Pavillon de l'Arsenal

When you compare the mid-18th century Turgot (west-east looking) map with today’s Paris, you can see a number of important changes: The island, “Île Louviers” (in the 15th century it belonged to Nicolas de Louviers and kept its name) was attached to the bank in the 19th century, the “Bastille” prison disappeared in 1789, the “Place Royal” was renamed to “Place des Vosges” in 1799 and of the “Arsenal” - which was a place where weapons and munitions were stored – remains today only the “Bibilothèque” (library)…

… and the “Couvent des Célestines”  – where many French royalties were buried - was replaced by barracks for the “Republican Guard” at the end of the 19th century…

Today we can here find the “Pavillon de l’Arsenal”, built by a rich merchant in 1879 for his collection of paintings, later a warehouse, then bought by the City and since 1988 the Paris Centre for Architecture and Urbanism, often open for temporary exhibitions – which was the case the day I went.

On the little square in front of the Pavilion, you can thus still see the old Arsenal Library, now a subsidiary of the National Library, and where you can find some one million documents including all Parliament records from 1789 and onwards, from the Bastille…

… and  also a statue from 1984 representing the poet Arthur Rimbaud (1854-91) by Jean-Robert Ipoustéguy. It represents Rimbaud as “L’homme aux semelles devant” (the man with the soles in front), transfigured by the attribute Paul Verlaine gave Rimbaud, “L’homme aux semelles de vent” (the man with flying soles), which pronounced in French sounds similar.  You can find more about Rimbaud and Verlaine here. I think that the sculptor managed a nice simplified portrait of Rimbaud –interpreted by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie “Total Eclipse”.  



Anonymous said...

The young man crossing...was it the Ardennes?

The most perfect comet I ever read about.
He was totally burned out by the time he was 17, beacause it was then that he stopped writing poetry!

Is his name written somewhere at Luxor?

I love your photography, M. Peter.
Thank you,

PeterParis said...

His name is written on the Luxor Temple, but it was probably not written by him. He obviously visited the north of Egypt, but no proof that he ever went to Luxor. There are a few thousands of Rimbauds... :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for explaining, Peter.
I knew you had the answer! :-)

Good Night.

Anonymous said...

Interesting too this ile Louviers now attached to the bank...
Thank you again, Peter, for your posts!