Monday, September 17, 2012

La Tour Eiffel - le détail




Venetian red?
Did you know that Gustave Eiffel originally painted this tower red?


Over the years, the tower has changed colors several times ranging from red-browns to mustard-browns and now to what some have called "milk chocolate" brown.  The official color is "bronze."  It is on its 19th painting, all by hand, which takes 60 tons of paint, 1500 paint brushes and an army of experienced acrobatic painters without a fear of heights!

The tower is actually painted three shades of the same color with the darkest at the bottom and the lightest hue at the top.  Twenty-five painters strip, clean, rust-proof, and apply paint to all 250,000 square meters of the tower taking about a year to accomplish.  The paint cannot be applied if it is too cold or if the tower is wet so the whole process from beginning to end may take 18 months.


Oh, and do not forget the 50 kilometers of security cords
and 5 acres of protective netting!



(Although I am a bit of a risk-taker,
I was not hanging from security cords for this shot)


La Tour Eiffel
75007, Paris

28 comments:

Randy said...

Red, really. I can't imagine it. Wonderful shot!

Sylvia K said...

That is so amazing! I can't imagine red either! What a fantastic capture, Genie!! I do love the angle! Hope you have a great week! Enjoy!

Hugs
Sylvia

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Genie:
We are reminded of this Paris landmark each time we pass, or indeed take a train from, the Western Railway Station here in Budapest for, constructed of iron and glass, it was designed by Eiffel!

Mister D said...

Great post !

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said...

Hi Genie,

I came over to your blog from Joe at Byron Bay.

That is some amazing facts about the famous Eiffel Tower! I just couldn't imagine it previously being red!

Duncan

This is Belgium said...

glad you decided not to do acrobatics for this lovely shot !

Louise said...

Another day, another gorgeous picture. So iconic, so immediately recognisable, even in this different view.

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Very interesting post, Genie! I am now envisioning Tour Eiffel in hot pink, orange, purple.....the possibilities are endless!

M said...

Fascinating! Reminds me of the Golden Gate Bridge paint information! I am especially entranced by the three shades --- ombré --- how fitting! Lovely shot!

Joe said...

It's all in the detail. Fabulous photo. Couldn't they paint it with a brush tied to a long pole?

Sketchbook Wandering said...

I didn't know, thank you, Genie! The first time I saw La tour eiffel I had NO idea of the beauty of the details as in your image here!!

Walter Beckham said...

An excellent documentary is:
"Modern Marvels: Eiffel Tower" (History Channel) (2005)
Netflix has it!

Siobhán said...

How fascinating! Glad to have stumbled upon your blog. I'm an absolute Francophile and adore Paris. Your posts are so interesting and a joy to read!

Kristie Franklin said...

That is amazing Genie. I cannot even imagine how people can climb, hang, clean, and paint this. I would be petrified...frozen in time. HAH :)

Have a great week!

Palomasea said...

Oh my, La Tour Eiffel in red! How very Parisian indeed....
Fascinating, dear friend...and what gorgeous detail you have captured!
Bises,
- Irina

Loree said...

How interesting. I thought the tower was always brown or black. I am sure red makes it look even more spectacular.

Ken Mac said...

sweet!

caregiver said...

A marvelous blog and photo. I love thie little girl just below. I will follow this often. I read you comment on 45 Journal.

Esme said...

I never knew this. I would love to see it red.

orvokki said...

Red!! I had not known..
But what a terrible job to paint this big iron contraption. :)
I do not think it is painted every year?

Your earlier fotots are wonderful.

Hugs
orvokki

Mary said...

Wow! What a lot of work and supplies! But ever so worth it. Of course i think it is.. lol.. i'm not doing the work and don't need that protective netting. :) Though i'm not French, i have a special fondness for the Eiffel Tower. Someday i'll see it 'in person.'..

Alexa said...

Wow—that's a heap o' facts, Sister! And a very cool photo. (BTW, I missed yesterday's post, but you know how I feel about that particular church. And don't you just love the clever premise of that film?)

Jack said...

Bravo, Genie, you have come up with a unique way for us to see this most common sight. And, I enjoyed learning about the painting of the tower. No, this is not a job I could do. I don't like heights.

Harriet said...

La Tour really is beautiful, n'est-ce pas? Love the details in the photo and all the info you have provided.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I already knew that many of my readers did not like heights so I imagined that the thought of painting 1,000 feet in the air would make you shudder.

In the past fifty or so years, the tower has adopted a paint-rotation of every 6 to 7 years. It is worth noting that the tower does not close for the painting and the tourists come and go. All of the tools, including the paint cans, are attached securely to each painter/worker. You might also want to know that there have been no deaths in the painting of the tower.

Jane and Lance, thank you for mentioning that. I think that after I first found your blog that I wanted to find out more about your city and discovered that common architect, M. Eiffel. Merci beaucoup!

Bises,
Genie

Lisa Graham Art said...

Genie this is so interesting! I love this tower...it's magical. My sister is in Las Vegas right now and she sent me a photo of the mini Eiffel Tower there all lit up. So now she's see both the real Eiffel and the one in Vegas. Not me. :(

TheChieftess said...

Red??? Really??? (No wonder Virginia loves La Tour...)
I can honestly say, that that is one job I will never apply for!!! Fascinating stats Genie! And very glad to hear that there have been no deaths in this endeavor...

AL said...

Mon Dieu! Rouge would have been a terrible choice. I think it's just perfect as it is.