Two years without going back to Paris. How would I find the old city? The answer: chaotic, traffic-jammed, invaded by masked nitwits running on electric scooters at 20mph on the sidewalk. But Paris will always be Paris. Notre-Dame, the old “girl”, is still there, doing well. The reconstruction is progressing at good speed. (Paris, July-August 2021)
“Fleur mystique”, Mystic flower, by Gustave Moreau (1826-1898). Critics or art historians label him “Symbolic”. I would call him more a Mythology painter. Many of themes are based on Greek or Roman mythology, or oniric subjects such as this “Mystic flower”. Though a favourite painter of mine, I hadn’t visited his house/museum in a while. Taking advantage of the Health Pass, reluctantly handed to me by the French Gvt, I ran there and found the same magic.
Toulouse-Lautrec,1893, at the Petit Palais.
Joan of Arc, 1865 by Emmanuel Frémier. Petit Palais. The “Small Palace” faces the “Grand Palais” on the right bank. Both buildings were done for the Universal Exposition of 1900 in Paris, at the same time as the Eiffel tower. All were supposed to be torn down after the event. Fortunately for us, they weren’t. Strangely enough I’d never “done” the Petit Palais. Don’t ask me why, it is a gem of a museum. Very eclectic, great pieces. (More in further posts.) Le Petit Palais is standing proof that the early 1900’s were a high point in the history of France. So much ended in the bloodbath of WWI. We never fully recovered, did we?
Off the Boulevard Saint-Germain. Seen a few works of this particular – unknown- artist. S/he normally puts the works high up, which preserves them from scratchers and overtaggers.
Just around the corner, on Rue du Dragon, Dragon street. Compare the two images. And remember: I call Street Art any Art on the street.
The four seasons, by Louis Convers (1860-1915). To the left of the entrance to the Petit Palais.
Paris n’a de beauté qu’en son histoire
Mais cette histoire est belle tellement !
La Seine est encaissée absurdement
Mais son vert clair à lui seul vaut la gloire (Verlaine)
(Paris has beauty only in her History
(But her story is beautiful so!
(The Seine is enclosed so
(But her clear green alone is worth the glory)
The Louvre as seen from the left bank. My first day in Paris always implies running to the River and looking into the green waters. For a while. And go back almost every day.
“Fighting at City Hall, July 28, 1830″ by Victor Schnetz, 1833. The Revolution of 1830 overthrew King Charles the 10th, the last of Louis 16th’s brothers. One of the many successive revolutions of French history in the 18th and 19th century. (Petit Palais). Been more than a century since the last revolution. Hmmm.
Just a door. Paris, summer 2021.
Arc de triomphe. Bloody pigeon charged me a buck and a half for flying into the frame at the right moment.
Boulevard Saint-Michel at the corner of Rue Serpente. (I used to roam those streets of the Latin Quarter as a student there, centuries ago). Let’s turn left.
Poséidon, the Greek god of the sea, in the company of Niké, the goddess of Victory. (Remember the shoes? They just forgot to put the accent on the final e.) Artists are a Spanish duo called Pichiavo. Magnificent.
1910, place of the Opera. Photo by Roger-Viollet. They used to be a major French Photo agency. The founder, Hélène Roger-Viollet was one of the first female photographers to cover the Spanish civil war. (I Learnt something new here…)
Just a door knocker. Rue des Saint-pères. (Holy fathers street) (I could sneak in the streets at night and steal a bunch of those…)
Diana the huntress. Tuileries gardens and the South wing of the Louvre. We were lucky enough to find an Airbnb just across the Seine.
Place de la Concorde, an unusual view with Parliament, the Obelisk of Luqsor and the Eiffel tower. We visited the newly open Hôtel de la Marine which for a long time was the Ministry of the Navy. Closed to the public then. Not’ny more, and the view from the balcony is incomparable.
“Present time”, by René Magritte, 1939. Magritte, another favourite painter of mine, painted this work in Brussels, as Hitler’s shadow loomed over Europe. The eagle with a coat represents the Weimar Republic (already reined in by Adolf H.) We visit the Magritte museum in Brussels any time we go to Belgium. This time there was an expo in Paris. Saved us the trip to Brussels.
Cour du Louvre, leaving the nonsensical pyramid outside the picture. Late afternoon is the recommended time for that pic, as the sun goes down to the west of Paris.
Paris FD fooling around on the Seine in front of the Conciergerie, where Louis the 16th and Marie-Antoinette spent their last months before the guillotine. (On the Place de la Concorde precisely). Breaking news: A spokesman from the Paris FD just assured me it was an exercise… (My foot)
Traveller 999. This lady spent close to an hour staring at this painting in this slightly akward position.
“Dream caused by the flight of a bee flying around a pomegranate a second before awakening”. Salvador Dalí, 1944. Atelier des lumières, Paris. I’d already seen Van Gogh and Klimt at this amazing light and sound show. The Dalí show was superb. (More to come)
“This is not a pipe.” Magritte again. One cannot mention him and not present this major surrealist work. Brilliant.
Travellers 998 (l. to r.) and 997 at the Orangerie against a backdrop of Monet’s nympheas.
Coucher de soleil sur le Pont Saint-Michel. 2021. (As you may know, I’m not a big fan of photo sunsets, but the exception makes the rule, right?)
Thank you for flying on Equinoxio Airways, the only time-space shuttle that stops flying for two months. Captain and crew were delighted to have you on board. Good to see you again. * As Ilsa said to Rick in Casablanca: “We’ll always have Paris”.