The orange trees have gilded bronze trunks bearing exquisitely delicate leaves and fruit created from Sèvres porcelain. A fascinating, fragile work, whose poetry resonates with the Château’s walls, tapestries and history, reflecting the artist’s taste for the celebration of the beauty and mystery of things. The boxes are of Limoges biscuit porcelain and the blue plates in Sèvres porcelain. The various sizes of barbotine oranges were created in Limoges.
“Five biscuit porcelain tubs represent the five continents, bathed by the five (Sèvres celestial blue) oceans.
Cabochons set at the four corners of each tub/continent represent the High Places of the Earth that humankind has created, works that touch the sky: Delphi, Machu Picchu, Mont-Saint-Michel, Easter Island, the Pyramids of Giza, the Taj Mahal, and so on.
Their summits appear worn away, rounded by long contact with the sky.
Bronze orange-tree trunks represent the earth’s atmosphere.
The bronze and brass plant mass represents outer space, the universe occupied by all the stars, embodied here by barbotine oranges, large ones for suns and small ones for planets.
Hence, visitors behold the whole earth and its high places reflecting in all the oceans; at the same time and from the some distance, they perceive the universe in its entirety, while still standing outside the universe (you are here).
This work is a metaphor for an inverted world where the light and fragile supports the heavy and solid.” Marc Couturier
Marc Couturier was born in 1946 and lives and works in Paris. He is self-taught and came to art rather late in life, at the age of thirty-eight. He first exhibited his work in 1985, at the first edition of the Belfort Sculpture Biennale. The piece he presented there, Barque de Saône, was the first in his emblematic series of rivercraft evocative of the River Saône’s boatmen. The installation levitated a water-filled “found” barque above the ground. In 1989, he took part in the legendary Les Magiciens de la Terre (Magicians of the Earth) exhibition at the Centre Pompidou. Embarked on in 1991, his “drawings of the Third Day”, executed in lead pencil and silverpoint, evoke the Creation in Genesis. This “manmade” work is complemented by the monumental “Lames” (Blades) series, which includes the Flamme de la Liberté (Flame of Liberty – 2001), located in Tokyo Bay and commissioned as a celebration of Franco-Japanese friendship, and Tremblement de ciel (Skyquake – 2007), presented near the Centre Pompidou-Metz (26 metres high, 17 tonnes and covered in gold leaf).
He has also accepted a number of sacred art commissions, including the stained-glass windows for Saint-Léger Church in Oisilly, the Cross and the Glory for the chancel of Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the altar for Saint-Denis du Saint-Sacrement Church in Paris.