April 17, 2016

Henri Travert, Tour Travert / Travert's Tower

picture (2011) via Google Streetview

Replicas of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, more or less corresponding with the original, are favourite items in the field of art environments, especially in France.  

One can see a lot of such replicas in small scale versions in decorated gardens and on decorated walls, but there are also some large scale versions, such as Jaan Alliksoo's replica in Estonia (31,4 m high) and the one by Pierre Avezard, currently in the Fabuloserie, Dicy, France (23 m high). 

Life and works

The creation presented in this post is 16,5 meters high. It is a stand alone construction, situated in the front yard of a modest farm along a rural road in the Pays de la Loire in France. 

The tower was made by Henri Travert, about whom just a few biographical data are available. He was a mason by profession, was born in the early 1930s and passed away April 2021 at age 89.

In 1978 he began constructing the tower, by soldering some 7500 horseshoes together. It must have been quite an undertaking to collect such a number of horseshoes. (As far as I know Travert not just approached farriers in the region, but also military units with horses).

In 1982 the tower was ready. It's inauguration on November 7 was attended by 3000 interested people. Originally painted in a yellow color, in 1989 -on the occasion of the bicentenary of the French revolution- the tower was repainted in the French national colors red/white/blue.

Afterwards not much has happened around the tower, in any case no activities that resulted in publications on the web and it seems this creation has fallen into oblivion.

* In the field of art brut, art singulier, etc in France this creations hasn't got much attention, except the weblog Le Poignard subtil by Bruno Montpied which has a number of referrals to the site.
* A section in the book by Raphael Julian, Histoires insolites des monuments français. (City Editions), 2013, deals with Merveilleux artistes fous (Wonderful crazy artists), viz Picassiette, Facteur Cheval, Abbé Fouré, Bertrand Chenu, Henri Travert, Jacques Warminski and Joël Barthes. The short text about Travert is available via this link.
Article about the site by Sonia Terhzaz on her website Cartographie des Rocamberlus (environments d'art singulier), reporting the visit she paid in June 2017

Henri Travert
Tour Travert
Rue de Montigué
l'Aunay des Vignes
49150 Fougeré, dept Vendee, region Pays de la Loire, France
can be seen from the road
streetview (2011)

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