Place de la Bastille Metro Station

Paris, France

Demolished 1962

The Disappointed Tourist: Place de la Bastille Metro, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

Requested by Martin E.

Paris’ iconic cast iron and glass Métro station entrances were designed by Hector Guimard in the Art Nouveau style. Although Guimard’s association with the Métro was relatively brief, starting in 1900 and ending with the rejection of his designs for the Place de l’Opera station in 1904, his molds and rights were bought by the CMP and a total of 141 of his entrances were produced until 1914. Many of the entrances were subsequently demolished as the Art Nouveau style fell out of fashion and stations were modernized. The entrance at Place de la Bastille was demolished in 1965 with the result that none of his free-standing pavilion entrances now exist. The remaining 86 entrances are now protected as historical monuments: six in 1965, the remainder in 1978. The painting is based on an old black-and-white postcard signed E.L.D.