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The Tomb Of Victor Noir

2 Sep

02 victor noir

As Husb and I were wandering around Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris last week, we passed by this very unusual and beautiful grave, a bronze slab supporting the realistic, corpse-like bronze statue of the young journalist Victor Noir, murdered by a cousin of Napoleon III,  whose death contributed to the overthrow of the Emperor’s regime. The monument by Jules Dalou is beautiful. Dating from the 1890s and stylistically influenced by Art Nouveau, the bronze has weathered to a rich greenish-grey verdigris, except for the areas around the mouth, toes and crotch, which all gleam with the shiny golden yellow of polished bronze.

At some time a myth grew up that the statue confers fertility on those who kiss it – or perform lewd acts upon it! Hence the shiny bits! The local authority erected a fence around it in 2004, but this was removed because of protests from the women of Paris. Rest In peace? I think not.

Drawn into my A5 clothbound sketchbook, prepared with brown wrapping paper, in Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens sizes S, F, M and B; with watercolour washes and a touch of white gouache.

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