Les Tuileries: Modern vs. Antique Statues

The Tuileries offers many interesting sculptures to look at, some dating at least one hundred years back. Others are much more modern, and the contrast between the two is something to note.

When walking around the Tuileries, one may begin to notice the statues popping up throughout the garden. Some of these statues are over one hundred years old, while others are much more modern. Eugène Atget captured several of the statues in the Tuileries, including those of Vertumne, Aurore, Daphne, and Apollo. These statues still stand today, and it is remarkable to go see them in person, standing where Atget once stood. Something that makes the Tuileries so unique is its contrast of old versus modern statues. One minute you may be walking past an antique, stone statue, and the next minute you may stumble upon a massive metal object decoratively painted and sculptured very differently. One such modern sculpture is named Le Bel Costumé, which provides a great contrast to the older statues in the garden. The sculpture was made in 1973 by Jean Dubuffet, and installed in the garden in 2000. Four meters high, the sculpture is compartmentalized into blocks of red, white, black, and blue. The architecture of the sculpture was inspired by one of Dubuffet’s doodles he would constantly make with a ballpoint pen while on the telephone. When looking at Le Bel Costumé, it is easy to see how the sculpture could have originated as a messy, rambling drawing, and got turned into a beautiful sculpture. Its colorful panels and lack of a standard body and face certainly makes it stand out from the other sculptures in the garden, and provides a refreshing contrast that gives the Tuileries even more reason to visit.

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113 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris