“I wonder what Monsieur Vigneron, a commissaire général de la Société des Artistes Français no less, makes of it all, assuming that the comings and goings have rendered his shade unquiet. After all, in 1903, when he was buried at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, at the reasonable, if not advanced, age of 57, the notorious sodomite was yet to pitch up. M Vigneron’s tasteful tomb – a petrified catafalque, replete with rigid canvases and stony brushes – stood proud among the crumbling graves. Doubtless the Second Republic arts bureaucrat had some hopes of a few respectful mourners coming to lay fast-fading violets atop his remains, but a scant eight years later, down dropped this monstrous chunk of schizoid-modernism, designed by Jacob Epstein, which is half engine block, half pharaonic sphinx. Then things began to get weirder.”
Read the rest of Will Self’s The Madness of Crowds column at the New Statesman website.