Who is she? I don't know. I stumbled upon her while pretending to prepare for my high school students to return. What I do know is this: According to http://www.pariscemeteries.com/pages/about.html, this sculpture is Antoine-Gaétan Guérinot (1830-1891) in division 55, statue by Barrias. So I looked Antoine up. There was a lengthy article in French at http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/rvart_0035-1326_1986_num_74_1_347596 entitled the Tombs of Artists which describes the fashion of hiring an artist to immortalize someone as they wish to be seen for eternity. Apparently this was particularly attractive in the 1800's but this does not answer the question: who is the lady in the graveyard?
But Antoine was a man! He was a noted architect of the day. Why was a hauntingly beautiful woman immortalized above a male architect's tomb? I do not know but I have been thinking of her all day. I put on a little Keren Ann, a fabulously atmospheric French singer and wondered. When I left my classroom, the sky was no longer desert blue but stormy and dark.