Day in History 13 November – Gioachino Rossini – Camille Pissarro

On this day in 1868, composer, The Italian Mozart,  Gioachino Rossini, died at his country house at Passy, France at the age of 76.  Born Gioachino Antonio Rossini on 29 February 1792 in Pesaro, Italy.  Best known for his 39 operas which inlcude Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville),  Guillaume Tell (William Tell) and La cenerentola (Cinderella).  A 30-year-old Rossini met Ludwig van Beethoven, then aged 51, in 1822.  Communicating in writing, Beethoven noted: “Ah, Rossini. So you’re the composer of The Barber of Seville. I congratulate you. It will be played as long as Italian opera exists. Never try to write anything else but opera buffa; any other style would do violence to your nature.”  That same year Rossini married the renowned opera singer Isabella Colbran.  She died in 1845 and on 16 August 1846, he married Olympe Pélissier.  During his life Rossini was photographed by Félix Nadar and Etienne Carjat and had his portrait painted by Giorces, Vincenzo Camuccini and Francesco Hayez.  I saw Houston Grand Opera’s production of La cenerentola in October of 1995 with Cecilia Bartoli in the role of Angelina (Cinderella).  I fell in love with opera, and Miss Bartoli, that night.  The Final Footprint – Rossini was entombed in the Rossini Private Mausoleum in Cimetière du Père Lachaise, Paris, Ile-de-France Region, France.  In 1887, his remains were moved and entombed in the Basilica di Santa Croce, in Florence, at the request of the Italian government.  The Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross) is the principal Franciscan church in Florence, and a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church.  It is situated on the Piazza di Santa Croce.  It is the burial place of some of the most famous Italians; Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, and is known also as the Temple of the Italian Glories (Tempio dell’Itale Glorie).  His private mausoleum remains unoccupied at Père Lachaise.  Père Lachaise is the largest cemetery in Paris and one of the most visited cemeteries in the world.  Bravo Rossini!  Other notable Final Footprints at Père Lachaise include; Honoré de Balzac, Georges Bizet, Jean-Dominique Bauby, Maria Callas, Chopin, Colette, Auguste Comte, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Molière, Jim Morrison, Édith Piaf, Camille Pissarro (see below), Marcel Proust, Sully Prudhomme, Georges-Pierre Seurat, Simone Signoret, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Oscar Wilde, and Richard Wright.

camillePissarro-portraitOn this day in 1903, Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro died in Paris at the age of 73.  Born Jacob Abraham Camille Pissarro on 10 July 1830 in Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas, Danish West Indies (now US Virgin Islands).  Pissarro’s importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism.  He studied with Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, and later studied and worked alongside Georges Seurat and Paul Signac when he took on the Neo-Impressionist style at the age of 54.  In 1873 he helped establish a collective society of fifteen aspiring artists, perhaps becoming the leading figure in holding the group together and encouraging the other members.  Art historian John Rewald called Pissarro the “dean of the Impressionist painters”, not only because he was the oldest of the group, but also “by virtue of his wisdom and his balanced, kind, and warmhearted personality”.  Cézanne said “he was a father for me. A man to consult and a little like the good Lord,”.  Pissarro apparently was one of Gauguin’s masters.  Renoir referred to his work as “revolutionary”, through his artistic portrayals of the “common man”, as Pissarro insisted on painting individuals in natural settings without “artifice or grandeur”.  Pissarro is the only artist to have shown his work at all eight Paris Impressionist exhibitions, from 1874 to 1886.  In 1871 he married his mother’s maid, Julie Vellay, a vineyard grower’s daughter, with whom he would later have seven children.  They lived outside of Paris in Pontoise and later in Louveciennes, both of which places inspired many of his paintings including scenes of village life, along with rivers, woods, and people at work.  The Final Footprint – Pissarro was entombed in the  Cimetière du Père Lachaise, Paris, Ile-de-France Region, France, the largest cemetery in the city of Paris (44 hectares or 110 acres).  Père Lachaise is in the 20th arrondissement and is notable for being the first garden cemetery, as well as the first municipal cemetery.  It is the site of three World War I memorials.  The cemetery is on Boulevard de Ménilmontant.  The Paris Métro station Philippe Auguste on line 2 is next to the main entrance, while the station called Père Lachaise, on both lines 2 and 3, is 500 metres away near a side entrance.  Many tourists prefer the Gambetta station on line 3, as it allows them to enter near the tomb of Oscar Wilde and then walk downhill to visit the rest of the cemetery.  Other notable Final Footprints at Père Lachaise include; Honoré de Balzac, Georges Bizet, Jean-Dominique Bauby, Maria Callas, Chopin, Colette, Auguste Comte, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Molière, Jim Morrison, Édith Piaf, Marcel Proust, Sully Prudhomme, Gioachino Rossini (see above), Georges-Pierre Seurat, Simone Signoret, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Oscar Wilde, and Richard Wright.

Gallery

  • ”Boulevard Montmartre” cityscape series
  • Boulevard Montmartre à Paris, 1897

  • Boulevard Montmartre, morning, cloudy weather, National Gallery of Victoria, 1897

  • The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning, 1897, Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Le Boulevard de Montmartre, Matinée de Printemps, street view from hotel window, 1897

  • Boulevard Montmartre la nuit, 1898

     

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