Friday, June 14, 2013

Denis Diderot

Statue of Denis Diderot by Jean Gautherin, Paris
Statue of Denis Diderot by Jean Gautherin, 1886
Boulevard Saint-Germain, 6e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

“This statue was created at the behest of a committee for free thinking (Comité pour la Libre pensée) in view of the 1884 centennial of the philosopher’s death. For the celebration, sculptor Jean Gautherin, the first to fail in the competition for the monument to the Republic, executed a temporary plaster model that was set up on Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés. The definitive bronze statue was inaugurated on 14 July 1886 on one of the boulevard’s median strips opposite Rue Saint-Benoît. Due to roadwork in 1940, the statue was transferred to its present-day location. It is one of the rare historical figures to have escaped the fury of the Occupation. What is most striking about this seated portrait is its dynamism and its pedagogical efficiency. The advancing quill and the leaning and out of line bust express the writer’s commitment which the Third Republic glorified as a precursor to the French Revolution rather than today’s more neutral remembrance of the man as an art critic and encyclopaedist.”
(Diderot, Patryst - La culture à la carte)

1 comment:

cieldequimper said...

It was a great man, the sculpture makes him a great thinker...