Few things immerse us in a state of bliss as great art. Paris city is home to masterful artworks which all visitors have to explore. Paris museums like the Musée du Louvre and Musée d’Orsay host so many temporary exhibitions that it is easy to miss the broad permanent art collection there. So we felt it would be a good idea to honor the exceptional yet often-overlooked works that you can explore most of the time in Paris.
There are instances when Parisian museums loan out works that are part of their permanent collection. A recent instance is Musée Rodin Paris lending Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker” sculpture to Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi. However, there are many other works of art in Paris including the following ones.
Hercules the Archer
Antoine Bourdelle took four years to complete this sculpture. He started working on it in 1906 and finished it in 1909. It is a representation of Hercules’ sixth work, which was to conquer the man-eating Stymphalian birds. This sculpture appalls and fascinates visitors to the Musée Bourdelle. The sheer scale of this statue is a reason for that appalled reaction of visitors, but the arresting modernism style of it impresses them.
This statue sealed Antoine Bourdelle’s fate, changing his career trajectory which saw him turn into a mentor and teacher to Giacometti, Maillol, Brancusi, and their 20th-century contemporaries. It is still the most representative work of art by him, and one that came when he was moving from 19th-century sculpture to modernism style.
The most important work of art at the Zadkine Museum is this statue by Ossip Zadkine. The jug on its shoulders shows Rebecca as one among Ossip Zadkine’s “water-bearers”, which is a recurring theme in the sculptor’s work. The plaster surface of Rebecca is disfigured with the marks of the material from which it was cast. Besides, its strangely proportioned anatomy suggests the impact of the expressionist African sculpture language without restraint. It is an epitome of the themes and styles which preoccupied the eccentric Russian sculptor, and an ideal introduction to Zadkine Museum’s permanent collection.
Idol Head with Arms Crossed
With the triangular-shaped nose, simplified geometric patterns and polished marble of it, you would be forgiven for assuming that Brancusi made this statue. In spite of its stylized and sheen traits, this seemingly modern piece displayed at the Louvre Museum was made in old Greece. The nose and ears hint at the shape of a face, a very convincing and well-kept image from a civilization on Keros Island.