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Paris Angel – Guardian of Père-Lachaise Cemetery Art

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It’s hardly a secret that I am drawn to cemeteries on my travels. The older and more beautiful the better. I particularly love cemeteries from the 19th century when they were built as park-like settings. Père-Lachaise in Paris definitely falls into that category. The amount of art like this Art Nouveau Paris Angel that one can find amidst the sea of monuments to the people who have gone before us is just amazing.

Even on a cold but sunny winter day, I was hardly alone in my exploration of this massive Parisian cemetery. Perhaps I am not alone in my appreciation of grave-matters? Granted many people come to visit Père-Lachaise to see Jim Morrison’s grave. And I had to pay my respects there as well, but I was really there to see what an artful Paris cemetery was like. And I was not disappointed!

The beautiful green patina on this old Paris Angel was one of my favorite finds from my morning spent wandering the meandering avenues at Père-Lachaise. Look at her high-style, I believe, Art Nouveau detailing! There’s a real sense of beauty and a little tragedy in that Paris Angel. Look at her torn clothes and defiant pose. This is why I decided she must have been a guardian angel. She stood as the great door to a family mausoleum, guarding them in the here-after, I believe.

Or perhaps I’m being fanciful and this Paris Angel’s strong pose was simply an artistic expression rather than a symbolic one? I think as with all art, in the end I’m leaving that meaning up to each us who view it.

What does this Paris angel mean to you?


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