The Méréville estate in the Essonne department is endowed with a new work of art full of light. It is signed by the artist Jean-Michel Othoniel who re-enchants the Pont aux Boules d’or.
It attracts the visitor like a magnet as it shines with a thousand lights, the Pont aux Boules d’or at the Domaine de Méréville in Essonne has undergone a makeover. It is the artist Jean-Michel Othoniel who designed this new work made of metal, wood and embellished with stainless steel beads and gold balls. A few hours before the inauguration, the sculptor came in person to lay the last pieces.
A dialogue with nature
From now on, the bridge which spans the Junee river, is decorated with four large balls of twenty kilos covered with gold leaves, twenty-four pearls and twenty-four rings also gilded, and three thousand stainless steel mirror pearls complete the work.
Known for his glass sculptures, in particular the one that decorates the Palais-Royal metro station, Jean-Michel Othoniel offers the estate a real jewel in perpetual evolution. “From a distance it has the original design and when you arrive you are caught in a cradle of mirror pearls which are reflected to infinity and above all which reflect the whole landscape. You have to imagine that depending on the seasons the bridge will take on different colors different. In the fall it will turn red, in the spring all the flowers will explode. It really is a sculpture meant to live with the landscape.” he rejoices.
Driven by the world of fairy tales, Jean-Michel Othoniel creates works that invite daydreaming and contemplation. This is still the case with the Pont aux Boules d’or. “The bridge is also this idea of connecting two shores and making us meet. It is all the same a garden that appeals to a romantic vision of the world, it is perhaps also intended to make people forget the outside world”, explains Jean-Michel Othoniel.
The surprises of the domain
To design this exceptional contemporary work, Jean-Michel Othoniel was inspired by the original work built in 1784. A wooden footbridge decorated with golden balls created by the landscape architect François-Joseph Bélanger.
With Hubert Robert, the “painter of ruins”, they have dotted the garden with “factories”. Ornamental constructions distributed in the huge picturesque park of Anglo-Chinese style. “The factories were surprises for visitors who roamed the estate since it was necessary to give the feeling of traveling while being in the same place”, explains Fanny Malvezin director of patronage for the Essonne departmental council, before adding, “The characteristic of the picturesque garden was to create something natural but the hand of man”.
The work, located in the heart of the park, between the castle and the water mirrors, was moved several times, then replaced in the 19th century by a cast iron footbridge. The restoration of the Pont aux Boules d’or by Jean-Michel Othoniel continues the estate’s spirit of travel. The new work will, without a doubt, delight walkers.
Classified as a Historic Monument, labeled Remarkable Garden in 2019, the Domaine de Méréville is appreciated as one of the most remarkable picturesque gardens created at the end of the 18th century.
Opening hours: open every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: in April, May, September and October.
From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.: in June, July and August.
Full price: 7€
Reduced price: €3.50 (students, teachers, job seekers and seniors).
Free for children under 12, job seekers
Source: France TV Info