It is almost impossible to imagine Monaco without sculptures, as they serve as the main decorations of the Principality. Probably, all over the world you will not be able to find a country with so many masterpieces per square meter. HelloMonaco, in its best traditions, continues to acquaint the readers with the sculptures of Monaco, conducting a virtual tour of the port of Fontvieille and Stadium Louis II.
Starting our walk around the second leading port of Monaco, we come across a very typical marine symbol. What would the harbour be without the “Anchors” (Ancres a jas)? This pair of anchors continues to be a most welcome greeting for all the guests of the port. These two enormous decorative pieces fit ideally in their surroundings. You may be curious to know that the bronze sculpture actually dates from the end of the 19th century. Yachting enthusiasts find the masterpiece a very fitting symbol indeed and its history very interesting!
Furthermore, the theme of water does not end with this composition. The next equally impressive installation was a sculpture called “Big Carp” (Grande Carpe), created in 1996 by the French artist François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008). The sculptor often worked together with his wife Claude Lallane, with whom he shared a common passion for nature and sculpture. Despite the trend of abstract art in the XX century, the artist focuses on the real world, depicting flora and fauna. Often among the works of the sculptor you can see bronze bulls, sheep, gorillas and fish. One of Lallana’s favorite inhabitants of the water is carp; that is why in his creative portfolio you can see a whole series of similar sculptures, highlighted by one rare piece in gold, even.
A Carp is not the only sculpture of the artist in Monaco. So, on Avenue des Guelfes, you will also be able to encounter another masterpiece by Lallan “The Donkey in the harness”. The naturalness and the smoothness of the lines are the main characteristics of this sculptor!
Continuing our walk around Fontvieille, on the opposite side of the anchors, it is hard to miss the “Pensive” marble statue, created in 1986 by the renowned painter and former ballerina Emma de Sigaldi. Being a resident of Monaco, she devoted herself to cultural development, decorating the Principality with her masterpieces. Those include the sculptures “Life Column” and “Motherhood”, located in the area of Saint Roman, “Olympic diver” that is in the port of Hercule, “Fish” and “Evolution” in the residential part of the Fontvieille district.
Athletes, floating in the air, located in front of the stadium Louis II; surely nobody can deny it its place there. This creation, called “Sport”, was made in 1994 by the Dutch sculptor Kees Verkade born in 1941. In fact, Verkade never wanted his life to be immersed in the world of sculpture, having instead a great passion for graphics. Because of a lack of space in the graphics faculty at the Royal Academy of The Hague, this artist, 16 years old at the time, had to go to the faculty of sculpture. This chance event was decisive for him. He found himself modeling the human body in motion, depicting children, athletes, dancers and lovers. In 1979, the artist became a resident of Monaco and since then he has been creating works for the Principality. In 2013 he made a statue of Rainier III, which is located near the Princely Palace; also a sculpture depicting Grace Kelly, which is in Princess Grace’s Rosary and a sculpture of a loving couple in the gardens of Saint Martin.
Have you ever sat on a huge bronze “Knot” (Nœud)? In Fontvieille in Monaco, just about everything is possible! In 1987, Kim Hamiski, a sculptor of Vietnamese origin, created a bench, which is at the centre of a giant knot. The main theme running through the artist’s works are abstract changes in practical objects, their interlacing, arching and tilting.
The next unusual sculpture in the port called “Solitary” surprises by the originality of its composition. An antique image of a man with indistinct facial features on a tilted pedestal made of stone blocks is the work of Sandro Chia, a 71-year-old Italian monumental artist. The sculptor was the leader of the transavant-gard movement. Moreover, he developed a unique ironic style, combined with the art of the Renaissance. Quite often Chia depicted male figures in heroic scenarios.
Approaching the end of our walk, we face the hero of ancient Greek mythology “Prometheus“, subjugating an eagle. The masterpiece was created by the French sculptor Gustave Pimienta (1888-1982), who liked to depict mythological characters made of marble, bronze or clay. In the garden of the National Museum of Monaco, besides Prometheus, you can see the legendary Orpheus; these sculptures demonstrate the incredible power of art.
It’s said, that it is better to see once than hear a hundred times, so take a walk around the port of Fontvieille and also wander near the Stadium of Louis II, getting personally acquainted with these masterpieces of art.