Looking Around Père Lachaise


When I was at Père Lachaise Cemetery taking a photo of Oscar Wilde’s tomb I walked around a bit taking photos of other tombs.

img_2637 The sun was about an hour from setting and there was great winter light.

img_2640 This pretty stained glass madonna was in a tomb right behind Wilde’s.

img_2642 This was on a tomb right next to Wilde’s. I didn’t check out the person but it looks like he was a writer for magazines or papers maybe.

img_2644 I wish the figure had been in the sun. Sort of spooky in a way.

img_2645 This is Victor Noir who has become a fertility symbol. Women rub his mouth and his “privates” and leave flowers hoping to have a baby. He was shot in a duel by a relative of Napoleon III in a dispute over an article in a newspaper that Noir had written.

img_2648 The view from the end. He looks all dressed for the opera, top hat and all.

White Christmas

Before heading to the States I made a quick trip to Galeries Lafayette to check out their Christmas tree. It is under their glass dome and is different each year.

img_2650 What you see as you enter the store in the perfume and cosmetic section.

img_2651 The other side. It was made of thick white paper by the way, as was the ferris wheel.

img_2654 Close up.

img_2657 The top from the fourth floor.

img_2656 I went to the fifth floor hoping to see everything from above and found the other side of the dome.

img_2658 So I went back to the fourth floor for this view below.

img_2660 The windows with viewing areas for children. It was polar bears also made of white paper.

img_2666 I took a bus over to Bon Marche just for this shot. They were doing a Christmas with snow theme.

img_2664 I liked their windows better last year. They had snow balls doing various things.

Rather Strange

There are some strange and rather weird objects in a very interesting store called La Librairie Alain Brieux on 48 Rue Jacob in the 6th. All of it has to do with medicine with ancient books and many displays used by medical students or doctors.

img_1947 The displays are all very well done.

img_1944Glass eyes.

img_1953 Pretty red display.

img_1948 Say Ahhhh.

img_1955 Really nice ambiance. A fun place to drop in and have a look.

A Wilde Day

There was recently an exhibit about Oscar Wilde at the Petit Palais here in Paris. I decided to check it out since I am somewhat a fan of his. I read his most popular book, The Picture of Dorian Gray, years ago and it is mentioned many times here and there about someone who wants to stay eternally young even if it means a pact with the devil. I also saw his play, The Importance of Being Earnest, which I really liked. It was full of humor and in the production that I saw the main older woman character was played by a man which added to the laughter. Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland and became a well known writer of many things. He was known for his personality and humor and his support of aestheticism, a way of living a life devoted to the arts, beauty and culture. In fact, he was brought to America to speak on it and dressed the part in short pants and silk stockings, for what was supposed to be for four months but ended up staying for a year doing things like drinking whiskey with miners in Leadville, Colorado. He was wildly popular. He returned to England, married and had two children but eventually ended up in a homosexual affair with a young man, Lord Alfred Douglas, whose father was royalty, the Marquess of Queensberry. First Wilde sued the father for slander but dropped the case but the father had him brought to trial for sodomy and gross indecency. Wilde was found guilty and put in prison for two years with hard labor. The prisoners were treated horribly and Wilde, not a well man to begin with, became ill and passed out rupturing an ear drum. When he was finally released he moved to Paris and lived a live of financial ruin and drank a lot. He eventually ended up in a rather rundown hotel, now the very nice l’Hotel, of which he said “The wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One of us has got to go” where he died of cerebral meningitis on November 30, 1900 at the age of 45, probably as the result of that ruptured ear drum. He is now buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery.

img_2366 Here is a photo of him at the exhibit. I thought it must have been hard to put this exhibit together as he was a writer and there is just so much you can look at in books, etc. I was surprised that the French found him interesting enough to put an exhibit together but he did die in Paris and had plays performed there.  It was rather small exhibit.

img_2371 Here he is in silk stockings.

img_2370 To add some color and interest, they exhibited some paintings of an art exhibit that Wilde had written about.

img_2367 They had many of his original manuscripts and I loved seeing his hand writing.

img_2372 Some of his quotes were on the walls. One of his most famous is: We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.

A few days later I went to Wilde’s tomb in Père Lachaise.

img_2638 Here it is in the late afternoon sun, an Assyrian God. They had to put a barrier around it because so many women were leaving “kisses” on it for some reason. The lipstick was destroying the tomb.

img_2639Closeup.

img_2641 A kiss on the acrylic barrier.

Petit Palais

The Petit Palais (right across the street from the Grand Palais)  was built for the 1900 Exposition Universelle (universal exhibition), and now houses the City of Paris’ Museum of Fine Arts. It is a gorgeous building and you can enter for free to see the permanent exhibits. I went there to see the Oscar Wilde Exhibit which, since it was temporary, wasn’t free.

img_2385 The rather spectacular entrance.

img_2374 One of the ceilings in a round room.

img_2379 There is a lovely gallery outside in the central garden. You can eat there too.

img_2392 Another view.

img_2375 Part of the permanent exhibit. This is a painting of les Halles, the giant outdoor market which no longer exists. So much to look at in this painting.

img_2384 There is one huge room full of pieces of Art Deco and Art Nouveau. I particularly liked the statue of a woman.

A Special Church

In the Marais is a church I have been in many times. I was going to pass on by the other day but the main door was wide open so I decided to go in. It is Saint Paul Saint Louis Church and it is very special. It was built in the 1600’s and the Saint Louis that it refers to is King Louis IX, the only French king to become a saint. During the French Revolution it was turned into the Temple of Reason but restored to its Christian status in 1802.

img_2359 This is what you see when you enter.

img_2360 The dome over the altar. There is a sun at the very top in the middle, the symbol of the French kings.

img_2361 A pieta.

img_2362 You don’t often see chandeliers in a church. Very elegant.

img_2363 A very large painting by Delacroix.

img_2364 Stunning architecture.