Square Félix Desruelles, a tiny oasis of greenery

Square Félix Desruelles is located in St-Germain-des-Prés.

Sevres portico in Square Felix Desruelles
Sevres portico

It is ‘hidden’ between the southern side of St-Germain-des-Prés Church and Boulevard St-Germain.

This tiny oasis of greenery is indeed an ideal spot for a break, as it’s tucked away from the busy street, yet it’s right in the heart of this trendy district.

It was landscaped in 1872 on the site of the medieval dwellings that flanked the church.

It was named after Félix-Alexandre Desruelles (1865-1943), who in 1925 sculpted the bucolic fountain located in the garden.

Desruelles was a member of the Académie des Beaux Arts at the Institut de France.

A statue of Bernard Palissy sculpted by Louis Barrias marks the centre of the garden.

The master potter and ceramist of the French Renaissance re-invented the art of ceramics and enameling during the 16th century.

The most spectacular feature of the Square Félix Desruelles, however, is the monumental Art Nouveau portico!

Sèvres portico in Square Félix Desruelles

This portico is affixed on the gable wall of a neighbouring building.

Sevres portico in Square Felix Desruelles
Detail decoration

The prestigious Manufacture de Sèvres* commissioned the sculptor Jules Coutan (1848-1939) and the architect Charles Risler with the creation of an exceptional ceramic masterpiece for the Universal Exhibition of 1900.

The portico was indeed the main the facade of a palace entirely built in ceramic!

Coutan and Risler found inspiration in French Renaissance themes in order to design the decorative features.

These include many elaborate patterns and medallions, where blue and brown are the dominant colours.

These patterns enhance the central medallion, which is adorned with a sculpture representing a young woman.

Directions: 6th district – 168Bis Boulevard St-Germain
Metro station: Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Coordinates: Lat 48.853632 – Long 2.334605


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