to his marker.

Malyss said...

As we say in France, "un illustre inconnu".. unknown for us, but important in history of arts. The great thing with Pere Lachaise is to teach us about such people.

Fábio Martins said...

So quiet! A nice framework

Kris said...

I have always wondered how the French have been able to maintain all of the lovely landmarks, and buildings? By now, one would expect their statues to be crumbling but they all look so very well preserved.

Interesting post Genie.

Kris

This is Belgium said...

Genie, ... from Mr Gainsbourg one day and his "je t'aime moi non plus" to Mr Couture and his "Romans in the Decadence of the Empire" the next one.. I wonder what is going on in South Alabama!

DeeBee L. said...

Le Pere-Lachaise is one of these fascinating places where history is found at every corner. One could spend day after day discovering the lives and stories of those, famous or anonymous, who rest under the shade of the ancient trees... DeeBee x

biebkriebels said...

Mister Couture could be a fashion-maker as I read his name, but he was an artist and had famous students. So he did a great job to give us Manet and the others. He has a lovely grave with the little angels keeping him company.

Randy said...

Interesting! Not sure I like the little angels though.

Jack said...

This is quite a statue. This grand cemetery is almost an outdoor museum and hall of fame rolled into one.

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

Genie, I'm sorry that I've been out of touch with the blogging world - particularly your blog which I really turn to for all things Paris.

I truly love the history that can be found in Paris. I'm hoping to do a bit of exploring myself there at the end of the year (fingers crossed)

Kate said...

Amazing place; I was impressed by the notables buried there. Place has an interesting history, too.

James said...

That's such a great place to explore especially if you have a camera. Very nice shot!