“Midday” in Paris

Dalí. Atelier des lumières. Paris. Summer 2021

Alevtina Valentine. First I thought the name was misspelled. But no. She is a Belgian-Ukainian artist. The area we stayed at is full of art galleries. Always the temptation to push the door and ask: “how much?” and go back out with your head down. As a backup, art displayed in a shopwindow is street art, right? Free.

Paul Signac (1863-1935) is less known than Seurat (Afternoon at la Grande-Jatte), though both promoted the “pointillist” approach, a successor of sort of impressionism. Just tiny little strokes of paint with a small brush, “points”, to create the whole picture. Come to think of it, Signac and Seurat invented pixels.

“Disappearing species. Geneva Zoo: one of the last couples of booksellers. Please do not feed.” (Photographer unknown)

Petit Palais. The Seine and its tributaries by Maurice Ferrary (1852-1902). The sculpture was inaugurated as the rest of the building for the 1900 Universal Expo in Paris. One of Ferrary’s last works. Moving.

“Le retour.” “Coming home”, by Magritte, 1940. Early 1940, at the beginning of the war, Magritte is shocked by Hitler’s advance and flees to Paris. Only to be caught up by France’s surrender in June ’40. Magritte goes back to Brussels a few months later, and paints this “Coming home” in occupied Brussels. (Orangerie temporary expo. This summer)

Picasso. Lithograph by Vollard. Petit Palais. Didn’t get the title. Looks like a blind Minotaur led by a little girl. The Minotaur theme is recurrent in many Picasso’s engravings.

“Ariane ma soeur, de quel amour blessée,

“Vous mourûtes, aux bords où vous fûtes laissée?”

(Ariane, my sister, of what love were you hurt,

(To die on the shores where you were left?)

Phèdre by Racine, 1677. Phèdre is the second wife of Thésée, King of Athens, who vanquished the Minotaur with the help of Ariane, and then abandoned her.

Persian Poet, by Gustave Moreau. Late 19th century. Wouldn’t mind hanging this one on my wall.

Opera metro station. Very neat.

“Marble at all cost”, by Isabeau de Rouffignac. Born in 1963, she did this series on marble production in India. India, and Rajahstan in particular, is one the world’s major exporters of marble. (What happened to Italy?) The eyes of the worker above and the squatting position reminded me of Shah, the cook who taught me Urdu. Shukriya Shah.

Magritte. One of his many “Odalisques.” Another painting I could easily hang on my walls. 😉 “What? Millions of Dollars range? Hmmm. 🤔 “

Rue Jacob. This little beauty dates back to the Vietnam war at least, if not Korea or WWII. Several little cuties (a Jaguar amongst others) appeared and disappeared on that street. A collector or a thief with taste?

Monet’s nympheas again. Sans Travellers. Orangerie. In “normal” times, it was practically impossible to look at the entire paintings without crowds in front. This time, even the Louvre was not so crowded.

Sacré Coeur, Montmartre. Always represented – to me – the epitome of Kitsch. But it’s all right. One has to look for different angles…

Courting at “La Mandragore”:

Love those shops.

Down our windows, Rue des Saints-pères. One of the French favourite activities: protest. This one went on and on for many a Saturday. A protest against the Health Pass. Many or most participants wore masks though. And French flags. Though the antivax movement is sheer stupidity, often led by the far right – as in this case – no commentator has picked up the fact that those protesters – as the Yellow jackets – wave a lot of French flags. Blue, White and Red. No analysis, no wondering about the symbol and meaning of carrying the flag… or singing la Marseillaise. (I have the videos…)

Ile de la Cité, from the Pont des Arts. Must have taken this shot a hundred times. The barge has been there as long as I remember but every picture I take is different. A little to the left. A little to the right. Morning light. Not good. Counter light. Early afternoon. Late afternoon. Much better. A good exercise in light. Compare with the one below:

Ile de la Cité, Cartier-Bresson, 1951. Probably in winter. Taken from the same Pont des Arts just a few yards to the left. (This was a much better Cartier-Bresson expo than the one I’d seen two years ago.)

Another Centaur, by César (1921-1998). One of the most prominent sculptors of the second half of the 20th century. He worked with metal. The statue is at the end of Dragon Street. Travellers? Not identified.

“Lack of flair. Walls have ears.” An interesting series of Street Art across the Latin quarter, working on French sayings.

Liberty. More than ever in peril. There are half a dozen such smaller versions of Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty (A gift of France to America a while ago. Might want to remind that to Biden.) All around Paris. This one, in the gardens of Luxembourg where the Senate is located, was the original bronze model that Bartholdi used for the final statue.

Traveller 996 at the Comptoir des Saint-péres. Excellent breakfast. And the owner is a great guy.

Captain and crew hope you enjoyed your breakfast. Grand crème, orange juice, one tartine with butter and jam and a croissant. Until next flight… Stay safe.

94 thoughts on ““Midday” in Paris

  1. J’ai visité récemment l’exposition Georgia O’Keeffe à Beaubourg, superbe. J’ai encore plus apprécié le cinquième étage, Kandinsky, Picasso, Miro, Mondrian, Delaunay, Léger … parce que moins fréquenté et surtout sans téléphones pas très malins. À midi, repas au restaurant en terrasse, splendide ! Encore plus kitsch que le Sacré Cœur et encore de bon goût à mes yeux, la basilique de Fourvière !
    Merci pour la balade d’art, Brieuc, et une belle journée à toi.

  2. I will join you for breakfast and today’s tour! Seeing Monet without throngs of tourists must be like seeing Munch’s The Scream without visitors snapping selfies in front of it.
    I like the surrealist face best – was it the first photo?

  3. I shall
    Be back later to enjoy this post even more – but on my quick take I feel all
    Enriched from the art!
    And Traveller 996 looks like a lady we say at a kiosk today!

  4. A truly wonderful collection of beautiful photos and art pieces, Brian 🙂 Art forces humans to look beyond that which is necessary to survive and leads people to create for the sake of expression and meaning. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely day 🙂 Aiva

    • Very true. Beyond “necessity”. Outside the box in a way. There are many angles by which I appreciate Art, that would be one. Another is what the Art tell us about the people, the times, the place. e.g. Street art in France is very different from Latin America. Asia too was different. San Francisco. (Places I’ve been to recently) All well?

  5. Wonderful, wonderful snapshots that make me want to get on the next flight Brian! Some of our closest friends are enjoying these very same sights as I write. France has done away with quarantines for fully vaccinated Indians just as the UK has added riders. We’re still a bit wary of international travel after the stressful experience of our last minute dash back home last March.

    • I can understand your uneasiness. But last March was another affair. Look at the coronavirus curves in France it seems to be easing. Just Google “coronavirus numbers” you will probably get India. Then select the country. Weather should still be nice. (During the flight you must wear full mask all the time. Doctor’s orders.) (My daughter)

  6. I read your post with pleasure : sight of Paris in various angles without forget l’Ile de la cité que dominait la flèche de ND de Paris before the fire.
    I think you are among the few Amercans who know who gave the statue of Liberty in New York harbor ! 😉
    In friendship

  7. I have to admit to knowing very little about art, so I find your posts intriguing. They are a fascinating learning curve for me. The unicorn grabbed my attention straightaway. The Parisian scenes and people are a joy also. Anymore to come?

    • Glad for the learning curve. Art has always been an attraction to me. (Though I’m Business major)
      I already have 4 or 5 posts ready. I only post once a week. But I take advantage of free time to write in advance. A bientôt.

  8. A very engaging and intriguing set of photos! Is the header photo Mae West? I have two favorites from this group: “Ile de la Cité, Cartier-Bresson, 1951″ and “Le retour.” “Coming home”, by Magritte, 1940.”

  9. I missed a lot of your wonderful posts. I thought you took a break, but then I found out that you are not on my list of blogs anymore which I am following. It happened to me before with blogs and also to other bloggers with mine. I hope I did not write anything to offend you so that you cut me off?

    • Haha. I would never cut you off. Warum? I just did take a break, and as it happens to me one has to follow again, a weird WP thing. The summer break in Paris was nice. How was your summer?

      • Yes, Paris, sigh … We didn’t travel at all with all the rules changing all the time. But, we have a caravan now and did explore Denmark a bit more. There are some nice corners in this tiny country. Maybe we can soon go to Germany again. Norway has opened up to us.

      • Travel was complicated this summer, despite all precautions. Though we were vaccinated, the French government nearly barred us from eating out with their stupid health pass. Museums were indeed closed to us for two weeks. But yes, even “tiny countries” have a lot to offer. Just another way to travel. I hope you can go to germany soon. You still have family there? Or did we talk about that? (Vague recollections)

      • Good that you could do something, because I thought that they had sharpened the rules again in France last summer.
        I have an older brother in Germany, but we are not on speaking terms. However, I have several friends in my hometown Hamburg.

      • Yes, they tightened the screws. A usual. France is now becoming a country of “verboten”… SAdly.
        I thought there were some family issues. Sad too, but nothing that can be done generally.
        Good that you keep in touch with your Hamburg friends. I have a very old friend there.

      • A family member is not necessarily also a friend … 😉 … good for all those, who get along well with their parents and siblings etc. I always had very good friends instead, so I am grateful. 🙂

      • Exactly. One does choose one’s friends. (Having said that, I didn’t talk to my eldest brother for 25 years or more. We’re patched up now. But not very close.

  10. Beeing more or less alone in a museum/ the time slots is one of the few things I found to like in these odd times. It is nice, to actually see the artwork … And could it be, that most of your travelers are female? I honestly never noticed before …

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