SPACES Mourns the Passing of Julio Basanta


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. At this writing (spring 2011), an association of friends is actively promoting protected status for the garden, which will allow it to be open for visits by the general public.

~Henk van Es


Map and site information

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


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