Wrapped Monuments


In 1963, Christo wrapped the very first monument, one of the sculptures in the garden of the Villa Borghese in Rome, Italy. In the following year, he wrapped one of the gilded statues on the Place du Trocadéro in Paris, France.

Ever since, Christo and Jeanne-Claude tried to expand the concept of a Wrapped Monument to a much bigger scale. In 1967, on the occasion of the Festival du Marais, the artists proposed to wrap the equestrian statue of King Louis XIII in Paris, France. The project was never realized.

In 1974, Christo and Jeanne-Claude failed to get permission to wrap two of Geneva's landmarks, the Mur des Réformateurs and the monument to Général Dufour. Christo had lived in that city for several months before arriving in Paris in 1958. After moving to Paris, he often went back to Geneva to paint oil-on-canvas portraits in order to earn a living, since his early works were difficult to sell.

All of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's non-realized projects failed because permission was denied with only one exception, the Wrapped Monument to Cristobal Colón, Project for Barcelona, which was started in 1975. After having received two refusals, the permit was granted in 1984 by Pasqual Maragall, the Mayor of Barcelona, but the idea of a Wrapped Monument was no longer in the heart of the artists and Christo and Jeanne-Claude decided not to complete the project.

Empaquetage de Louis XIII - Monument - (Projet pour Festival de Marais - Juin 1967)
Christo
Empaquetage de Louis XIII - Monument - (Projet pour Festival de Marais - Juin 1967)
Collage 1967
22 x 28" (56 x 71 cm)
Pencil, polyethylene, twine, enamel paint, wax crayon, photostat, photograph, map and tape
Private collection
Photo: Archive
© 1967 Christo
Wrapped Sylvette (Project for Picasso's Sylvette at Washington Square Village - Bleecker Str. and Houston Str.)
Christo
Wrapped Sylvette (Project for Picasso's Sylvette at Washington Square Village - Bleecker Str. and Houston Str.)
Collage 1972
28 x 22" (71 x 56 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, wax crayon, enamel paint, polyethylene, twine, photostat, staples and map
Private collection
Photo: Archive
© 1972 Christo
Wrapped Monument to General Dufour (3 Parts Project for Geneva, Switzerland)
Christo
Wrapped Monument to General Dufour (3 Parts Project for Geneva, Switzerland)
Collage 1975
28 x 22" (71 x 56 cm)
Pencil, fabric, twine and photograph
Photo: Eeva-Inkeri
© 1975 Christo
Wrapped Monument to Farel Calvin Beze Knox - Project for City of Geneva, Switzerland
Christo
Wrapped Monument to Farel Calvin Beze Knox - Project for City of Geneva, Switzerland
Collage 1975
22 x 28" (56 x 71 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, crayon, enamel paint, fabric, twine and staples
Private collection
Photo: Archive
© 1975 Christo
Wrapped Monument to Farel - Calvin - Beze - Knox
Christo
Wrapped Monument to Farel - Calvin - Beze - Knox "Le Mur de Réformateur" (Project for Geneva)
Drawing 1977
28 x 22" (71 x 56 cm)
Pencil, charcoal pastel, wax crayon and photograph
Private collection, Europe
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1977 Christo
Wrapped Monument to Cristobal Colon (Project for Barcelona)
Christo
Wrapped Monument to Cristobal Colon (Project for Barcelona)
Collage 1984
14 x 11" (35.5 x 28 cm)
Pencil, enamel paint, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, wax crayon and charcoal
Photo: André Grossmann
© 1984 Christo
Wrapped Monument to Cristobal Colon (Project for Barcelona)
Christo
Wrapped Monument to Cristobal Colon (Project for Barcelona)
Collage 1984 in two parts
28 x 11" and 28 x 22" (71 x 28 cm and 71 x 56 cm)
Pencil, fabric, twine, charcoal, wax crayon, pastel and technical data
Photo: André Grossmann
© 1984 Christo
Wrapped Monument to Cristobal Colón (Project for Barcelona)
Christo
Wrapped Monument to Cristobal Colón (Project for Barcelona)
Drawing 1984 in two parts
96 x 15" and 96 x 42" (244 x 38 cm and 244 x 106.6 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, wax crayon and technical data
Collection La Caixa, Barcelona, Spain
Photo: André Grossmann
© 1984 Christo