Quimper celebrates Max Jacob - House, footbridge, bridge


The plaque made by Jean Cocteau

During his lifetime, Max Jacob wasn’t appreciated and didn’t receive any acknowledgment from the people of Quimper but now the town is celebrating his memory.

This plaque made by Jean Cocteau has been fixed rue Saint-François where Max was born.




The bridge and the footbridge illustrate the poet’s love for water in general and for the Odet river in particular.


In one of his poems Max Jacob writes It’s quite a small town but there’s a river, and a river means a quayride and it also means a footbridge. To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of his death which occured in 1944, two artists, Elisabeth Garouste and Mattia Bonetti, were commissioned to design this footbridge. The handrails shaped as a chain symbolize Max Jacob’s sad end in Drancy internment camp. Lines such as Le saumon a la chair rose parce qu’il se nourrit de crevettes (The salmon’s flesh is pink because it eats schrimps) quoted from Le Cornet á Dés (1917) are sculpted into the bannisters.

The Max Jacob footbridge
The Max Jacob footbridge

Furthermore, on one of this footbridge pillars, one can see a portrait of Max Jacob by Modigliani. The drawing appears and disappears according to the tide. No detail has been neglected not even the lamp adorned with small bells overhanging the footbridge, a symbol of the light seen by Max Jacob at the worst of his distress.


Max Jacob Bridge also crosses the Odet river. It’s a very busy road. If you stand on the right side, you can see the cathedral towers, one of the poet’s sources of inspiration but also the house where he spent his childhood, which is situated on the Odet quayside.

Max Jacob Bridge
Max Jacob Bridge




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