Partner Dmitri Bouchéne, buried together

Queer Places:
Montparnasse Cemetery, 3 Boulevard Edgar Quinet, 75014 Paris, France

Sergei ErnstSergey Rostislavovich Ernst (1894-1980) was an art historian and critic associated with members of "Mir iskusstva" ("World of Art"), who knew and collaborated with many outstanding artists.

He was the first to write monographs on the leading artists of the Russian "Silver Age": Benua, Rerikh and Zinaida Serebriakova (who painted his portrait and that of his lover Dimitri).

Dimitri Bouchéne
Dmitri Bouchéne by Zinaida Serebriakova

He met his life-long lover and partner Dmitri Bouchéne when they were both students in St. Petersburg.

In 1925 his lover Dimitri obtained permission for a three-month holiday in Paris, travelling together via Tallinn, Estonia, and he went there with Sergei.

They never returned to the Soviet Union.

Once Sergei, at a Parisian flea market, bought a Delacroix at a ridiculously low price. Reselling the painting allowed the couple to buy a home. Dimitri worked for the Paris Opéra and La Scala as stage designer.

During the Nazi occupation both Sergei and Dimitri took part in the French Resistance.

A "notice" on a book by Auguste Ricard De Montferrand (1820) from Ernst's library, carries a pencil inscription on the front fly leaf, about the 36 granite columns designed for the front of St. Isaac Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, published at an early stage of cathedral construction, 1818-1858.

The lovers lived together all their lives and are buried in one grave in Montparnasse: Division 13; Row 2, south-west part; Grave 19.

The inscription reads "What a joy / You have arrived" -- referring to the thirteen years between Sergei's death in 1980 and Dimitri's in 1993.

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  1. http://andrejkoymasky.com/liv/fam/bioe1/ernst01.html