Statues - Hither & Thither

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Place du Martray

Ernest Renan

Tréguier 1823 - Paris 1892
French expert of Middle East ancient languages and civilizations, philosopher and writer, devoted to his native province of Brittany.
Jean Boucher
J. Malesset (Paris)

Tréguier /  Ernest Renan   Tréguier /  Ernest Renan


Bronze statue of Renan sitting on a bench. Behind the bench stads a women, representing Pallas Athene, the Greek goddess of wisdom.


né à tréguier le 27 février 1823

on ne fait de grandes choses qu'avec la science
et la vertu — la foi qu'on a eue ne doit
jamais être une chapine — l'homme fait
la beauté dece qu'il aime et la sainteté
de ce qu'il croit... e.r.

On the pedestal is a bronze plaque:

de sa mort
en 1992

hommage des trégorrois

Signed: (statue) Jean - Boucher
Etablts Molz J. Malesset fondeur Paris 1903
(bronze plaque): j.y. prud'homme maître-artisan bronzier d'art à Tréguier


Inaugurated 13 September 1903.

Renan was the author of the enormously popular Vie de Jésus (Life of Jesus). This book's controversial assertions that the life of Jesus should be written like the life of any historic person, and that the Bible could and should be subject to the same critical scrutiny as other historical documents caused some controversy, and enraged many Christians. Placing Boucher's statue of Renan on Tréguier's cathedral square, was interpreted as a challenge to Catholicism, and led to widespread protests, especially because the site was normally used for the temporary pulpit erected at the traditional Catholic festival of the Pardon of St Yves. It also included the Greek goddess Athena raising her arm to crown Renan gesturing in apparent challenge towards to cathedral. The local clergy organised a protest Calvary sculpture designed by Yves Hernot as "a symbol of the triumphant ultramontaine church."


Sources & Information


  • Country: France
  • Athena / Minerva
  • Boucher, Jean
  • Malesset (Paris), J.
  • Man (sitting)
  • Philosopher
  • Renan, Ernest
  • Statue (man sitting)
  • Writer / poet
  • Locatie (N 48°47'14" - W 3°13'52") (Satellite view: Google Maps)

    Item Code: frbr015; Photograph: 27 May 2012
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    © Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt

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