Monday, September 14, 2009

Serge Gainsbourg House

During our visit to Montparnasse Cemetery, the most visited grave I saw was that of a Serge Gainsbourg, whom I had never heard of:

For more images, click here

According to Wikipedia, "Serge Gainsbourg (2 April 1928 – 2 March 1991) was a French singer-songwriter, actor and director. Gainsbourg's varied musical style and individuality made him difficult to categorize. His legacy has been firmly established, and he is often regarded as one of the world's most influential musicians"

He is perhaps most famous for the song "Je T'aime... Moi Non Plus" which he co-recorded with his wife Jane Birkin:

I learned that his daughter Charlotte was maintaining his home at 5 Rue de Verneuil in the 7th arrondisement just two blocks south of the Seine River with the Louvre just across the river. According to this interesting article, it is Charlotte and Jane Birkin's intention to turn the house into a museum.

On the way back from my Sunday walking tour, I knew I would be near his house so I took a slight detour and took the following pictures. I had asked a local elderly lady on the street where the house was since I was getting close to the end and still hadn't seen it. The only word I understood as she pointed in the general direction was "horrible" which I guess shows you what the neighbors think.

This picture is a poor stitching together of 3 separate pics. Due to the slight wide angle at which I took each picture (and the slight distortion that imposed), it was not possible to exactly match up the overlapping parts. The resolution on this picture is very high so you can click to enlarge and examine parts of the grafitti in detail.

This is the picture of the house on Wikipedia. You can see how much the grafitti has changed.

This is a map showing the location of the house:

Agrandir le plan


  1. It's strange how many Americans do not know who Gainsbourg is. He can be compared to the Elvis of France, many American artists have been influenced by him. He was truly a musical genius who wrote songs decades ahead of his time. His biopic comes out in January which will make him the new Edith Piaf in terms of American recognition.

    Just a quick correction on your report..he was never married to Birkin. They were lovers for 13 years...Birkin was superstitious and thought that marriage would change things.

  2. just visted what a man what music such a space in time x

  3. Can't WAIT to visit the home of Serge Gainsbourg in June. And, yes, he was NOT married to Jane Birkin due to superstitions. There is an amazing free interview/film with Birkin on youtube entitled, Jane Birkin - Mother of All Babes. Lot's of info on her relationship with Serge. :)