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M. Landowski was appointed director of the Villa Medicis yesterday and is going to tell us what his rule of conduct in Rome will be. We’re in Boulogne, at a simple house behind a little garden dripping with dew. There’s a man who is both happy and moved. It’s the sculptor Paul Landowski. Fate would have it that this very morning, he heard the news from us that he had been appointed director of the Académie de France in Rome; Mr de Monzie, National Education Minister and his cabinet have just approved the decree.
The Battle of Ideas, True Heroism
At the Decorative Arts Exhibition, be sure to visit the small room where the sculptor Landowski is exhibiting a great work: the Temple of the Hero. His hero is not a warrior who kills and dies; he’s a man like any other. He leans against the Wall of Legends, as if to say he has renounced forever the enchanting myths that delighted him as a child. He is turned towards those who, human like himself, have struggled, suffered and hoped. (…) In the model that’s still obscure, decode the enigma of the figures, attributes and occupations: you’ll see there men at work, fertilizing the ground, building cities, discovering the world and subjugating it to the laws of the mind. Everything in this sublime ensemble celebrates effort and hope. Death itself appears as a ferment of life. (…) And now you can recognize the Hero: he’s the man with his face turned towards life. (…) He’s walking. His gait is slow and measured, resolute and invincible. He’s been travelling this endless road for days and days. He’s tamed monsters, crushing them beneath his heel. His clear gaze is glued to the path, coldly sizing up each obstacle. The heir of all that surrounds him, cognizant of all that awaits him, he accepts work, suffering and death so that life may go on… (…) Is this not true heroism, at a time where so much wretchedness finds cowardly indulgence, is this not simply a reminder to respect mankind?
(L’Ere Nouvelle is the voice of L’Entente des Gauches; Emile Kahn was a journalist with them. He was also a member of the central committee of the League of Human Rights.)
At the 1925 Decorative Arts Exhibition,
It’s clear that such a moment could only come from the heights of our civilization (…). We see here (…) a moving blend of modesty and hope. Modesty in terms of the gap felt more keenly than ever between our ideal and our being. Modesty because of the growing awareness of the solidarity of centuries (…) Modesty because if we fail to fulfil our historic function, we know that other people, other races will rise up, in whom unknown possibilities lie dormant… But hope, splendid hope, hope in the entire human race, in every individual of the race. Hope and faith that the entire global effort from the very beginning corresponds to a major necessity, and that it tends towards some zenith: either a positive palingenesis like the millenarians of Comte or Marx want; or, as the superior religions and several wisdoms think, a transcendental realization interesting the entire society of people on the level of the absolute.
(Riou was a writer and politician, radical socialist deputy, diehard European; Landowski sculpted his bust which is conserved at the Beaux-Arts in Lille. )
The sculptor Landowski has constructed a Temple of Thought at the Decorative Arts Exhibition
At the far end of the Esplanade des Invalides, behind the wall of the Cour des Métiers, a large vestibule leads visitors into a simple white room. This, at the very end of the Decorative Arts Exhibition, is the Temple of Thought. They call it the Landowski room.?‘‘I had a beautiful dream, and it’s coming true little by little, very slowly. Because it was also a huge dream, one that has filled my entire life…’’ So says the sculpor, Mr. Landowski, in his soft voice. His face is thin and pale, his eyes blue. His smile is soft and gentle like his voice. And this self-effacing man is creating a giant work.
(Historian and art critic)
For the inauguration of the museum.
Interview with Mrs. Paul Landowski: ‘‘(…) Paul Landowski was a music lover. We attended concerts and the Bayreuth festivals. We were friends with Honegger, Gabriel Fauré and Ravel, but he was never a musician himself. His hobby was to write his thoughts on art – I hope to be able to publish them soon – and theatre plays.
His work entitled ‘‘Peut-on enseigner les Beaux-Arts’’ (Can Fine Arts be Taught?), published in 1940, ends with these words: ‘‘The artistic tradition of a country becomes a reality… over the centuries, by an uninterrupted succession of masterpieces whose inexhaustible sources of replenishment and creativity are the love of science and passion of nature, neither or which harm sensitivity.’’ This truth explains Landowski’s entire work, and his museum and garden is destined to become not only a place of memory but also a living center where young painters and sculptors can exhibit their work.
The master invited me into his salon. I asked if he still worked with models. ‘‘Yes,’’ he said. ‘‘To create, you need to have living nature, with its wealth and variety, before your eyes. (…) For the most part, the models are young people trying to make some extra money. Some manage quite well as they’re able to do several 500 or 600 franc sittings in a single day. But there’s unemployment: I hope they create a guild that would allow them to benefit from our social laws.’’
Rio de Janeiro, 10 October
From on board his yacht, Mr. Marconi is to unveil the statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovada mountain, dominating the bay of Rio de Janeiro in the bay of Rio. The papers announce that an agreement has been made with Mr. Marconi so that, from his yacht Elettra, he will give the signal for Christ the Redeemer to be unveiled for its inauguration next Monday on the anniversary of the discovery of America. During the night from the 12th to 13th, the Italian inventor will emit a series of radiophonic waves that will illuminate the gigantic statue with a large projector. The total height of the monument that will be inaugurated is 38 meters; the statue of Christ is 30 meters high and the head alone is 3.75; the distance between the two hands is 30 meters; the base of the pedestal is 100 m². The total weight of the monument is 1,680 tonnes. The statue is the work of French sculptor Landowski and Brazilian architect Silva Costa, and cost the equivalent of around 18 million francs.
As you begin to cross the new Pont de la Tournelle from the left bank of the Seine you no longer hear the taping sound of the sculptor’chisel. M. Landowski’s statue of Saint-Genevieve is completed and, swathed in this fabric, is waiting to be placed in the position prepared for it on the pedestal at the end of the parapet. This will be done on June 25, but the unveiling will not take place till July 9. On that date the bridge will also be officially opened. Only pedestrians may as yet cross the bridge.?Question of direction?There still appears to be some doubt as to the direction in which the face of the statue of the saint will be turned; The weight of the opinion seems to favour the direction of Notre-Dame, and M. Landowski is said to share this view. On the other hand the saint’s historical significance is pleaded by those who would have her looking away from Paris, towards Bercy, and this standpoint has the support of the engineers and architects of the new bridge. It was, they say, south of Paris, approximatively between Auxerre and Orleans, that the hordes of Attila were massed when Sainte-Genevieve appeared among the Parisians and heartened them.
A wooden shed with a glass roof was still leaning yesterday against the stone pylon interrupting the horizontal line of the new Pont de la Tournelle. This is the rudimentary studio where for two years, Landowski has been sculpting a huge block of Château-Landon stone into an effigy of Sainte Genevieve which, in a few days, will embellish the arch of cement and reinforced concrete linking the Ile Saint-Louis to the Left Bank.(…) In the wooden studio that was as hot as a greenhouse, the master Landowski, dressed in white pants and loose shirt like a simple worker, was putting the finishing touches on his magnificent work. The stone figure seemed to jut right up out of the floor and loom straight up to the glass windows like a massive tree stretching towards the light, like a prayer rising up to heaven.
This great artist and illustrious sculptor is a Parisian from Paris; he was born here, the son of a Parisian doctor and the maternal grandson of the famous violinist and composer Henri Vieux-Temps. (…) Shortly after the war, along with a group of artists and craftsmen, he created a collective foundry which, for the past sixteen years, has constantly developed and has become one of the biggest and best in Paris. We’re proud to include him among the members of our Society.
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