July 04, 2022

The Prophet, a work by Louis Derbré, has joined the seafront

After installing XY, sculpture by Philippe Valensi, a new work continues the artistic walk that will lead to the Planches aux Franciscaines. This is the work titled The Prophet, by Louis Derbré (1925-2011), an exceptional clay and bronze sculptor. He made art in the city his artistic project. The foundation which highlights his work signed in 2021 a donation of two monumental works with the City of Deauville. On July 5, the first, The Prophet, was installed in the garden of the sea lays.

© Philippe Schaff

For its author, this monumental bronze seven meters high, “is the realization of a childhood dream that has been close to my heart for more than 55 years. It is unique in the world, by its size, but also by the meaning of its name, which translates a desire to announce a new era. It is the vision of a door always open to infinity..

© Philippe Schaff
The second sculpture, The Watcher, meanwhile, is a four-foot-tall resin sculpture.
He is in a seated position, gazing towards the horizon. The sculptor also called him The watchman.
It will be installed on the remains of a blockhouse located in front of Villa Namouna during July, when its base will be completed.
My sculptures, they are what they are, but we see that they bring hope, wherever they want to give...
Louis Derbre


Nothing destined Louis Derbré (1925-2011), son of Mayenne farmers, to a life as an artist. Laborer in a Parisian art publishing house, he meets almost by chance students of Fine Arts. Their dialogues make him want to express himself artistically. He gets into the business. First success in 1951, he received the Fénéon Prize from the hands of Louis Aragon for the realization of the bust of a student. He then set up his first workshop. He becomes the assistant of the sculptor Emile Gilioli. In 1962, the Hervé Odermatt gallery in Paris revealed him to the public thanks to the exhibition “Rodin, Maillol, Derbré”. Many others will follow.
What marks the course of this artist is his desire to make art accessible to all and to develop a major concept for him: art in the city. He responds to multiple commissions he receives from municipalities in France and around the world and creates increasingly spiritual works. Among his achievements, we must mention that of "The Earth", a bronze 9 meters high installed on Ikebukuro Square in Tokyo in 1972. Or the realization of six monumental sculptures of five meters in height for the Peace Memorial in Tokyo. 'Hiroshima (1997). In France, it will be among others, the great exhibition of the place Vendôme in 2000 composed of thirty-five sculptures. In Ernée in the Mayenne where he settled in 1991, he concretized his project in the most representative way. In addition to the cultural space that bears his name, several works enliven the city.
Officer of Arts and Letters, he received the medal of Knight of the Order of Merit and in 1998, he was made Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honor.
Since his death in 2011, the Espace Culturel Louis Derbré Endowment Fund has perpetuated his work in France and around the world with the ambition of sharing his works with as many people as possible.
The City of Deauville's project to create an artistic promenade to connect the seafront to the Franciscans won them over.


The project of an artistic promenade linking Les Planches to the Franciscans aims to create a natural flow towards the new place of life and culture of the city. The axis chosen to install this walk is the rue Raspail which will have to be reconfigured to accommodate works and allow their observation. Lighting, signaling, development of traffic lanes will soon be studied by a specialist firm which will be selected after a call for applications.
The axis is strategic for the cultural equipment insofar as it crosses the car park of the sea lays where the visitors of the Franciscaines are invited to park. A dozen works should join this walk.


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