THE CARROUSEL AND TUILERIES GARDEN
113 rue de Rivoli, 75001
The Tuileries was opened as a private garden under Catherine de Medici in 1564. Catherine commissioned Bernard de Carnesse, a Florentine landscape gardener to build an Italian Renaissance garden including faience (tin-glazed pottery) with plant and animal images. In 1664 under Louis IV, Andre le Notre re-landscaped the gardens to a formal French style.
In 1667, Louis IV opened the gardens to the public (except soldiers, servants and beggars). In 1719 two large equestrian statues by Antoine Coisevox were placed at the west entrance of the garden, with more statues placed on the Grande Allée. Today these gardens are a delightful place to pass an hour – you can sit to contemplate by the ponds, inhale the perfumes from the glorious flowers and relax in one of the garden cafés. High on floral scents, investigate the outdoor gallery with over 200 statues and vases from the seventeenth to twenty-first centuries. These include: Rodin’s ‘Le Baiser’ (The Kiss) – a 1934 cast of the marble 1829 original, ‘Arcs de cercles complémentaires’ by François Morale; ‘L’Arbre des voyelles’ by Giuseppe Penone and twenty sculptures by Aristide Maillol (1861–1944) in the Carrousel Garden. Most of the originals are in the Louvre but the copies are still wonderful. During the FIAC in October there are often temporary contemporary art installations scattered about.
HENRI IV STATUE
Place du Pont Neuf, 75001
Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris, begun under Henri II in 1578 and inaugurated in 1607 by Henri IV. The commemorative statue of the latter depicts the king in armour on horseback on a pedestal. After admiring it, cross over to the romantic Place Dauphine on the Ile de la Cité.
GILDED STATUE OF JEANNE D’ARC (JOAN OF ARC)
Place des Pyramides 75001
Frémiet’s gilded bronze equestrian sculpture of Roman Catholic Saint Joan of Arc, inaugurated in 1874, is impossible to miss as is shines brightly above the Place des Pyramides, close to the Tuileries.
Pont de la Tournelle, 75005
Paul Landowski’s 1928 statue portrays Sainte Genevieve, the patron Saint of Paris, protecting Paris, personified as a small child. This is one of my favourite statues in Paris, particularly moody when lit up at night.
LUXEMBOURG GARDENS, 75006
The lungs of the left bank, this gorgeous park surrounding the Luxembourg Palace was created from 1612 by Marie de Medici, wife of Henry IV. It now has a lovely octagonal pool with miniature sail boats, holds a seventeenth-century baroque fountain and fish pond and over 100 statues, among them a bronze bust of Delacroix by sculptor Jules Dalou,‘Liberty Enlightening the World’ (commonly known as the Statue of Liberty, first model, by Frédéric Bartholdi, 1870),
‘Georges Sands’ by Francois-Leon Sicard, 1904 and ‘Ludwig van Beethoven’ by Antoine Bourdelle.
Place Michel-Debré, 75006
César Baldaccini’s 5-metre tall bronze centaur is a tribute to Picasso, with the head of the sculptor, an auto- portrait of Baldaccini himself.
MONUMENT TO BALZAC
Corner of boulevard du Montparnasse and boulevard Raspail, 75014
Rodin’s sculpture of the French novelist and playwright is considered one of the first examples of modern sculpture, seeking to represent Balzac’s personality. It was cast in bronze two decades after Rodin’s death and placed in its current location.
OISEAU LUNAIRE (1966) LUNAR BIRD BY JOAN MIRÓ
Rue Blomet, 75015
Catalan artist Joan Miro created this abstract sculpture representing a mythical bird’s cosmic connection between earth and sky.
STATUE OF LIBERTY ÎLE AUX CYGNES
(SWAN ISLAND) 75015
You probably know that the iconic New York Statue of Liberty was a present from France in 1886. But did you know that the Americans gifted Paris a smaller version of the statue in 1889? The occasion was the centennial of the French Revolution. It’s located on the Île aux Cygnes (an artificial island built in 1827) accessed via either the Pont de Grenelle or the Pont de Bir-Hakeim.
‘DALIDA’ BRONZE BUST
Place Dalida Montmartre, 75018
Yolanda Cristina Gigliott AKA Dalida was an Egyptian/Italian/ French singer and actress (1933–1987). The commemorative bust in the charming backstreets of Montmartre has sparkling breasts from being polished in a tradition from passers-by!