My Favorite Wild & Wacky French Statues

Art is everywhere in France. In the museums, on and in the cathedrals and chateaux, along the side of the roads I cycle along. Some of this art is quite famous, while others are a little less known. For some reason, I’m drawn to the lesser known, wackier, more out there and interesting works of art I see along the way, especially the statues. Like this one …

I came across this great work of modern advertising art while cycling through Bordeaux, near the castle of Villandraut. I think it’s called “The Cough.” Or maybe: “What’s Wrong With Papa?” It seems that plastic is the medium for a lot of great sculptures, as it’s a lot cheaper than marble. Like this one…

We came across this great chef in Blois, in the Loire, in the courtyard near the castle. There are a couple of restaurants in a row, so, of course, we ate here. I mean, come on, any place with a giant plastic chef statue outside just has to be fine dining, right? I think the place has two plastic Michelin stars!

This bit of architectural sculpture is located at a vineyard near Gigondas, in Provence. Take a close look at the two guys. They appear to be in a great deal of pain, which I guess comes from having to hold up a balcony and a chateau for all of eternity. Those poor guys. Especially in the winter.

Here’s the link to all my Biking France cycling books, Numbskull and wacky cycling history book: The Boy With No Legs Who Rode Like the Wind. And here’s the post about this book.

Speaking of poor-off fellows…

This one is in the entrance lobby of the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. The museum is filled with the bones of hundreds of animals that were presumably killed by humans, so this sculpture somehow seems like payback. I had Planet of the Apes nightmares for a week.

And then there’s this poor guy …

He’s got to hold up the cathedral in the town of Beaulieu in the Dordogne for the next several centuries. I wonder what he did to deserve such a fate?

Let’s finish with one of my favorites …

This work of art is in Craon, on the Roger Lepebie bike path that runs east from Bordeaux for about 35 miles. This sculpture is of a woman riding on the handlebars of the bike ridden by the guy right behind her, although most of the bike has yet to emerge from the stone. I think spokes are especially hard to carve, even Rodin couldn’t do it. Then again, it kind of looks like they might be doing, well, something else. And they’re not even wearing helmets.


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