The exhibition gathers together pieces that are difficult to comment as they are linked to codes and rites now foreign to contemporary culture. One can however attempt a multidisciplinary reading through associating famous and anonymous people and highlighting the crucial part these pictures played in the mourning process and the building of memory,, feeding in particular on recent developments in the history of mentalities. Beyond the taboos still encountered, these pictures also induce a contemporary resonance. Pieces by Monet, Seurat, Nadar and Man Ray will be shown, representing post mortem such famous people as Napoleon, Géricault, Gambetta, Hugo, Proust… down to Jean Cocteau and Edith Piaf.
CuratorsGeneral curator: Emmanuelle Héran, curator, Musée d'Orsay
Curator for photography: Joëlle Bolloch, head of research, Musée d'Orsay
Periodical48/14, La revue du musée d'Orsay, issue # 14, Spring 2002
Musée d'Orsay / Réunion des musées nationaux