26 November 1871 – 2 February 1936
Paul Moreau-Vauthier was a French sculptor who first came to prominence in 1900 when he designed the statue, La Parisienne, that crowned The Porte Monumental de Paris (the main entrance) for the Paris Exposition.
Though he was 45 at the time, he fought in World War I and survived the Battle of Verdun. His service influenced his later work and inspired him to propose a series of memorial stones marking the Western Front. He also created two statues commemorating the service of Senegalese soldiers of the French Army in the defense of Reims. The original statue is still standing in Mali; its duplicate (though with an original base) which stood in Reims was destroyed by the Nazis during the occupation and has since been replaced by a similar monument but with a different design.
Possibly his most well-known work is Victimes des Révolutions on Avenue Gambetta near Pere Lachaise which, sadly, I wasn’t aware of, and we did not go see. This sculpture commemorates those who died fighting for freedom in revolutions, and it most likely is a momument primarily to the Paris Commune, an event that happened only months prior to Moreau-Vauthier’s birth and which would have resonated throughout his childhood. The sculpture is erroneously believed by many to be the actual location of the Communards’ Wall where the last 147 members of this uprising were executed, but that location is elsewhere in the cemetery and commemorated by a simple plaque.
Moreau-Vauthier died eighty-six years ago today (2 February 1936) in an automobile accident and was entombed with his family (others of whom would also be worthy of biography, but Paul appears to be the only one still famous enough to rate a Wikipedia entry).
The striking bronze sculpture of a weeping woman topping their beautiful tomb is not by Paul. It is signed A. Moreau Vauthier — most likely Paul’s father Augustin Jean who was also a sculptor.
RIP Famille Moreau-Vauthier!
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- Paul Moreau-Vauthier
- Exposition Universelle (1900)
- Western Front Demarcation Stones
- Aux héros de l’Armée noire
- Victimes des révolutions, by Paul Moreau-Vauthier
Photo by Pol at French Wikipedia – photo by Pol, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
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