Arbre Bleu – The Blue Tree

L’ Arbre Bleu is a superb mural which represents a gigantic blue tree.

L'Arbre Bleu and poem
L’Arbre Bleu and poem

It covers the gable wall of a large building located at the junction of Rue Descartes and Rue Clovis, at the rear of the Pantheon and St-Etienne-du-Mont Church.

The mural was part of an artistic program called Les Murs de l’An 2000 – Walls of the Year 2000.

The City of Paris initiated this artistic project in order to celebrate the beginning of the Third Millennium.

The Arbre Bleu, by Pierre Alechinsky, is one of the 12 murals created for this occasion.

It stands out against the surrounding grey buildings and reminds us that we need to preserve and protect Nature in urban areas.

The tree’s bright and solid blue colour catches the passers-by’s attention.

It makes them look up and realize that there is some blue sky above their heads!

A bright blue frieze, representing charred and sickly trees sadly damaged by the polluted air of the cities, frame L’Arbre Bleu.

The writer Yves Bonnefoy created a beautiful poem in order celebrating l’arbre des rues – the street tree.

This poem is engraved on the building wall, to the right of the mural.

L’Arbre Bleu poem

Passant,
Regarde ce grand arbre
Et à travers lui
Il peut suffire.Car même déchiré, souillé,
L’arbre des rues,
C’est toute la nature,
Tout le ciel,
L’oiseau s’y pose,
Le vent y bouge, le soleil
Y dit le même espoir malgré
La mort.Philosophe,
As-tu chance d’avoir l’arbre
Dans ta rue,
Tes pensées seront moins ardues
Tes yeux plus libres,
Tes mains plus désireuses
De moins de nuit.

Directions: 5th district – Rue Descartes
Metro: Cardinal Lemoine on Line 10 or Luxembourg on RER B
Coordinates: Lat 48.845746 – Long 2.349097

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