Art goes over the wall

Paris is a veritable open-air work of art in itself: in gardens, on quaysides, in tram stations and on walls around the city.

You don’t always have to go to a museum or art gallery to see a work of art. In fact, Paris is a veritable open-air work of art in itself. Art is everywhere: in gardens, on quaysides, in tram stations and on walls around the city.

All you have to do to enjoy it is keep your eyes open!

Museum gardens

Musée Zadkine, Paris © OTCP - Didier Messina

The gardens of museums are naturally privileged places for outdoor works.

This is the case at the garden of the Musée Rodin, a few steps from Invalides. This verdant 3-hectare setting is home to many masterpieces by the father of modern sculpture, such as the famous "The Thinker" and "The Gates of Hell". To see them you do not need to pay the fee for a visit to the Museum as there is a 'Garden' ticket which costs only €4.

Two steps from Luxembourg, the Musée Zadkine extends into a wonderful garden full of sculptures by the Cubist artist. It can be visited free of charge.

Off site

Stravinsky fountain, sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle, Paris © OTCP - Amélie Dupont

In the heart of Paris, the Tuileries Gardens showcase some twenty or so works by the great French sculptor Aristide Maillol. As you saunter along the pathways, you will perhaps come across "Les Trois Grâces" or the "Jeune fille allongée".

At the foot of the Institut du Monde Arabe, the Musée de la Sculpture en plein air is an open-air sculpture museum in the Jardin Tino Rossi, a pleasant area along the banks of the River Seine. Admire some thirty modern sculptures, including works by famous names like César, Brancusi and Zadkine!

La Défense is the biggest business district in Europe and also the largest open-air museum in France. In all, there are 69 monumental works on show here. Emblematic works include "Stabile" by Calder, Deux personnages fantastiques by Mirò and "Le Pouce" by César. This set of sculptures is intimately linked to the history of La Défense and is now inseparable from it.

Indeed, today, many works of modern art are an integral part of the urban landscape and we could not imagine Paris without them. Prime examples are "Deux plateaux"  by Daniel Buren, more commonly known as the Buren columns, sited in the Cour d'honneur of the Palais-Royal since 1986; and, next to the Centre Pompidou, the Fontaine Igor-Stravinsky and its mobile sculptures, created by Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle in 1983. At Abbesses, the I Love You wall, by Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito, is the rendezvous point for lovers from around the world.

Art on track

RATP - Paris, art contemporain sur le parcours du tramway T3 © DR

Inaugurated in 2012, the Maréchaux Sud T3 tram line is a veritable discovery trail of contemporary art: it hosts no less than nine contemporary works between the Pont du Garigliano in the 15th arrondissement and Porte d'Ivry.

Among these, "Le Téléphone" by Sophie Calle in collaboration with Frank O. Gehry installed on the Pont du Garigliano in the 15th district.

Passers-by are invited to pick it up when it rings. "Tchaïkovski" is a work by the French artist Claude Lévêque. This installation comprising four crumpled stainless steel panels placed on the roof of a 1930s building in stone is visible on the Vanne aqueduct at Montsouris station.

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Musée Zadkine

100 bis rue d'Assas, Paris, 75006

Close to the Jardin du Luxembourg, the Musée Zadkine, tucked away in the greenery of a sculpture-filled garden, is the home and......

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77 rue de Varenne, Paris, 75007

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Square Jehan Rictus, Paris, 75018

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Domaine national du Palais Royal

Park, garden, promenade
Place Colette, Paris, 75001

Created by the Cardinal Richelieu in 1633, the Palais Royal and its gardens, just a short walk from the Louvre, housed royal......

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Quai Saint Bernard - Square Tino Rossi, Paris, 75005

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Street, area of interest
Parvis de la Défense, Paris La Défense, 92400

The district of La Défense, the largest economic center in Europe, covers three communes: Courbevoie, Puteaux and Nanterre. This......

Fontaine Igor Stravinsky

Place Igor Stravinsky, Paris, 75004

Located next to the Pompidou Centre, the Igor Stravinsky fountain designed by the artists Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle......

Jardin des Tuileries

Park, garden, promenade
Place de la Concorde, Paris, 75001

The Tuileries Gardens take their name from the tile factories which previously stood on the site where Queen Catherine de Medici......