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Art Public

Ville de Montréal

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Pierre Yves Angers

Le malheureux magnifique

Presentation of the artwork
Over time, Le malheureux magnifique has become an important visual reference point at the entrance to the Quartier latin. The imposing sculpture, composed of a steel structure covered with a layer of white cement, portrays a larger-than-life figure.

The simplified huddled figure has been interpreted in various ways over the years. The man, with his head resting on his knees and hands covering the nape of his neck, conveys the psychological state of a person who is the main character in a story to be told. The unity of the material, texture, and colour of the artwork serves to both challenge the viewer and highlight the emotional and evocative dimensions of the form. The viewer is free to imagine a victim of social seclusion, someone who is sad, or someone who is simply meditating.

The sentence chosen by the artist to accompany the sculpture tends to divert the attention away from the fictional character and toward the viewer and his or her own psychological condition: “À ceux qui regardent à l'intérieur d'eux-mêmes et franchissent ainsi les frontières du visible” (To those who look inside themselves and thus cross over the borders of the visible).

Inspired by The Thinker and other artworks by Rodin, this sculpture is, to date, one of the most striking pieces in Angers’s body of work.
Associated events
In 1972, a competition was organized by the CÉGEP du Vieux Montréal with a view to providing the façade of its arts building with an artwork. Angers’s proposal was chosen by the people of the neighbourhood and the college community, and the artwork was installed in Place Pasteur in 1973. In 1991, it was moved to the corner of Sherbrooke and Saint-Denis streets in front of the Alcide-Chaussée Building.
Pierre Yves Angers
Pierre Yves Angers was born in 1949 in Montréal. After studying art at the CÉGEP du Vieux Montréal, he had a number of exhibitions in Montréal and New York. He was also vice-president of the Conseil de la sculpture from 1988 to 1990.

Angers is interested in the morphology of the human body. Both of his works on display in public spaces in Montréal, Le malheureux magnifique and Les clochards célestes, highlight his aesthetic concerns.
Fine Arts
Collection name
Public art
Date completed
Mode of acquisition
Purchase directly from the artist
Accession date
June 27, 1991
Assembled; cemented; painted
Cement; iron; paint
General dimensions
340 x 235 x 310
Le malheureux magnifique
Le Plateau-Mont-Royal
Intersection des rues Sherbrooke et Saint-Denis
Civic address
385, rue Sherbrooke Est, Montréal, (QC) H2X 3L1