Artistic Images of the Eiffel Tower at the Pompidou
So we're heading back to Paris to finish up my recommendations and ideas from "Our Small Adventure".
To make the transition back from the Dordogne I can't resist sharing these images because I was so charmed by them. We're inundated by images of the Eiffel Tower which has become a stand in for all things Parisienne and even all things French. However, so many of these images are no more than postcards and if they stretch to artistic interpretation it's as likely to include rainbows, hearts or other such rubbish as it is to be anything meaningful or beautiful. But at the Pompidou you can buck the trend, climb to the fifth floor, look out at the tower itself, take your own picture and then see how Robert Delaunay, Marc Chagall and others represented this icon.
Born in Paris in 1885, Robert Delaunay's early work includes multiple images of Paris. Indeed the Eiffel Tower (complete with its radio antenna) represents modernity in his work and is a key image in his movement from representation to abstraction. Below is Delaunay's 1922 portrait of the poet Philippe Soupault which you can see at the Pompidou. Here, the poet is seen standing next to a window, with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Interestingly windows were another key image in Delaunay's work from this period. You can seen the influence of Braque in the deconstruction of the Eiffel Tower . There are more of Delaunay's Eiffel Tower pictures at Scalar Archives here.
Delaunay's colorful Eiffel Tower from 1926 is also at the Pompidou, see below. It has a wonderfully graphic impact, commanding your attention with both line and color.
Hung nearby the Delaunays is Chagall's distinctive "Les Maries de la Tour Eiffel" from 1938. It has his usual abstract lyrical quality combining magical and religious imagery in multiple planes. here the Eiffel Tower is reduced to its iconic outline.
When checking the titles of the above works on the Pompidou's website, I saw that I could search the museum's collection for other representations of the Eiffel Tower. The results included which included works by Man Ray including the "Toits de Paris et Tour Eiffel" at the top of the post and Raoul Dufy's 1937 sketch for a tapestry entitled "Paris", below.
I also like Pierre Jahan's 1943 photographic image unimaginatively entitled "Tour Eiffel", below.
I hope you've enjoyed today's tour! All of this talk of the Pompidou has me thinking of a return trip to Paris. Hopefully we can make it before my museum memberships expire!