Six sculptures decorate the Mail Watteau. Six works from the Museum’s collection. Every one of them surprises us with its purity, its grace and its expressiveness.
They include: La première offrande d’Abel (The First Offering of Abel) by the sculptor Léon Fagel. This is a first for this talented sculptor from Valenciennes, whose work had never been put on public display before. Inspired by the biblical tale of the son of Adam and Eve, the artist communicates the physical exertion of the young shepherd who nonetheless serenely offers up a struggling lamb to God.
The graceful Jeune fille assise (Seated Young Girl) is a resin reproduction of a plaster donated to the museum around 1956 by the wife of the sculptor Félix Desruelles. Other examples of his talents that can be seen in Valenciennes are the Carpeaux monument (1910), le Rieur (The Laughing Boy) and the memorial dedicated to the teacher Legrand (1928).
The strength of l’Ouvrier (The Worker) by Lucien Brasseur, complements l’Inspiration lyrique (Lyrical Inspiration) and la Pensée (Thought) , two golden statues by the same artist that already decorated the museum entrance.
A reproduction of the monumental marble statue of Saint Christopher (in French, Saint-Christophe) attributed to the sculptor and architect Pierre Schleiff. Saint Christopher protects motorists and pedestrians; according to tradition, seeing an image of the saint means you will be guaranteed not to die in an accident that day. The sculpture, the only remaining testament to the artist’s talent, was located in the church of the Jesuit college, now the Saint Nicolas Auditorium, until 1979.