Despite a fair amount of time spent in Paris over the last several years, I visited the Montparnasse Cemetary for the very first time last month. I can’t believe it has taken me this long! The art and architecture contained within this dense, peaceful 47-acre space (created from three separate farms in 1824) is very inspiring.
I must have spent at least two hours there, some of it just wandering aimlessly and some of it purposely seeking out my artistic and intellectual heroes of the last century. This venerable list included Constantin Brâncuși, Henri Laurens, Tristan Tzara, Brassaï, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Charles Baudelaire, and Jacques Demy, along with many others. I was particularly pleased to discover, by chance, the captivating marker of the celebrated French aviator, Maryse Bastié. And I was particularly grateful to the lovely gentleman, carefully tending to the grave of a family member, who offered to help me search for the rather hard to find grave of Man Ray and Juliet May Ray, simply in exchange for a tissue. There is indeed a wealth of kindness in this world.