It’s very usual to take photos of the Arch of Triumph, but mostly it’s the same side which is illustrated. The Arch has however two sides – if not four, which can be seen differently day or night.
I have already several times posted (see here and here) on the Arch of Triumph, but I thought that a closer look on its different decorations may be of some interest.
It took quite some time for the Arch to be completed. Napoleon ordered it in 1806 and the works commenced, but his defeats in 1812 and later interrupted the works, which were resumed only in 1832. The inauguration took place in 1836. It has since been a central point for different commemorations and is still the place of departure for the 14th July parade, for the celebration of the WW victories – or for the peace they led to.
So… the sculptures:
The most famous one (front side right) is probably “The departure of 1792” (departing for fighting against Austria and Prussia), often referred to as “La Marseillaise”. It was made by François Rude (on whom I have already posted).(A tomb at the Montmartre Cemetery by Rude.)
The next one (front side left) is called “The Triumph of 1810”, by Jean-Pierre Cortot, where we can more or less recognize Napoleon. 1810 was certainly a triumphal year for Napoleon. It was when he got married to Marie-Louise of Austria, when the Penal Code was introduced and the French Empire was at its (short) maximum. Cortot has left other works still visible, including on the Place de la Concorde (see previous posts, here and here), Place des Vosges (see previous post)…
The third and fourth ones, on the "back side", are both by the same artist, Antoine Etex...
... “Peace” (on the left side )...
... and “The Resistance” (on the right side). Etex’s works can be found on a number of tombs, but he’s also the one who made the Napoleon statue at the Invalides (see previous post).
We must not forget all the other decorations of the Arch...
... the bas-reliefs, illustrating different battles (and funerals),
... the cornices on the top,
... the names of all the battles (only the ones won I suppose),
... the names of all marshals, generals ...,
... and on the ground, some plates,
Really nothing to do with the above, but you may know that at least three pilots have managed to fly through the arch, the first one in 1919 (the below video), the latest one in 1991.