Pont Alexandre III. Traveller 989. ‘Idea’? What do you mean?
“Bridge over troubled waters”. (Simon & Garfunkel). Under a bridge on the Canal de l’Ourcq. A homeless tent behind me. Spared from the rain by the bridge above, s/he awakes every morning to this “woman in blue”. The artist? Titi from Paris? A “titi” is slang for a a “cheeky Parisian young boy or man.
“I like form and I do it. But to me form is just a means to express an idea. Ideas are what I’m looking for. I use form to get to what is shapeless.” Aristide Maillol (1861-1944) at the Musée Maillol, created in 1995 by Dina Vierny, his last model.
Da Cruz, Rue d’Ourcq. Strong colours and style remind me of African art. Da Cruz sounds Portuguese. A bit of research: born in 1977 in Paris, he lives precisely in that neighbourhood of la rue de l’Ourcq. (Explains why he’s on every other wall). Has traveled to Latin America and Africa. There you go.
Louis XIII in Le Marais. The street is called: “The mule step street”. Giddiyap.
“Kuja hapa”. Come here, said the Lady to the Cheetah. Canal de l’Ourcq. Posted before. Different angle, different light. (Sun had come out a bit). The idea of light.
The ‘idea’ of a model. Dina Vierny in Maillol’s workshop.
The ‘idea’ of a sketch. Dina by Maillol, early 40’s. Maillol died in 1944 in a car accident. Dina Vierny opened a gallery Rue Jacob. The gallery is still there. She made a living selling art. Got married. Had two kids. And spent the next 50 years or so with the ‘idea’ that Maillol deserved a museum. She turned the idea into reality, the museum opened in 1995. (Time seems to flow ever soooo slooooowly in France) 🇫🇷 . Dina died in 2009. Her idea is a gem.
Aydar in Montmartre. I thought I saw a guy one night carrying a ladder… (The idea of a ladder…)
Medical school, Rue des Saint-pères. “Agnodice, woman doctor, facing the Aéropage”. Around 350BC, she was one of the very first women doctors, and a gynecologist. She pretended to be a man; her practice grew and grew, until her competitors accused her of seducing her patients. To prove that she was a woman she disrobed in front of the “Areopage”, a Supreme court of sorts in old Athens. Of course, she was then tried for illegally practicing medicine, a discipline reserved to men, (when will this stop?) until her patients revolted, and she was acquitted. The following year, a law was passed allowing women to study medicine in Athens. (Thank you “kikipedia”). Texas probably hasn’t heard about that. Oh. Am I confusing the issues here?
“Oficina profumo & farmaceutica”. Perfume and Pharmacy. Somewhere on a Paris street. Wait, wait: below it says “Santa María Novella”. Was that stolen from a church in Florence?
“And I looked, and behold, a pale horse, and the one sitting on it, the name of him was Death…” (Revelation 6:8)
Just a simple façade, “Quoâ”. (An idea of a façade? “Wot”? I’m overdoing it? OK.)
The apotheosis of Psyché, led by Hermés/Mercury to Zeus/Jupiter. A ceiling at Carnavalet, by Le Brun, no less. c. 1652.
Boulevard de la Villette, 1955. By Cartier-Bresson. “First of all, Primior, our daily wine.” Must have been a “piquette” (bad wine). On the right of the black gentleman, is a Peugeot 203. My father had one, which I remember very clearly. The car ended in a ditch with us children inside… Very clear slow motion memory. No harm. Just a bruised arm on my side. Driver was fired.
Louis XVI, (1753-1793) great-great-great-etc. grandson of Louis XIII. The portrait was a gift to Monsieur Lenoir, chief of police in 1778. 21 years before the Revolution. (Musée Carnavalet)
Maximilien de Robespierre (1758-1794) was the head of the Terror during the Revolution (with a few others). He ordered the execution of Louis XVI in 1793. Only to be guillotined homself the following year by his rivals, putting an end to the Terror. A shame that most, if not all, revolutions always end up in Terror, we might use a bit of change right now… (As an aside, I never realized the King and his foe were almost the same age.) (Carnavalet)
Captain, crew, and Travellers, thank you for flying with us to the largest museum in the world: Paris. An ‘idea’ à la Houellebecq. (See La carte et le territoire). I can hear the Italians protesting in the back… Yes, yes, come down, Rome, and Florence and many other Italian cities are museums in their own right. I might go as far as saying that Italy is a museum in itself. But that, is another story, “best beloved”. Arrivederci. Au revoir.