Berlioz’s Birthplace – La Côte Saint-André

The Cemetery

    Berlioz’s parents are buried in the town’s main cemetery, but many other members of the family were buried in Grenoble, Lyon and other near-by towns and cities. Berlioz himself was buried in Montmartre Cemetery in Paris in 1869. See on this the section on Montmartre Cemetery in our Berlioz in Paris page.

    Johan Barthold Jongkind (1819-1891) is also buried in the La Côte Saint-André cemetery (see below). A painter originally from Holland, he lived in La Côte from 1878 until his death. The youth of the town would affectionately call him “Père Jonquille”. He painted, among many others, scenes from La Côte and its countryside, all of which are held in museums and private collections. A selection of his La Côte paintings is reproduced in A. Moulin et al., La Côte Saint André en Isère (Gillonnay: Alexandre Moulin, 2005). 

    Side by side Jongkind’s tomb is that of Joséphine Fesser (1819-1891). An artist and a painter herself, she was a close friend and supporter of Jongkind and had a great influence on his art.

    To mark Jongkinds relationship with La Côte, a silhouette of the artist was installed in 2009 at a road junction not far from the town centre, on the way to the cemetery. The Hector Berlioz Museum organised an exhibition entitled, Jongkind, from the Netherlands to the Dauphiné, running from 21 June to 31 December 2009.

The photographs reproduced on this page were taken by Michel Austin in April 1998, September 2008 and August 2009. © Michel Austin. All rights of reproduction reserved.

1. The tombs of Berlioz’s parents

The tombs of Berlioz’s parents – 2009

[Large view]

The tombs of Berlioz’s parents – 2009

[Large view]

The tombs of Berlioz’s parents – 2009

[Large view]

General view of the cemetery – 2008

[Large view]

The tombs of Berlioz’s parents are located at the far end of this alley.

The tombs of Berlioz’s parents – 2008

[Large view]

The Berlioz sign at the foot of the tombstones were later taken from Berlioz’s own tomb in Montmartre Cemetery after it was refurbished.

The tombs of Berlioz’s parents – 2008

[Large view]

The tombs of Berlioz’s parents (overhead plaque) – 2008

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In English, the text reads: Here rest Hector Berliozs father and mother.

The tombstones – 2008

  

[Large view]                                                                 [Large view]

The inscriptions on the tombstones read:

Berlioz’s father (on the left):
ICI REPOSE / MONSIEUR LOUIS JOSEPH / BERLIOZ / DOCTEUR MEDECIN / DECEDE DANS SA 73EME ANNEE  PRIEZ POUR LUI.
[HERE RESTS / MONSIEUR LOUIS JOSEPH / BERLIOZ / MEDICAL DOCTOR / DIED IN HIS 73RD YEAR PRAY FOR HIM.]

Berlioz’s mother (on the right):
ICI REPOSE / MADAME JOSEPHINE / BERLIOZ / NEE A GRENOBLE / EN 1785 / DECEDEE / LE 18 FEVRIER 1838 / TOUT CE QUI LA CONNUT / L’AIMA ET LA PLEURE / UN DE PROFUNDIS.
[HERE RESTS / MADAME JOSEPHINE / BERLIOZ / BORN IN GRENOBLE / IN 1785 / DIED / ON 18 FEBRUARY 1838 / ALL WHO KNEW HER / LOVED HER AND WEEP FOR HER / A DE PROFUNDIS.]

The tombs of Berlioz’s parents – 1998

[Large view]

At the time this photo and the next one were taken the Berlioz sign had been placed at the head of the tomb stones.

The tombs of Berlioz’s parents – 1998

  [Large view]

2. The tombs of Jongkind and Fesser

The tomb of Johan Barthold Jongkind – 2009

[Large view]

The tomb on the left is that of Joséphine Fesser (née Borrhée) and some of her descendants (see also next photo).

The tomb of Joséphine Fesser – 2009

[Large view]

The tomb of Johan Barthold Jongkind – 2008

[Large view]

[Large view]

The inscription on the tombstone reads in translation:

To the / Dutch painter / J-B JonGkind / born in Latrop / on 3 June 1819 / died on 9 February 1891 / The Fesser family / who were his host and friendS.

3. The silhouette of Jongkind

The silhouette of Jongkind in 2009

[Large view]

The silhouette of Jongkind in 2009 – information board

[Large view]

© Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin for the pictures and information on this page.

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