Location: Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile, Paris, France, (48� 52′ 25.68? N, 2� 17′ 42? E)
Date: 2 March 2006; 1.30pm
Camera: Canon 300D with Sigma 70-200/f2.8
The Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile is one of the few Paris landmarks that I have always wanted to visit when I was in that city. I have seen so many photos and read so much about this monument and it was not a disappointment to be at the site. The Arc was built over a long period of time mainly as a monument honouring those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. There are four sculptural groups at the base of the Arc, the most famous of which is the The Departure of the Volunteers of 1792 (or “La Marseillaise”). This composition depicts the French people rallying against enemies from abroad. This grouping so aroused spectators’ patriotism that the work became known as “La Marseillaise,” the French national anthem written in 1792–the same year as the departure of the volunteers. The sculpture is so vivid and alive that by itself, it is a precious work of art.