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Keep your eyes peeled !

The marine eyes of the Iroise Country

You may have noticed this strange eye, made of glass and ceramics, which sometimes adorns a rock, sometimes a jetty by the sea.
The iris is made up of an electrical insulator, with an array of multicoloured marbles placed in bottle necks representing the contour of the eye. The cornea is represented by a patchwork of small shards of earthenware ceramics.
This eye has no esoteric meaning.
It is the work of Pierre Chanteau, a Breton artist from Carantec, who was granted permission from the municipality to strategically adorn the coastline.

Artist Pierre Chanteau in his studio

So, what is behind the meaning of that eye spying on you ? The artist only wishes that this furtive glance beaten by the waves reminds the walker of the multitude of sailors who have perished at sea and the courageous action of the many Breton lifeboats volunteers, amongst whom it is worth mentioning Mr Aristide Lucas.

Aristide Lucas, 1888-1940

Pierre Chanteau created and anchored 113 similar compositions on the shore of Brittany. A monumental challenge and fine artistic skills, alas too little known.
14 of them are placed in the territory of Iroise Country.
But where are they ?

An original treasure hunt

We suggest you go looking for them. These artist's eyes are more often placed in ports from which sailors and rescuers set sail. But not only : they can sometimes be found on a disused slipway or simply on a wall or a rock on the coast.
They are now part of our heritage.
Look out for them and take a picture. Try to include a clue in your photo to the whereabouts of the eyes. Then invent ( in English ) a short riddle to guide people to their secret resting place. Then send us the picture and your riddle by email to the address below.

If they are accepted by our jury, they will be placed on this page with your name or nickname.

The gallery of pictures and riddles of Internet users

( Beware, the sea can sometimes completely cover the eye you are looking for.)

Photo 1
© YL

Photo 2

( We have not yet received a riddle in English)

Photo 3

( We have not yet received a riddle in English)
Photo 4

( We have not yet received a riddle in English)
Photo 5

( We have not yet received a riddle in English)
Photo 6

( We have not yet received a riddle in English)
Photo 7

( We have not yet received a riddle in English)
Photo 8

( We have not yet received a riddle in English)
Photo 9

( We have not yet received a riddle in English)
Photo 10

( We have not yet received a riddle in English)

Photo 11

At low tide, St Pol-Aurélien
would have landed here in the 6th century
to evangelize Armorica
© Arzhmaël

Photo 12

( We have not yet received a riddle in English)

Photo 13

( We have not yet received a riddle in English)

Photo 14

The tower is the bitter of the land that the sea surrounds©
La Molelle de Touraine

Here are in alphabetical order the 14 municipalities of the Iroise Country where a sea eye has been fixed (this is not the order of the pictures) :

Le Conquet

You should also know that in Lanildut, in front of the town hall, at the foot of the obelisk, other photos of Pierre Chanteau's Iroise marine eyes are on display. Don't miss the opportunity to discover them.


It's up to you. We wish you good luck ! See you soon.

1- Allez, on va vous aider un peu : « Portez votre masque ou fichez le camp ! » Cette énigme qui peut paraître incongrue ici révèle d'une part, et en toutes lettres, le nom de la plage. Comme d'autre part deux plages du Pays d'Iroise portent le même nom, un autre indice permet de localiser celle qui a été choisie par l'artiste.
De même, « Entrez, on pensait justement à vous quand on était dans les dunes » vous donne, grâce à 3 syllabes qui se suivent, le nom et l'environnement du lieu.

Yannick Loukianoff


About the artist Pierre Chanteau : Article de Bretagne Magazine

Visit his website :

L'âge de pierre

The artist has even published a small guide of the marine eyes that he has put on the whole Finistère coastline. It does not reveal their exact location. He just exposes the black and white photos. The reader is thus invited to a real treasure hunt whose aim is to help him discover the Breton coastline.

The book, sold partly to the benefit of the SNSM rescue association and SOS Méditerranée, was so successful that it was quickly sold out. But you might still have a chance to get it used.

Any questions

- Who's on the jury?
We won't give you their names, but there are several of them, including the webmaster.
- Can we send you several pictures and riddles?
As many as you want, the jury will choose what to put online.
- Can we send you a new photo or a new riddle for an eye already on the page ?
Of course, that's even the point of the game. Give us a better picture or a better riddle. The site is alive, it must always evolve.
- Do we need to explain the riddles we've sent to you ?
No, the jury knows the locations of the eyes and must be able to recognize them easily through the riddle, even if it is not obvious at first glance.
- What to do when we think have found the answer ?
Check on the spot if possible, or send us an email to ask if it is good. There's nothing to gain, only the pleasure of having found it. And move on to another riddle, it's a game.
- Can we put a person on the picture or do a selfie?
No. The web page will be seen worldwide and people's faces could be copied and used on porn or malicious sites. We don't take that risk.
- Is there a deadline to participate in this game?
No. The game is open every day 24 hours a day as long as this page is on the Internet.
- Is there a connection between these modern marine eyes and the eye of Horus or the eye of Ra, which were supposed to protect the ancient Egyptians?
No, there is no direct connection. The protective function attributed to the eye and its representation is universal and goes back to the beginning of time. Don't we say ' 'I'm keeping an eye on you'? Recalling the shipwrecks and the missing at sea is in fact an act of protection towards those who take to the sea.

Marine eyes outside the Pays d'Iroise

Some Internet users sent us photos of marine eyes that Pierre Chanteau has taken, still in Finistère, but outside the Pays d'Iroise. They are therefore geographically offside.
But it would be a shame if, having taken the trouble to take pictures of these eyes and to elaborate riddles, their authors could not see them posted on this page. We present them to you below.
Dites-nous si vous les avez reconnues.

Photo 15

La vigie le guette, là où les cabanes
de pêcheurs multicolores
se lovent aux abords du port.
© laCacaquimarche

Photo 16

At the foot of the abbey, in front of the sea
you will be angels ©

Photo 17

Ne prenez pas de sable dans les yeux
pour admirer ces dunes dont le nom rappelle un bonbon moelleux.
© Réjane
Oeil marin trouvé par Anne-Sophie

Photo 18

En face,tu n'auras pas le pied mouillé !
© Anne-Marie

Photo 19

Je veille sur le moulin.
© Orlane

Photo 20

Le ker bleuté des marins
a secoué notre pupille
© Maud, et superbe photo de Marc

Photo 21

Cet œil aurait pu voir le dragon
© Thierry

Photo 22

© Martine

Photo 23

© Gneugneu

Photo 24

© Alain
Oeil marin trouvé par Martine

Photo 25

Foulons le front de mer de la pépite 5 étoiles du sud. © Elisabeth

Photo 26

© Antonella

Photo 27

A caring walk beside Emma. © Claudine

Photo 28

Revenir sur le continent pour pleurer en épluchant les légumes . © Jean-Pierre

Photo 29

Sur l’île on peut lire dans l’œil du Pirate . © Dominique

Photo 30

Au pays des sardines, derrière St-Guénolé, l'œil vous attend à la maison bleue. © Renaud

Photo 31

Face à Ste-Marine, fier comme un coq, l'œil brille tel un phare . © Renaud

Photo 32

Là où le palet se délecte de galettes, vous trouverez l'œil admiratif de peinture . © Renaud

Photo 33
                                    A Rosnoen, l'œil vert vous

Photo 33 bis
indique le passage. © Nelly                                  

Photo 34

La maison blanche aussi a les yeux verts. © Nelly

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