Square d'Ajaccio

This little square, Square d’Ajaccio, was created in 1865 – and was as a large part of the Paris parks and squares designed by Jean-Charles Alphand (1817-1891). Originally it had the name of Square des Invalides. It’s actually very close to the Hôtel des Invalides (see my previous posts here) and is somehow a “twin” to another little square, “Square Santiago-du-Chili” (see previous post). Why has this square got the name of Ajaccio? I haven’t found any answer… maybe because of the nearby tomb of Napoleon – Ajaccio was his birth town.

There isn’t too much to say about the little park as such, only that it’s well kept…

… and that when you look up through the trees, you can find some well-known monuments.

There are three more modest monuments to be found in the square - a statue, “La défense du foyer”, a bronze medallion of Hippolyte Taine and a statue of a general, Henri Gouraud. Some explanations may be useful?  

The statue “La défense du foyer” (The defense of the family) was made in 1887 by Emile-André Boisseau (1842-1923). There are tens of thousands of copies in bronze of this statue. One of them was recently sold by Sotheby’s for some 7.500 USD. Boisseau is also represented at the Orsay and Louvre museums and he has decorated a number of graves at the Montmartre and Père Lachaise cemeteries.

There is thus a bronze medaillon of Hippolyte Taine (1828-1893) who was a critic and historian and he obviously had a large influence on French literature and intellectual culture for a while. The medallion is made by Oscar Roty (1846-1911) who was a celebrated medalist and also professor and even president of the “Académie des Beaux-Arts”. Roty is today perhaps best known as the designer of the “Semeuse” image on French silver coins and stamps. On the net you can even find a photo of the model of the “Semeuse”.  

Henri Gouraud (1867-1946) was a French general, known for having led the Fourth Army during WWI (when he lost his right arm), for having served 1919-23 as representative of the French government in Middle East and then as High Commissioner in Syria and Lebanon. 1923-1937 he was the Military Governor of Paris. I don’t know who made his statue.


martinealison said...

Bonjour cher Peter,

Je ne suis jamais allée au square d'Ajaccio. Je découvre un lieu ravissant.
Merci Peter pour le partage de tes photos...

Gros bisous 🌸

Anonymous said...

Ton billet est très chouette. Bravo!