Counting your blessings is good but sometimes it’s a good idea to look at your accomplishments.
This painting is one of my all time favorites. I first showed it in 2012 at the Grand Marché d’art Contemporain at the Bastille. It went to a gallery in Honfleur and sold quickly.
I painted 66 large format oils of NYC. One I took to BHV, the chic department store on rue de Rivoli. Searching for the framing department I walked around with it under my arm. Some lady asked me, “C’est où qu’on trouve les affiches comment-ça?” Where can you find posters like that?
“I don’t know? I painted this.”
At the time I was painting in a fabulous atelier in Ivry-sur-Seine at La Fabrique des artistes. No heating, no hot water. Industrial, totally bohemian. I had a boiler to make tea and a microwave that I never hooked up. The boiler was good because that way I could wash my paint brushes without freezing my hands.
The Monument à la République was inaugurated in 1883. Léopold Morice is the sculptor.
The bronze on the pedestal is Marianne. She is an allegorical figure of the French republic.
Three stone female figures, also allegorical, flank the pedestal. They are La Liberté, L’Égalité et de La Fraternité. A bronze lion symbolizing universal suffrage stands at Marianne’s feet.
A bust of Marianne is present in every state school. Marianne wears a phrygian cap.
I think this fact is interesting because phrygian was somewhere in the middle east. The bonnet is considered to be of anatolian origin. This hat became a symbol during the revolution because it represents the pursuit of freedom. Emancipated Roman slaves wore a similar hat.