Sunday, October 12, 2008

Le Marchand de Masques


I took this photo at the base of a stunning sculpture called Le marchand de masques (the mask seller). Created by Zacharie Astruc (1835-1907), it can be found in the Luxembourg gardens, near the entrance on the Panthéon side. The interesting part about it is that the masks were actually made to resemble famous French people (Victor Hugo, Gustave Corot, Alexandre Dumas, Hector Berlioz...), which makes discovering this artwork even more exciting.

63 comments:

  1. Remarkable, the eyes are so life like. Love the patina on them.

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  2. They are incredible. He's kind of staring at me.... eek. Gorgeous colours too.

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  3. I love everything about Luxembourg gardens and these masks are certainly no exception. Great find. Now I'm going to have to sort through my Paris photobooks and see if I came across them too. What a nice discovery for all of us, Eric! Merci.

    Congrats Tanya on GF today!

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  4. Very sharp photo, Eric. Isn't this weather a gorgeous surprise? Makes photography such a pleasure.

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  5. Eric, I love this statue and have often wondered who these frozen faces were. Thanks for clearing it up for me.

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  6. I think Gordon Brown is coming to have Socosy talks. He wants M. Sarkozy to help him rescue the world.

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  7. Hee hee, thanks Coltrane, I was a little surprised I made the cut!

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  8. What a fantastic shot. Don't suppose there's some better looking masks around this sculpture, though?

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  9. Très beau. I'd love to be staring into the eyes of these gentlemen right about now. Does anyone know which famous men these two are?

    Lynn, if Mr. Brown and M. Sarkozy can rescue the world, I say more power to them. We need all the help we can get!

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  10. Looks like a lot of people have been touching this guy's chin.

    I am currently reading the unabridged version of the Count of Monte Cristo by that famous Frenchman, Dumas.

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  11. Petrea, lol, it's not my opinion that they can, I think it's Mr. Brown's...

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  12. Yes, this fellow looks like he has a "lucky" chin and nose. I hope you made a wish.

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  13. Petrea: The face on the left is definitely that of the painter Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (July 17, 1796 – February 22, 1875). I'll get back to you on the other one later.

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  14. These are fantastic! I love the patina on them.

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  15. How very cool. There are so many fun things to see in Paris, I can't wait to visit them for myself!

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  16. The face on the right must be Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) - Original name Honoré Balssa, French Journalist and Writer. do correct me if I am wrong!!!

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  17. Actually, I think it's more likely to be that of Alexandre Dumas, fils (July 27, 1824 – November 27, 1895).

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  18. Gabriel Fauré (May 12, 1845 - November 4, 1924) is the other possibility, but his nose was not as fine as this gentleman's.

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  19. If you open link below, I think #17is actually Alexandre Dumas...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/atp19/59651027/

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  20. Isn't that Léon Gambetta (2 April 1838, Cahors - 31 December 1882, Paris)?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A9on_Gambetta

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  21. Sorry, I clicked open the wrong one. Let me check again...

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  22. Thanks for posting this very wonderful artwork!

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  23. I think #15 might be Léon Gambetta.

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  24. http://www.flickr.com/photos/atp19/59651027/

    #14 should be Léon Gambetta, No?

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  25. I think #15 is Peintre Delacroix, what do you reckon?

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  26. Léon Gambetta doesn't seem to have worn his facial hair that way. He favoured a full beard.

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  27. Assuming you are quoting the black numbers...yes, I think #15 (#16 in blue) might well be Delacroix.

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  28. Which, yes, would make #14 in black (#15 in blue) Léon Gambetta. Sorry.

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  29. but if you look at his eyes on this link you provided

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A9on_Gambetta

    and this link of #14

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/atp19/59651027/

    they are very similar!!!

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  30. Sorry......Guess we are on the same page then.

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  31. I think we've been in agreement all along, but that our numberings have not.

    Now that they are, is it possible that the "mask" on the right in Eric's photo might be Alexandre Dumas (fils), as I think #17 (#18 in blue) is likely to be Jules-Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly (November 2, 1808 – April 23, 1889).

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  32. PS:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jules_Am%C3%A9d%C3%A9e_Barbey_d%27Aurevilly

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  33. Yes! but I thought the right mask on Eric's photo is Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850), and Black #17 is Alexandre Dumas.

    Black #13 is Barbey d'Aurevilly or Black #15 could be Barbey as well, but then Black #15 looks like Delacroix???

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  34. Sorry, You are right, the right mask on Eric's photo is Dumas!!!

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Alexandre_Dumas_Fils_.jpg

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  35. No, as confusing as all of this might be, I'm sticking with original picks.

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  36. You got there just a couple of minutes before I did! But it's good to know that we finally sorted it out. Thanks!

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  37. http://www.flickr.com/photos/atp19/59651027/

    All numbers are in Black!

    #10 Jean Baptiste Camille Corot
    ( Left mask on Eric's photo )
    #11 Alexandre Dumas
    ( Right mask on Eric's photo )
    #12 Hector Berlioz
    #13 Barbey d'Aurevilly
    #14 Leon Gambetta
    #15 Peintre Delacroix
    what do you think so far?
    #16 ???
    #17 ???
    I can't seem to find balzac and Carpeaux

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  38. Mmm, I still think #17 is Jules-Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly - in which case #13 has me stumped. As for #16...(a young) Honoré de Balzac (20 May 1799 – 18 August 1850)?

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  39. The plaque on this sculpture, which can be found here:

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/guess-where-paris/discuss/59150/#reply

    appears to list identities of all the masks in order of appearance, as it were. It indicates that, so far, we are right, but leaves some portraits still in contention.

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  40. You can take a (frame by frame) virtual stroll around this sculpture and - by referencing the list on the plinth - identify each of the heads by going to this web page:

    http://www.insecula.com/oeuvre/photo_ME0000051420.html

    Remember, it is Victor Hugo's "mask" that is being held aloft by the young boy.

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  41. Now looking at the photos again, #15 more like Babey d'Aurevilly, Babey's face more pointy and not as square as #17. But I do agree with you on #16 as Honore de Balzac!

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  42. Wow you guys are good! I love the link above to see them all individually, but the sun on Eric's photo really bring these two gentlemen out bright and clear.

    Hope everyone is having a good weekend. Let's cross our fingers, toes, and other appendages for a calm week next week. I don't think I can handle much of this roller coaster we're on!

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  43. I can see that my B.A. in geography has left me completely uneducated. Thank goodness for Paris Daily Photo.

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  44. The face on the left looks like Anthony Quinn, and the one on the right could be Alec Guiness. But that's just me.

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  45. All in an afternoon's work, Michael. Of course, I can't take all the credit: some of it must go to my fellow sleuth "anonymous" - who, ironically, remains masked!

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  46. I don't think it's going to be calm, Michael. To be really cliched, we've had the down chute of the roller coaster at breakneck speed, there's some more of that to come, with true white knuckles, then we're into the water splash, getting soaked to the skin. After that, it'll be a long old haul on the way up. LOL !! In my opinion, of course.

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  47. This is so funny Eric.
    It just so happens that I have a photo of you taking this shot !!
    Ahhhh, les Jardins de Luxembourg.
    Quelles mémoires merveilleuses !!

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  48. Lucio - It has been a fun afternoon, "well it was night/early morning for me" to have searched and searched for the right one! I am glad that you were here to corrected me! so I should take 40% of the credit and 60% should go to you!!! what do you say?

    I shall take my "Mask" off one day ! :o}

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  49. You are the best, USElaine, I enjoyed your comment, too.
    Can't wait to see these in person, now, but I think the PDP discussions will be in my head as I look then laugh.
    Starting at 15, I put copymaster duplicating material from a dentists supply store over my face, filled the mold with plaster, and now have a progression of the "way I was" for me to ruminate over. Actually, it is pretty interesting.

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  50. He he M. Benaut... That's a scoop! Here is the link to M. Benaut's photo everyone.

    BTW: I love you guess who is who game ;)

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  51. M. Benaut, that first photo of yours is the best!!!

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  52. The flickr link is great. I fall in love with almost every Corot painting I've seen. We have a few in Minneapolis. This is my favorite:
    http://www.artsmia.org/viewer/detail.php?v=12&id=794

    The faces on the sculpture are great. Why don't I remember this sculpture? Probably because the garden is so dreamlike. And, I'm often appreciating the living beauty. The performance art, you might say...

    Have been too busy this weekend to see PDP the past couple days. Hope everyone is doing well. Cheers.

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  53. Hey Eric I met one of the BBC's best known journalists today. I wonder if you will know of her. I am sure. Over at mine. If that isn't a cheeky 'come hither' I don't know what is! ;) See you there...?

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  54. Very striking composition. French literature is one of the most influential there is, and rightly so.

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