9.2.15

Some odd photos, statues…


Some odd photos, which I have not been able to incorporate in any “real” blogposts.

This is a statue, called “La Seine”. You can find it close to the Pont d’Alma. The sculptor is Gérard Choain ( 1906-88). He obtained the “Grand prix des Beaux Arts de la ville de Paris” in 1962 for this one. Gérard Choain has made a number of monuments which you can find in France and abroad, e.g. a monument dedicated to the Mauthausen deported at the Père Lachaise cemetery.

Very close to this statue you can find another one, “A la France, la Belgique reconnaissante, 1914-18” (see also top picture). It has been here since 1923 and is a gift by Belgium in recognition of the Belgian-French friendship during WWI. The sculptor is Isisdor de Rudder (1855-1943). Two ladies representing the two nations face each other, the French one with her Phrygian cap, the national Marianne emblem. The exact address where you find it is Place de la Reine Astrid. Queen Astrid was born as a Swedish princess (Bernadotte) and was later married to the Belgian King, Léopold III. She died accidentally in 1935. She was the mother of the future Kings, Baudouin I and Albert II and grandmother to the present king, Philippe.

A third statue, a bit further away, close to the Pont des Invalides, is named “Le Messager”, (the Messenger), by Ossip Zadkine (1898-1967).  This is a bronze copy of an original wooden sculpture which was placed here to decorate an Exotic Wood pavilion, part of the 1937 Paris International Exposition – when the Palais de Tokyo, the Paris Museum for Modern Art, the present Trocadero installations… were also opened, when Picasso’s Guernica was exhibited at the Spanish pavilion… .

The statue seems to have other names as well – “Le porteur des présents” or “Le navigateur”. I don’t know if it was meant so, but the little ship we can see may refer to the one we can see on the Paris coat of arms, originally the symbol of the 14th century powerful corporate “Marchands de l’eau” with the motto “Fluctuat nec mergitur” (She is tossed by the waves, but does not sink). This corporation, controlling the river traffic, ended up as the Paris municipal representation. 

Here we can see (photos “stolen” from the net) what the German and Soviet pavilions, facing each other, and what the Exotic Wood pavilion (where you can see Zadkine’s sculpture facing the river) looked like during the 1937 event.

Zadkine has a number of statues around Paris, a street name and his own museum. I talked about it in my previous blog, here.

Of course, nothing to do with this, but...


… and to finish this post, I would like to show you a rose, which has resisted the (so far fairly mild) winter. 


8 comments:

Anonymous said...


Love your photography and love that rose!

And here's a link to some Couperin, played like it was meant to be?

http://youtu.be/FN85zpijUPw

Thanks, Peter!
Maria

Thérèse said...

Tu l'as tres bien dit avec cette fleur en guise d'epilogue. "Le messager" oui le bateau est tres certainement en reference au bateau du blason de Paris.
Amusante la facon dont tu as photographie la premiere statue.

Julie said...

Many of us feel like that rose looks.

Love that you openly pilfer ...

Peter Olson said...

Maria: We don’t have to agree on everything !? I know that Couperin indicated “vivement”, but I prefer the slower versions, like e.g. this one by Cziffra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lvBZhXEJXY
This is (more or less) that way I try play it. I think the “music” in this piece is better felt when played a bit more softly and my feeling is anyhow that this piece is so beautiful that it actually can be played in any rhythm. I liked it so much in the Mallick movie The Tree of Life, when it comes back to accompany all nice moments, e.g. here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atbyVo9f6so
I wonder how Couperin would have played it if he had a piano rather than a harpsichord at his disposal?

Jeanie said...

Sometimes photos just don't fit in other places but they show something too wonderful, interesting (or it's just too good a photo) that you have to share. I am so very glad you did, Peter.

What a brave rose. If it can survive winter, surely I can, too!

Anonymous said...


Peter: For once we can agree on how this piece should be played?
I don't even want to think it aloud lest it'll start raining empanadas.......

Cziffra's playing of this piece is sublime! I think it's the right tempo: Too slow or too fast...and the melody cannot flow out......

Thank you so much for the links! The one that shows how that Couperin piece accompanies all those nice moments in the movie The Tree of Life: The way how that divine music was played and sounded pierced my heart!

Thanks again,
Maria

claude said...

Des statues de style différent.
Les pigeons ont les même goûts que moi.

Alexa said...

Love this potpourri of pictures, Peter!