‘Le Pouce’ of La Défense in Paris: a strange work

Le pouce of La Défense, in Paris, is one of the most extravagant and rare works that you can find in the world. It is a work by the sculptor César Baldaccini and that it is the representation of his own thumb, but on a huge scale. Do you want to know more about this work that you can see in the French capital?

Something about César Baldaccini, creator Le pouce

César Baldaccini was a renowned French sculptor of Italian descent.. Born in Marseille in 1921, he soon stood out for his great creativity. This fact allowed him to enter the School of Fine Arts in Marseille and then in Paris.

His art led him to win several scholarships and to be one of the most renowned French realist sculptors. It stood out above all for the use of new materials such as polyurethane and by the recycling of materials such as metal. He was an artist who looked for his inspiration in Picasso, Gargallo or Giacometti, among others.

La Défense, place where you can see Le pouce

La Défense is one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Paris. It is the business center of the city, located in the west of the French capital. Its construction was carried out in the 1960s as a continuation of the historical axis made up of the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde, the Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe and the Neuilly bridge.

Its composition is that of a skyscraper neighborhood with a wonderful esplanade of more than 30 hectares in which there are several sculptural and architectural samples of great relevance. This is the case of the Arco de la Défense, the hanging gardens and other sculptures that make it an ideal space for strolling.

The extension of this neighborhood involves three Parisian municipalities such as Puteaux, Courbevoie and Nanterre. It can be compared to the City of London. Here are the main business centers of the city and the main companies that have their headquarters in the office buildings of this neighborhood. It also has a large number of homes, so the neighborhood is always on the move.

Baldaccini’s sculpture

Le pouce de La Défense was commissioned by the sculptor César Baldaccini in 1989 to be installed in the square of this business center. Its inauguration took place in 1994 and after several years of exhibition, in 2015, it was restored so that it could continue showing all its splendor in this Parisian area.

It is a huge sculpture about 12 meters high It weighs about 18 tons. It represents, nothing more and nothing less, than the thumb of its creator, Baldaccini. Said artist had already made several sculptures of this type, but this is the most impressive due to its size.

Others pouces by Baldaccini

The first pouce made by this sculptor was only 40 centimeters high and dates from 1965. The objective was to participate in an exhibition about hands. The sculpture was so successful that it was auctioned at the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) for the exorbitant amount of 1.2 million euros and became a benchmark for New Realism sculpture.

After her, Baldaccini sculpted several pouces of different sizes and with different materials. One was the pouce marble for the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, dating from 1981 and is six meters high. In 1988 he made another one of the same size, but made in bronze, for the Olympic Games in Seoul.

As in the rest of Paris, In La Défense you can find hundreds of striking and spectacular corners, viewpoints towards the rest of the city and infinite architectures that make this neighborhood one of the most famous in the capital of France. Are you going to miss it?

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