Born: January 3, 1904, Moscow, Russia
Died: December 8, 1990, Paris, France
Books: Christian Bʹerard, Diaghilev, and the Ballets Russes
Buried: Cimetière du Père Lachaise, Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France, Plot: Division 16
Buried alongside: Wladimir Augenblick
After Nijinsky, Diaghilev's next discovery was an unknown young actor, Léonide Massine, whom he developed into a great dancer and one of the seminal choreographers of the 20th century. They were together until 1920, when Massine married. Diaghilev successively fell in love with: Boris Kochno, a precocious young poet who eventually became associate director of Ballets Russes; Anton Dolin, a vivacious British dancer; Serge Lifar, a young Russian who traveled to Paris in 1924 determined to seduce Diaghilev and who became the premier danseur of Ballets Russes and, later, the director of the Paris Opera Ballet; and Igor Markevitch, a musical prodigy. Markevitch's first wife was Kyra Nijinska (1913/1914-1998), daughter of Vaslav Nijinsky. She bore him a son, Vaslav (b. 1936), before they divorced.
Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev (March 31, 1872 – August 19, 1929)
Leonid Fyodorovich Myasin aka Léonide Massine (August 9, 1896 –March 15, 1979)
Boris Evgenievich Kochno (January 3, 1904 – December 8, 1990)
Sir Anton Dolin (July 27, 1904 –November 25, 1983)
Serge Lifar (April 15, 1905 –December 15, 1986)
Igor Markevitch (July 27, 1912 – March 7, 1983)
Days of Love edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: September 21, 2014
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Vast tree-lined burial site with famous names including Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison & Maria Callas.
Address: 16 Rue du Repos, 75020 Paris, France (48.86139, 2.39332)
Type: Cemetery (open to public)
Hours: Monday through Friday 8.00-18.00, Saturday 8.30-18.00, Sunday 9.00-18.00
Phone: +33 1 55 25 82 10
Père Lachaise Cemetery is the largest cemetery in the city of Paris (44 hectares or 110 acres), though there are larger cemeteries in the city’s suburbs. 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 also the site of three WWI 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 that has been closed to the public. 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. Père Lachaise Cemetery was opened on May 21, 1804. The first person buried there was a five-year-old girl named Adélaïde Paillard de Villeneuve, the daughter of a door bell-boy of the Faubourg St. Antoine. Her grave no longer exists as the plot was a temporary concession. Napoleon, who had been proclaimed Emperor by the Senate three days earlier, had declared during the Consulate that "Every citizen has the right to be buried regardless of race or religion.”
Notable queer burials at Père Lachaise:
• Louise Abbéma (1853-1927) was a French painter, sculptor, and designer of the Belle Époque. She first received recognition for her work at age 23 when she painted a portrait of Sarah Bernhardt, her lifelong friend and possibly her lover.
• Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) was a French stage and early film actress.
• Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899), Nathalie Micas (1824-1889) and Anna Elizabeth Klumpke (1856-1942), buried together.
• Colette (Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, 1873-1954) was a French novelist nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. She embarked on a relationship with Mathilde de Morny, Marquise de Belbeuf ("Missy"), with whom she sometimes shared the stage.
• Alphonse Daudet (1840–1897) was a French novelist. He was the husband of Julia Daudet and father of Edmée Daudet, and writers Léon Daudet and Lucien Daudet. Cultivated, “very beautiful, very elegant, a thin and frail young man, with a tender and a somewhat effeminate face”, according to Jean-Yves Tadié, Lucien Daudet lived a fashionable life which made him meet Marcel Proust. They shared at least a friendship (if not a sexual relationship), which was revealed by Jean Lorrain in his chronicle in the Journal. It is for this indiscretion that Proust and Lorrain fought a duel in 1897. Daudet was also friends with Jean Cocteau.
• Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) was an American dancer. Bisexual she had a daughter by theatre designer Gordon Craig, and a son by Paris Singer, one of the many sons of sewing machine magnate Isaac Singer. She had relationships with Eleonara Duse and Mercedes de Acosta. She married the Russian bisexual poet Sergei Yesenin, who was 18 years her junior.
• Joseph Fiévée (1767-1839) was a French journalist, novelist, essayist, playwright, civil servant (haut fonctionnaire) and secret agent. Joseph Fiévée married in 1790 (his brother-in-law was Charles Frédéric Perlet), but his wife died giving birth, leaving him one child. At the end of the 1790s, he met the writer Théodore Leclercq who became his life companion, and the two would live and raise Fiévée’s son together. When becoming Préfet, Fiévée and Leclercq moved to the Nièvre department, and their open relationship greatly shocked some locals. The two men were received together in the salons of the Restoration. Both men are buried in the same tomb at Père Lachaise Cemetery.
• Anne-Louis Girodet (1767-1824) was a French painter and pupil of Jacques-Louis David, who was part of the beginning of the Romantic movement by adding elements of eroticism through his paintings. According to the scholar Diana Knight, over the years Girodet’s homosexuality became widely known.
• Reynaldo Hahn (1874-1947) was a Venezuelan, naturalised French, composer, conductor, music critic, diarist, theatre director, and salon singer.
• Harry Graf Kessler (1868-1937) was an Anglo-German count, diplomat, writer, and patron of modern art. In his introduction to “Berlin Lights” (2000) Ian Buruma asserted Kessler was homosexual and struggled his whole life to conceal it.
• Boris Yevgen'yevich Kochno (1904-1990), was hired as the personal secretary to Serge Diaghilev, the impresario of the famed Ballets Russes. He served in this capacity until Diaghilev's death in 1929. In addition to his other duties, he also wrote several ballet libretti for the troupe. He died in 1990 in Paris following a fall. He was buried next to Wladimir Augenblick who died in 2001.
• Mathilde (Missy) de Morny (1863-1944), a French noblewoman, artist and transgender figure, she became a lover of several women in Paris, including Liane de Pougy and Colette.
• Marcel Proust (1871-1922) was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental novel “À la recherche du temps perdu” (In Search of Lost Time), published in seven parts between 1913 and 1927. Also his friend and sometime lover, Reynaldo Hahn is buried here.
• Mlle Raucourt (1756-1815) was a French actress.
• Oscar Wilde’s tomb in Père Lachaise was designed by sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein, at the request of Robert Ross (1869-1918), who also asked for a small compartment to be made for his own ashes. Ross's ashes were transferred to the tomb in 1950.
• Salomon James de Rothschild (1835–1864) was a French banker and socialite. He was the father of Baroness Hélène van Zuylen.
• Raymond Roussel (1877-1933) wrote and published some of his most important work between 1900 and 1914, and then from 1920 to 1921 traveled around the world. He continued to write for the next decade, but when his fortune finally gave out, he made his way to a hotel in Palermo, Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes (Via Roma, 398, 90139 Palermo), where he died of a barbiturate overdose in 1933, aged 56.
• Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) was an American writer of novels, poetry and plays. In 1933, Stein published a kind of memoir of her Paris years, “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas,” written in the voice of Toklas, her life partner. Alice B. Toklas (1877-1967) was an American-born member of the Parisian avant-garde of the early XX century. They are buried together.
• Pavel Tchelitchew (1898-1957), Russian-born surrealist painter. Loved by Edith Sitwell, he then in turn fell in love with Charles Henry Ford and moved with him in New York City.
• Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet. The modernist angel depicted as a relief on the tomb was originally complete with male genitals. They were broken off as obscene and kept as a paperweight by a succession of Père Lachaise Cemetery keepers. Their current whereabouts are unknown. In the summer of 2000, intermedia artist Leon Johnson performed a 40 minute ceremony entitled Re-membering Wilde in which a commissioned silver prosthesis was installed to replace the vandalised genitals.
Queer Places, Vol. 3 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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