For years, we stood in line at Musée d’Orsay, considering these six onyx figures on the esplanade. All women, tribal, most naked to the waist, individual and unique, but who were they?
Our curiosity revealed these as representations of the six continents from the Paris Worlds Fair of 1878.
From left to right:
l’Europe (Alexandre Schoenewerk)
l’Asie (Alexandre Falguiere)
l’Afrique (Eugene Delaplanche)
l’Amerique du Nord (Ernest Eugene Hiolle)
l’Amerique du Sud (Aime Millet)
l’Oceania (Mathurin Moreau)
Like some of the best works in Paris (i.e. Winged Victory of Samaranth à la Louvre) these were reclaimed after being discarded (from a public dump in Nantes)