Monday, December 3, 2007

Adventurers, Balloonists, and Lovers! Croce-Spinelli and Sivel

Imagine it's the 1870s. A time of adventurers, exploring the world.

Croce-Spinelli and Sivel were two balloonists who died together 26,000 feet over India in 1875.

The huge marble monument over the tomb they share in Pere Lachaise Cemetary portrays the men lying together, side-by-side, hand-in-hand, presumably naked but covered by a sculpted sheet from the waist down. There are flowers in their hands. The tomb, one of the most talked-about monuments in Pere Lachaise, has been called a "tribute to their comradeship in life and death."

The quote is from pg. 197 of "The Gay Book of Lists" by Leigh W. Rutledge, fourth printing.
Also, the top images of the balloonists are NOT renderings of the lovers I spoke about, and they pre-date their ill-fated last adventure, but I thought the art was evocative...

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