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Gabriel Albert, Sculpture garden

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About the Artist/Site

As a youngster, Gabriel Albert dreamt of becoming a sculptor, but to earn a regular livelihood he eventually became a carpenter in Nantillé, in the southwestern Charente Maritime region of France. When he retired in 1969 at age 65, he was finally able to give way to his passion.

Albert began making figurative sculptures and busts, applying cement to iron frame infrastructures. He placed the works in the garden around his hand-built house. Most of the 420 sculptures he eventually created represented anonymous people going about everyday tasks, but he also produced some statues of political personalities, celebrities, and characters from fairy tales, basing his depictions on magazine photographs.Around 1989 Albert became ill and reserved his energy for maintaining the site rather than creating new works. Before his death, he sold all of his work, for a symbolic amount, to the community of Nantillé. An Association of Friends became active in promoting protected status for the garden, and as a result in 2011 the site became classified as a Historical Monument. In 2017 a restoration campaign was announced, which will include the filling of cracks, the removal of moss growth, and the application of wax to protect the sculptures.

~Henk van Es

 

Map and site information

Not Exact Address
Nantillé, Poitou-Charentes, France
Latitude/Longitude: 45.871097 / -0.491688

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