The Principality of Monaco is full of art and culture, wonderful sculptures that commemorate historical figures and hold symbolic significance, created by some of the world’s most talented artists.
Monaco-Ville area has sculptures hidden behind every corner that make the streets of the Rocher even more beautiful. You may not notice them as you walk past or know their meaning, but through this HelloMonaco series on the art scattered around Monaco, each creation will be explored.
The gardens are home to Emmanuel Gonzales (1815-1887) bust, a 19th century French novelist and playwright, who’s novel Frères de la Côte impressed Émile Zola. Amongst all the classic sculptures, you will also spot a beautifully coloured eagle spreading its wings and showing off its vibrant hues.
Fille sur une chaise & Grande Nudo Di Adolescente
By the playground overlooking the port of Fontvieille, another couple of sculpturesare nestled amongst the pretty flowers. A bronze statue, Fille sur une chaise (1981),by Danish sculptor Keld Moseholm Jorgensen, who specialises in naturalistic sculptures of women and children, shows a young girl with pigtails sat on a simple chair. The second one is by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Bergomi, Grande Nudo Di Adolescente (1990), representing a nude adolescent sat on a block made in bronze.
Armand Fernandez’ (Arman) creations
As you continue along the Saint Martin Gardens past the Oceanographic Museum, there are two of Nice born painter and sculptor Armand Fernandez’ (Arman) creations. His signature style involves recycling and pulling apart all sorts of objects and assembling the pieces to create a unique sculpture; this is apparent in both of his Monegasque sculptures, the representation of the dismembered Greek God Hermes (1987) and the collection of assembled violins in Mélodie (1984).
Close by is a monumental sculpture by a Southern American artist Nall (Fred Nall Hollis), gifted by La Fondazione Festival Pucciniano to Prince Albert II, known as the Peace Frame (2006). It is one of the most highly photographed subjects in the Principality as visitors stand in the frame for a souvenir photo.
There are also a couple more busts in the area: one of Louis Aureglia (1892-1965) the ex President of the National Council of Monaco, and another just outside the Pavillon Bosio Art School representing François-Joseph Bosio, born in Monaco in 1768 he was the first sculptor of Napoleon 1er and of the Kings Louis XVIII and Charles X. One of his sculptures can be found just outside the Ministère d’Etat, the Nymphe Salmacis (1826), a bronze creation placed in the middle of a fountain that depicts the nymph of the springs, a beautiful woman that spent her time bathing and admiring her reflection in the water.
Man on Bench
Located in the same area is an original sculpture by George Segal (1924-2000), Man on Bench (1984), a bronze life-size man relaxing on a wooden bench – Segal is best known for his life-like figures displayed in assembled environments that evoke activities of everyday life.
La Fontaine aux Oiseaux
A sculpture that has been moved around the Principality to be admired by all, first in front of the Casino, then Fontvieille, and finally on the Rocher, is a grand bronze sculpture by Jean-Michel Folon, La Fontaine aux Oiseaux. The wonderful piece depicts Folon’s ‘everyman’ character kindly feeding pigeons, consistent with his values of kindness and pleasure in all living things.
If you plan to stroll through other parts of Monaco, then check out our section on the Monaco sculptures to know what other amazing works of art you can find in the Principality.