One of the things I — and most visitors to Paris — admire most about the City of Light is the abundance of art that greets Parisians each and every day.
From glorious architecture to historic fountains to large outdoor murals to anonymously scrawled street art, Paris offers something beautiful to gaze upon no matter where one looks. There’s so much public art that many have dubbed the city a massive “open-air museum.”
And that “museum” includes statues and sculptures. Lots of statues and sculptures. In fact, Paris has more than 1,000 statues created by more than 400 artists on public display throughout the city, including pieces in public parks and gardens, on the facades of buildings, at and on Paris’s many monuments, and even simply gracing the architecture and courtyards of private properties.
There are so many, in fact, that there’s even a website devoted to categorizing the pieces, broken down into maps of each of Paris’s 20 districts (called Arrondissements). The site also is searchable by artist name and by such keywords as the name of the person or subject represented, the name of the work, the street address of where the statue is displayed and even the year the work was completed.
It’s a great resource if you’re looking for a specific piece or want to see multiple works created by a particular sculptor.
But if you’re like me, part of the fun of being in Paris is simply wandering through the city and “discovering” its beauty as you turn each corner and find something new to see and celebrate. Obviously, you’ll find much more public art in the city’s historic and tourist core (namely Arrondissements 1-8), but each of Paris’s 20 districts is home to wonderful statues and sculptures, among other fantastic art and architecture.
Alors, chaussez vos meilleures chaussures de marche et commençons !