19th Century bronze in the form of the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, mounted on marble base.
The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 and completed in 1836 during the reign of King Louis Philippe. It stands at the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, situated on the historic axis, a route from the courtyard of the Louvre Palace to the outskirts of Paris which follows a sequence of monuments and grand thoroughfares.
The arch’s decorative form embodies the Neoclassical style of sculpture from the first half of the nineteenth century and exhibits signature works by notable sculptors including James Pradier, Antoine Etex, Jean-Pierre Cortot and the renowned Francois Rude whose group ‘Départ des volontaires de 1792’, also known as ‘La Marseillaise’, is considered to be one of Rude’s most seminal works.
The triumphal arch is in honour of those who fought for France, in particular, those who fought during the Napoleonic Wars. Inscribed on the white walls under the vault are the 128 battles of the first French Republic, Napoleon’s Empire and the names of the generals who commanded them. There are inscriptions also in the ground underneath the vault of the arch which include the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I, where the ‘Memorial Flame’ burns today.
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