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20th Century American Art

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Cemetery, Père Lachaise

ca. 1950
17 3/4 x 25 7/8 in. (45.1 x 65.7 cm)

Ludwig Bemelmans
American (Austrian Tyrol (now Meran, Italy), 1898 - 1962, New York, NY)

Object Type: Watercolor
Medium and Support: Watercolor on paper
Credit Line: Anonymous gift
Accession Number: 1958.65
Link to this object
Location: Not currently on view

Perhaps best known as the illustrator of the popular Madeline books, Ludwig Bemelmans breathes unexpected life into Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Established by Napoleon in 1803, the 125-acre cemetery is the final resting place of such famous figures as Héloise and Abelard, Honoré de Balzac, Frederic Chopin, Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison. At least six gendarmes are depicted in this watercolor, most giving directions to bewildered tourists and one giving chase to a dog on the loose.

[Label text from It Came From the Vault exhibition, 2013]

Artist's signature, lower right: Bemelmans

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It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue Entry for this artwork in the It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue. The exhibition ran from March 17-June 9, 2013

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