Sunday, May 15, 2016

Arc de Triomphe (Paris, France) - A Historical and Artistic Study

Dr Abe V Rotor
(Photos by the author indicated)
Living with Nature - School on Blog [avrotor.blogspot.com]
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday [www.pbs.gov.ph]




The Arc - Napoleon's legacy to the world,
a monument of his victories in battle,
and now a monument of peace.
a resting place of the Unknown Soldier
where an eternal flame lights the world.




Author (left) with co-worker NFA Director Nestor Zamora, 1976




Attic above the richly sculptured frieze of soldiers are 30 shields engraved
with the names of major revolutionary and Napoleonic military victories.

 
 



Bigger photos on the left were taken by the author in 1976 with Pentax Spotmatic), while the smaller photos were sourced from the Internet.
The four main sculptural groups on each of the Arc's pillars represent four significant   historical events. 
  • Le Départ de 1792 (or La Marseillaise), by François Rude. The sculptural group celebrates the cause of the French First Republic during the 10 August uprising. Above the volunteers is the winged personification of Liberty. This group served as a recruitment tool in the early months of World War I and encouraged the French to invest in war loans in 1915–16.
  • Le Triomphe de 1810, by Jean-Pierre Cortot celebrates the Treaty of Schönbrunn. This group features Napoleon, crowned by the goddess of Victory.
  • La Résistance de 1814, by Antoine Étex commemorates the French resistance to the Allied armies during the War of the Sixth Coalition. 

  • La Paix de 1815, by Antoine Étex commemorates the Treaty of Paris, concluded in that year. (Wikipedia) 
  •  


    Two of the six reliefs sculpted on the façades of the Arch, representing important moments of the French Revolution and of the Napoleonic era,

    Imposing facade of the Arc de Triompe at the end of Avenue Champs Elysee, Place Charles de Gaulle.The monument stands 50 metres (164 ft) in height, 45 m (148 ft) wide and 22 m (72 ft) deep. The large vault is 29.19 m (95.8 ft) high and 14.62 m (48.0 ft) wide. The small vault is 18.68 m (61.3 ft) high and 8.44 m (27.7 ft) wide. Its design was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus. The Arc de Triomphe is built on such a large scale that, three weeks after the Paris victory parade in 1919 (marking the end of hostilities in World War I), Charles Godefroy flew his Nieuport biplane through it, with the event captured on newsreel. It was the tallest triumphal arch in existence until the completion of the Monumento a la Revolución in Mexico City in 1938, which is 67 metres (220 ft) high. The Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang, completed in 1982, is modelled


    Colorized aerial photo of the Arc, Southern side 1921 (Internet) 


    Satellite image of Arc showing its strategic location, and the 12
    avenues leading to the Arc, likened to "all roads lead to Rome."
     

     The Arc is located on the right bank of the Seine at the centre of a dodecagonal configuration of twelve radiating avenues. It was commissioned in 1806 after the victory at Austerlitz by Emperor Napoleon at the peak of his fortunes. Laying the foundations alone took two years and, in 1810, when Napoleon entered Paris from the west with his bride Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria, he had a wooden mock-up of the completed arch constructed. The architect, Jean Chalgrin, died in 1811 and the work was taken over by Jean-Nicolas Huyot. During the Bourbon Restoration, construction was halted and it would not be completed until the reign of King Louis-Philippe, between 1833 and 1836, by the architects Goust, then Huyot, under the direction of Héricart de Thury. On 15 December 1840, brought back to France from Saint Helena, Napoleon's remains passed under it on their way to the Emperor's final resting place at the Invalides. Prior to burial in the Panthéon, the body of Victor Hugo was displayed under the Arc during the night of 22 May 1885.

    The sword carried by the Republic in the Marseillaise relief broke off on the day, it is said, that the Battle of Verdun began in 1916. The relief was immediately hidden by tarpaulins to conceal the accident and avoid any undesired ominous interpretations. On 7 August 1919, Charles Godefroy successfully flew his biplane under the Arc. Jean Navarre was the pilot who was tasked to make the flight, but he died on 10 July 1919 when he crashed near Villacoublay while training for the flight.



    The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I rests beneath the Arc. France took the idea from the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey in the United Kingdom.
    Begun on Armistice Day 1920, it has the first eternal flame lit in Western Europe since the Vestal Virgins' fire was extinguished in the year 391 and it burns in memory of the dead who were never identified in both World War I and World War II.(Wikipedia) ~

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