The above photo is of 24-26 rue de Clignancourt, former home of 19th century department store Magasins Dufayel (and now a bank). I was motivated to seek it out, with its elaborate relief sculptures by Jules Dalou, after visiting Dalou, Le sculpteur de la République, at the Petit Palais through July 13.
Though his might not be a household name, if you’ve spent any time in Paris, you are already familiar with Dalou’s work, whether or not you already know it. With more than 25 public monuments credited to him in the French capital, his most famous landmarks include Triomphe de la République at Place de la Nation and the group of lions at the Left Bank side of Pont Alexandre III. The Petit Palais exhibit presents a thorough overview of the prolific sculptor’s career, though the crowded indoor space does not readily lend itself to discovering the noble grandeur Dalou’s work is meant to inspire. Luckily, a map of Paris highlighting the locations of his still-standing monuments greets the visitor at the show’s entrance, so it’s easy to take to the streets and continue the Dalou experience, as I did. An added bonus: the concurrent Cognacq-Jay exhibit Dalou, Regards sur le XVIIIe siècle is also open through July 13.
The Petit Palais is having a 19th century moment. Along with Dalou, Les impressionnistes slovènes et leur temps (1890-1920) also ends July 13. And until August 4, you can catch Félix Ziem, j’ai rêvé le beau. For my thoughts on that last exhibit, check out my review at Culture Vulture.