August 09, 2023

Pierre Silvestrin, Musée Idéal des Invendus / Ideal Museum of the Unsold

all pictures (2023) courtesy of Dominique Clement

The image above shows a sculpted herd of elephants added to an outside 40 m² large wall of a house.

This ensemble is part of an art environment located in the hamlet of La Riviérette, which belongs to the municipality of Veilhes with some 110 inhabitants, located in the south of France, about 40 km west of Toulouse.

this image and the next four show
some sculptures in the outdoor area
Life and works

This ensemble of elephants is a creation of Pierre Silvestrin, also referred to as Quinquin. 

He was born on March 28, 1951. After primary school he started working;, first at the age of twelve as a helper in a bakery,and then from the age of fourteen as a house painter.

In his early twenties, in 1974, in addition to his work as a house painter, he also started to profile himself as a visual artist, a capacity that gradually prevailed in the course of years.

Silvestrin's house and studio are located a few km north of the built-up area of Veilhes in the hamlet of  La Riviérette.The property is surrounded by a beautiful, rural landscape near a lake called Lac du Messal.


In his artistic work, Silvestrin mainly focuses on making paintings and sculptures. 

The smaller sculptures are particularly arranged in the interior of the house, which has recently opened as a museum, the larger ones are set up in the outdoor area.
The surrounding images show some of these outdoor sculptures, which include more or less realistic images of people as well as fantasy figures.

These larger creations were made by finishing an iron mesh infrastructure with a layer of concrete. 

The ensemble of elephants

In February 2022, Pierre Silvestrin embarked on a special project that involved transforming a 40 m² exterior wall of his house into an ensemble of sculptures in high relief depicting a herd of elephants. 

On Facebook, he asked friends to contribute to the cost of the large amount of material needed for the voluminous creation, a request that was fulfilled in no time

The Ideal Museum of the Unsold

Subsequently, on March 28 of that year 2022, a lower and an upper space of his house were opened to the public as the Museum of the Unsold.  Silvestrin saw this as a kind of gift for the day he turned 71.

The three pictures around give an impression of the sculptures that are exposed in the Museum. These sculptures usually have a small size and often show people's heads. They are mainly made of clay, found in the vicinity of his house, which Silvestrin kneads into the desired shape with his hands and then details with appropriate tools.

The sculptures and paintings exhibited in the museum are not intended for sale and can therefore be seen as part of the art environment, which also includes the sculptures in the outdoor area and the ensemble of elephants on an outer wall.

The designation Musée Idéal in the name of the museum is reminiscent of Facteur Cheval's Palais Idéal, which in all probability is Silvestrin's intention indeed.

* Silvestrin on Facebook 
* Article (February 2022) on the website Artistes Occitanie, mainly about the elephants
* Entry (undated) on the website Artquid with a series of images of Silvestrin's sculptures
* Entry (undated) on the website Tarn-Agout Tourisme with a short review of he Musée Idéal

* A video on Facebook (May 2022) with a general view of the site 

* A video (2016, YouTube, 5'29") with a view of the studio and the sculptures arranged there

* Another video (2018, YouTube, 1'17") with some sculptures from concrete at the outside

Pierre Silvestrin 
Ideal Museum of the Unsold
1825 route de Viviers
81500 La Riviérette, Veilhes, dept Tarn, region Occitanie, France
visitors welcome to visit the museum
Google Streetview


  1. Merci à Pierre de nous avoir si chaleureusement accueilli le jeudi 11 avril. Le groupe amené par le centre culturel de Toulouse a été enthousiasmé par les œuvres de Pierre. Sa passion et sa gentillesse
    ont fait de cette visite une étape marquante de notre journée.
    "Le groupe de Toulouse"