This is a translation of one of the 45 blogs I wrote during my three month stay in Paris, 2021-2022.
February 15, 2022
‘Let’s try and make a circular tour of Paris’, I thought this morning. Take the tramway 3a in direction of Porte de Garigliano then bus PC to Porte d’Asnières transfer to Tram 3b and transfer again at Porte de Vincennes for Tram 3a. In a book on Aimé-Jules Dalou I had bought a few days ago at the Petit Palais I found a photograph of the monument for Jean Leclaire. In december I rented an appartment close to Square des Epinettes, but didn’t know this sculpture was close by so it seemed like a good reason for this experiment.
What tempted me in the picture was the paintbucket, I really felt like seeing it up close. On my arrival it was raining, I saw a paintscraper, a sponge and brushes, but the bucket was gone!
The original sculpture was melted down in 1943 and someone responsible for the new cast in 1971 must have decided to leave out the bucket and the brushes. There may be another story there.
In my book I read that some writers compared the posture of the figures to ‘La Fraternité’ another famous work by Dalou for the Town hall of the tenth arrondissement. ‘From heroic nudity to realistic modern dress, Dalou’s work celebrates one of the most important republican values, the brotherhood’ We Dutch tend to think that a bit less bombastic would do just as well, but then again; Jean Leclaire was an enlightened employer who engaged in profit sharing and took care that the poisonous lead white was replaced by the less poisonous zinc white. That may be worth a monument after all?