De verdediger van tijd
The Defender of Time
In Paris, on the Rue Bernard de Clairvaux in the third arrondissement, there is a striking work of art. Le Defenseur du Temps, the defender of time, is at once a work of art, a monument and a clockwork. It was made in 1979 by the artist Jacques Monestier, especially for the neighborhood called l’Horloge. The work of art with a height of four meters and a weight of 1000 kilos hangs conspicuously on the facade of an ordinary shopping street, making it extra noticeable to the casual passer-by.
A moving work of art in Paris
The artwork depicts humans, a dragon, a bird of prey and a crab. The dragon symbolizes the sky, the bird of prey the sky and the crab the water. Man stands on a rock, close to the round clock face, where he defends time against the elements every hour between 09:00 and 22:00. For this he has a sword and a shield to protect himself with which he will also swing around. The attacks of the animals are chosen randomly, with no fixed schedule. However, at 12.00, 18.00 and 22.00, the three animals attack him simultaneously. The battle is announced by three bells and depending on the opponent you can hear the rumble of the earth, the sound of the surf in the waves or the howling of the wind. The animals and the timepiece are made of hammered copper and gold leaf,
The artist Jacques Monestier
Jacques Monestier is a French artist, born on July 8, 1939 in the town of Puy-en-Velay. From 1959 to 2011, he creates works of art in which he combines the use of beaten copper figures with moving elements. Well-known works are “The Great Climber”, in which a man climbs a bit every hour and “The Draughtman” in which a life-size figure with a copper face makes a drawing when a blank sheet of paper is placed in front of him. His last work dates from 2011, “The Sunflower”, a 32 centimeter high work of art where a man with a stick walks over a rotating sunflower.