A midsummer’s Paris daydream


King Tut’s guard, Egypt, Egypt, 1327 BC. “Egypt? Scotty? Can you check your orders please?”

“Oh. Paris, Captain? Ever so sorry. Which century, Sir?

“19th to 21st, Scotty.

“Roger that.”


Suzanne Valadon’s workshop, Montmartre, 21st century. Suzanne Valadon (1865-1938) was a model – to Puvis de Chavannes, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec – and painter. Her workshop and apartment has been very well preserved at the Musée Montmartre, Rue Corot. Note the jug and washbasin for “minor” washing.


“Major” bathing, by Suzanne Valadon, late 19th, early 20th century. In 1945, after WWII, half the lodgings in France had no running water… I wonder whether that sketch or the painting above are originals. They could well be. But there is no security whatsoever, not even a camera. Such a small sketch could easily be snatched. They might be copies as in Monet’s workshop in Giverny.


Travellers 10. “Scotty, back to Montmartre, please”. (Scotty has been a tad distracted since he came back from fishing in 17th century Scotland. Need to have a word with him. His Rrrr’s have also thickened.)


Elégantes in the streets of Montmartre, late 19th, early 20th century. (c)ourtesy Musée Montmartre. Mary Poppins lived nearby as an au-pair for a short while. “Scotty, up a notch to the 21st century, if you will.”


Montmartre, 21st century. “Thanks Scotty. Please hop to 19th century Netherlands.”

IMG_5469-Boer 1885

Dutch peasant woman. Vincent Van Gogh, 1885. Emil Bührle collection on loan at the Musée Maillol. I’ve already mentioned the darkness of Van Gogh’s earlier works. Compare to this later portrait of a young man:


Atelier des lumières, Paris, 21st century.


Traveller 11. Notre-Dame-des-champs.

IMG_5465-Emil Bührle Offrande 1902

Offrande, the offering. Gauguin, 1902. Emil Bührle collection at the Musée Maillol. A very rare Gauguin, privately held, and possibly one of his last works: he died in 1903, a year later, in the French Marquesas islands.



Travellers 12. The café I had lunch in was a fantastic time-space spot.

“Yes, Mr Spock?”

“Time for lunch break, Sir?”

“Absolutely, absolutely. Thank you Mr Spock for reminding me. Scotty, please beam me down at my usual Paris location. Spock will join me.”


Four kinds of cheese, including an indispensable Saint-Nectaire. Three kinds of paté. Radish. Salad (to the right of the picture). Baguette. Perfect combination. Spock downed half the bottle of Bourgogne-Passe-Tout-Grain. And I thought Vulcans didn’t drink.

IMG_5395Tante Lucie 1892

Aunt Lucie, Maillol, 1892. Musée Maillol. I already mentioned that Maillol is better known for his sculpture. But his drawings and paintings are… faultless. This work has a ring of Norman Rockwell, does it not, Spock?


Dina Vierny and Maillol, c. 1935. Dina, a Russian émigrée, was 15 when she met Maillol for a modelling session. “I came for half an hour and I staid 15 years”, she later wrote. She was Maillol’s last model and muse. After Maillol died in 1944 at the age of 83, Dina dedicated the rest of her life to the memory and preservation of Maillol’s heritage. She opened an art gallery in 1945, got married, had children of her own, two of which now work at the Musée Maillol she fought for years to set up. The museum opened in 1995. Half a century after Maillol’s death. She died, age 90, in 2009.


IMG_5436-Dina assise-A

Dina Vierny by Maillol.

“Scotty? Ready to warp?”

“Ready, Sir.”


The 53 stations of the Tokaido. Utagawa Hiroshige. Musée Guimet, Paris. Hiroshige was born in Edo – now Tokyo – in 1797. Along with Hokusaï, he was one the masters of Japanese print-blocks. Commodore Perry “opened” Japan in 1853 by a show of force that changed Japan forever. Hiroshige died in 1858. So he probably saw a few of the consequences of the “opening” to the West. The print-blocks were later widely distributed in Europe and drastically modified the perspective of many European painters, from Monet, to Renoir, to Van Gogh to Gauguin et al. One can definitely say Western art would not be what it is without this Japanese influence.


Cour carrée du Louvre. I am sorry to say that all the outside statues at the Louvre are covered in dust. So much unemployment and they can’t pay someone minimum wage to dust the statues at least once a week? Sigh.


Female divinity, Angkor, Cambodia, c. 12th century AD. Musée Guimet, Paris. Compare to the French 17th-18th century version above. Two styles of representation.


Travellers 13. I have experimented lately with colour inversion. (Spock asked me “What for?”) Flea market, Porte de Vanves, 21st century AD.


Maillol’s Three Graces, garden of the Tuileries. Dina probably posed for one of the Graces, an old Greek motif. (Had to look it up): the Graces, Gratiae in Latin, Charites in Greek, were the goddesses of charm, beauty and creativity. Hmm. I like that combination. Would charm and beauty be the source of creativity?


Pont-Neuf in the afternoon. For best pictures of the bridges and Notre-Dame, go in the afternoon. Best light by far.


The pyramid vortex at the Louvre.


The only Bouquiniste in Paris with a land line. Doesn’t have a cell. I asked him. Also asked for permission to take the photo. Do. Not. Take. Pictures. Of the boxes or images without permission. They get very annoyed. (They sell the stuff). Note the titles to the right: William Shirer’s Third reich, the Manifesto of the Communist Party by Marx and Engels.

This land line is also very useful for Spock as a reference point to fine tune the ship’s location in Paris.

Captain and crew wish to thank you for flying Equinoxio’s Time-Space shuttle. A longer flight than usual…

Oh? Excuse me, the phone is ringing. Gotta go.

84 thoughts on “A midsummer’s Paris daydream

    • I haven’t been back home a month and I could easily fly back to Paris… 🙂
      More? No worry, there’s plenty of material to come. Haven’t processed half the pix I took yet. Have a great week-end Gigi.

    • Haha! But your phone is in a house I gather. This is a book box along the Seine! How on Earth did the Bouquiniste get a land line phone plug. The boxes are placed on stone walls. With fossils. Glad you liked it Dina.

      • Yes it was our landline.We got rid of it last month,because the copper cables get stolen everytime it is replaced.We have given up and are now on fibre which gives us a more stable internet and house phone on wifi as well.I still have the instrument, a lookalike of the one that you posted.☺️☺️

  1. My head is spinning from all this time-space jumping. And so many FATs… 🙄 Uhm, actually it may be this cold that never seems to pass, it’s been a month already (again, just like same time last year).

    I do fancy the two inverted graces just above the three (not so) graces though. 😛

    Oh and, wine and cheese – what could be more french than that? 🙂
    Enjoy your Sunday! 😉

    • Multumesc Dragos. Hope your cold is better. (Just started one…) A month is a long time. The two inverted Graces were quite pretty and elegant to a T. I will go through that vortex and uninvert them fro a post one day. Take care.

      • Darn, you’d think humanity would wisen the F up in so many centuries and do away with such petty schemes like inventing various diseases to boost the medical industry, but apparently not. How did you call it: market economy? Better call it market inhumanity coz that’s what it is, plain and simple.
        C’mon, do get well soon! 😉 I’m almost out of the woods, no thanks to the expensive placebo medicine I was sucker enough to buy. Never again – vodka rules! (couldn’t find the time and drive to go buy the much better – and cheaper, since it’s unofficial – ţuică or palincă)

        As for the inverted girls, I had already reverted the inversion. Whoever can’t do that at home is a… Hehe, just kiddin’. 😀

        And another week went by… Be well, have a wonderful weekend cher ami! 😉

      • Thanks, my cold still kicks every now and then, it’s a stubborn one, worse than last year.
        I’m used to DIY, poverty is a very good teacher. 😉
        Yep, palinca is the strong one (70+°), ţuica is at about half that. 🙂

      • Intuition, inspiration, creativity, originality… Yeah, there’s definitely nothing wrong with DIY. 🙂

        Regarding strong spirits I guess we could always be in top five… at least. 😀

  2. Goodness! That was a lot to take in. I think I’m a little time-travel sick. I had to laugh at Travelers 12. The expressions on their faces reminded me of a ridiculous sketch I watched last night in which James Corden and a fully-costumed cast staged the major scenes from “Les Miserables” on a Paris crosswalk. The expressions on the faces of the Parisians witnessing the spectacle were an exact match for the Travelers 12’s.

  3. Whew! All this time traveling is making my head spin! It is absolutely fascinating to contemplate the enormous influence block-print and Japanese aesthetics had on the impressionists. Most obvious in Monet’s work, especially his bridges. Excellent tour of Suzanne Valadon’s place and thank you for introducing me to her artwork which I find intriguing.

    • Haha! A few passengers have mentioned a slight head spin. It is a normal consequence of time-space travel. Nothing a glass of Moulin à vent can’t cure. If you don’t find it in your local store, settle for a glass of Bourgogne.
      Thanks for your visit and comment.
      Valadon’s work is interesting. So is her son Maurice Utrillo’s.

  4. I don’t know why but I just loving seeing what the workshops of these artists look like, even current workshops. So interesting to see where and how the art is made. I love the sour look on the two ladies faces. And I just love Egyptian anything. The art is so interesting and beautiful.

    • Egyptian anything is a good concept. There was a time when the Egyptology section at the Louvre was the only one I ever visited. 😉
      And I do agree about the workshops. It’s like an insight on where and how they lived. With just a furnace for the winter. When there was money to buy coal. No hot water. Had to boil it. Fascinating.

  5. Ha! Saint Nectaire is indispensable fromage indeed. I will have to check out that Maillol museum if I ever make it back to Paris. I had no idea there was a museum dedicated to him there. I think that Travellers 10 is my favorite of the series. I love the warped effect. So good to savor your vibrant posts again, mon ami!

    • It is one of my favourite cheeses. I am partial to Auvergne cheeses. The Musée Maillol is relatively new. (20 years or so) and I’d never been able to come in for one reason or the other. Very well put.
      #10 does turn around. Effect depends on the line and how old the train are.
      Good to be back in touch J.

  6. enjoyed the flying Equinoxio’s Time-Space shuttle…I’m hungry and the cheese and baguette looks delicious in this moment…such an vibrant look…feels like I’m there Brian…have a joyful day 💫 smiles hedy 🙂🙃

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