Carnavalet Museum Glimpses of the Past

I love looking at old prints and paintings. You can really see what things were like hundreds of years ago. There are some really interesting paintings in the Carnavalet Museum showing Paris as it was in the past.


This is a section of a painting of Geneveve, the patron saint of Paris. The hill behind her is Montmartre. You can see how high it is which isn’t apparent anymore with buildings blocking the view and you can also see all of the windmills which once were abundant there.


This is a photo of some people having a hot drink-I like the cats on their little cushion too. Once coffee, tea and hot chocolate became a more common drink, they had to find suitable cups to drink them from which led to the business of making making china and tea and coffe pots, not to mention coffee and tea shops and, my personal favorite, chocolate shops.


In case you ever wondered what Napoleon III looked like, here he is. He started the use of mascara, but on his mustache, which led to women using it on their eye lashes. A lot could be told about a man politically by how he wore his facial hair or side burns.


This is a painting of a scene from the time of the Commune in Paris when the city was being invaded by the Prussians. A man named Gambetta (there is a metro stop named after him) was escaping by balloon before they reached this part of Paris. I took the photo to show that the bare hill behind the balloon was what is now the hill leading up to Sacre Coeur in Montmartre. There was another building on top then. In fact, to many of the working class people, Sacre Coeur was a sort of insult to them representing the past and how cruelly they were treated. I didn’t know this before but found out the 20,000 people were killed during this time, mostly the poor fighting to keep Paris from the Prussians, and then the French in power after Napoleon III resigned. A bad time in the history of Paris.

6 thoughts on “Carnavalet Museum Glimpses of the Past

  1. I never knew what Napoleon looked like! What wonderful paintings. I love looking at art and discovering the little details…kind of like Where’s Waldo, for grown-ups.

  2. Oh, Linda, I also do this when doing museum crawls. When possible I love to compare images to see which was used as a political statement. As you know the artists’ benefacters’ wishes were often painted “into” those pieces, so we can’t take them all TOO seriously. I once saw a portrait of Napoleon where he appeared quite handsome and manly, and shall I mention taller? I do love all the wonderful glimpses of Paris as you share.

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