Arc de Triomphe

Alan Findlater

Fishcross, Alloa, Scotland, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

At the top of the Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile is the most illustrious symbol of French national history. Sculpted on all sides, «the departure of the volunteers» facing the Champs-Elysées seems to invite you to have a closer look. Standing at the top, over fifty metres from the ground, you can watch Parisian life from up high and contemplate the world famous views created by Parisian architects, the most illustrious being Baron Haussmann.

At the heart of the bustling city of Paris, in a district where the worlds of business, retail and tourism sit happily alongside each other, the Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile is linked to our collective unconscious mind in a way that transcends its architectural and artistic value. It is part of the historic urban landscape of France and its national culture. Come and visit a monument where the past and the present come together.

Begun in 1806 on the orders of Napoleon I in honour of the French army, and finished thirty years later under the reign of Louis Philippe, the Arc de Triomphe combines the commemorative with the symbolic. You cannot fail to be moved by this republican cathedral that remains eternally impervious to political upheavals. With its majestic architecture inspired by ancient monuments, you can imagine the Arc standing proudly over the return of the Emperor’s ashes in 1840 or the burial of Victor Hugo in 1885. Similarly, the parade of the victorious armies of 1919 and 1944 is stamped into its history. In the evening, after having watched the relighting of the flame of the Unknown Soldier whose body has lain under the arch since 1921, sit on the terrace and watch the sun set, whilst the twinkling lights of Paris send you into a reverie.

Artwork Comments

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