3 November 2011

Parc Monceau, 8th arrondissement, Paris, France: Literary Île-de-France #12

Parc Monceau, in the 8th arrondissement at the junction of boulevard de Courcelles, rue de Prony, and rue Georges Berger is perhaps one of the lesser known recreational areas in the city but is certainly one of the most popular among Parisians, and the park is packed to bursting on a hot weekend's day. Which is quite something for a place whose only obvious attractions are a children's carousel, a tiny circular café with no seating and several different kinds of pancake, and free wifi. But it's my favorite park in Paris, and for four weeks I just found myself being forced to return to it almost every day, although I'm not too sure why. Oh, and there are the statues, but that wasn't it.

Nevertheless the statues are impressive. There are three literary ones, and the Chopin is an honorary literary one because of his connections with George Sand.

Raoul Verlet sculpted this statue, which represents Maupassant with, at his feet, a composite of the female hero of his 1889 novel Fort comme la mort, and an anonymous reader.

The statue was installed in the park in 1897.

Édouard Pailleron (1834—99).

Pailleron's statue was made by Léopold Bernstam and erected in parc Monceau in 1907.

The woman is dedicated to the actor Jeanne Samary (1857—90), who is represented here as she appeared in Pailleron's L'Étincelle (1879). 

Alfred de Musset (1810—57). This statue was begun by Alexandre Falguière, and then completed by Antonin Mercié. It was erected here in 1906.

Musset is seated while his muse inspires him.

Frédéric Chopin (1810—49).

An angel spreads flowers over the man and woman.

Chopin is at the piano composing a funeral march.

At his feet, a personification of pain, sorrow. The piece was sculpted by Jacques Froment—Meurice, and erected in the park in 1906.

The carousel too has literary associations, being named after Jules Verne (1828—1904).

My later Parc Monceau post is below:

Parc Monceau (revisited), 8th arrondissement

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