Rodin

The Rodin Museum is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the death of the famous artist, Rodin. The museum is in what was once his home and studio and it is lovely. Because of the celebration, the museum entrance was free and there were even fireworks. We got there at 5:30 in the evening as the lights were turned on and there was a very romantic feeling seeing the lighting outside. Inside they had live music.

The front of the museum with Rodin’s signature lit up.

A painting of Rodin in his later years. He wasn’t a popular artist when he began as his art was too real, not very Greek as was popular in those days. He was very influenced by Michaelangelo after a trip to Italy and I think you can see it. He never actually did the actual sculptures that you see. He did the art in clay and then it was sculptured by experts working with him. He also did a lot of bronze works.

The statue of Rodin seen outside in the garden called, The Thinker, probably his most well known work.

The Kiss is very well known too. This was inside.

Some of his paintings looking very Impressionistic to me.

A pretty chandelier through a window from outside.

Even prettier from a distance.

At the back of the garden was this sign where they had the fireworks. We should have stayed to watch but went for drinks instead.

Vermeer

There is an exhibit right now at the Louvre Museum of Vermeer and other Dutch painters. I love his art so determined to go. Even though I had a ticket for 2 PM, there was a 45 minute wait in a line as they were trying to keep crowding down. Of course, it was crowded even so. Most of the paintings are small and I was glad I’m tall so I could look at them over the heads of the crowds. I was only able to get close to some a few times. I’m sure the best time is to come as soon as they open.

The lobby of the Louvre under the pyramid. The silver tube in the middle of the stairs is an elevator.

There are two covered courtyards where sculptures are displayed. One has Roman, the other Greek.

A view out a window showing the top of the pyramid and a statue overlooking it.

Photos weren’t allowed so this is a photo of a book cover. This is called The Lace Maker. As I said, they had other artists displayed there-two that painted at the same time as Vermeer but, to me, they couldn’t compare to how he painted light.

The Astronomer. This is at the Louvre full time.

Georgia O’Keefe

While in Santa Fe we made a stop in the Georgia O’Keefe Museum. She has long been one of my favorite painters and the last time we were in the area we went out to Ghost Ranch where she lived, to look at the beautiful, unique countryside. The museum is small and easy to roam around. They only display 10% of the art that they have-that’s how much they have. She was from the East coast but visited a friend in New Mexico and fell in love with it.

I like her flowers the best.

She also did art from New York City. The volunteer there said this was painted late in her life and at a time when she was losing her eye sight.

I can’t remember what this was but I like it. Looks like white sand and a sunset to me.

I liked seeing her paints and brushes.

A look at one wall. There was a wall of picture frames that she decorated herself too.

The Vatican

We decided to take a tour to see the Vatican. There was a huge line to get in so we were glad to have a skip the line tour but, still, it was just packed with people. Even with a tour, we had to fight our way through crowds. We did a lot of standing and walking and were just exhausted at the end.

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The entry to the museum.

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A look from the back.

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One of the ceilings. The floors were fabulous too, in fact some of the marble on the floors were made from material taken from the Colosseum and other monuments and are so rare they can no longer be found in nature.

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A room of maps done the old fashioned way, going in person and walking, no views from up above with a drone or airplane.

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One lady in the tour had this little Pope doll and took photos of it in front of everything.

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Inside the cathedral, the Pieta by Michelangelo. It’s now behind a protective screen after a nut climbed up and started hitting it with a hammer in 1972. I saw it years ago before this happened.Michelangelo sculpted this when he was 24! We saw the Sistine Chapel too, by the way, but no photos were allowed.

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Look at this crowd.

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Great dome inside the cathedral.

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One of the Swiss guards, a long tradition.

Amsterdam and Beyond

My son had some business in the Netherlands, a city called Utrecht in particular, which I had never heard of. We made a quick trip there by train for a visit and a little exploration.

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Utrecht does’t have many canals like Amsterdam, just one big one which makes a circle through the city. It’s pretty far below the level of the streets.

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A little reflection from the setting sun.

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Here is a view from our hotel room where you can see just some of the many bicycles. There were very few cars in the city, just some buses and thousands of bikes. Utrecht is a university city with lots of young people. We could sit in the cafe on the ground floor and watch them zoom by on bikes especially around 8 AM, on the way to school or work. Some women had two kids either in a cart in front of them or one in back and one in front, or you would see a mother on her bike holding the shoulder of a child on his bike next to her. Even people holding hands. I really had to watch out on the streets so I didn’t get hit. The streets seemed devoted to people on bikes with special crossings for them at lights and lanes everywhere. At the train station there were thousands of bikes in two level parking metal frames. I didn’t see one person wearing a helmet.

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The next day we went to Amsterdam by train which took about twenty minutes to go to the Van Gogh Museum which was really good. It was really interesting to see Van Gogh’s beginning paintings and how he progressed. So sad he died so young. No photos were allowed so this is from a poster, a self-portrait, of which he did many since he couldn’t afford to pay models.

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There was also an exhibit of paintings and prints done of prostitutes in Paris, around the time of Toulouse Lautrec. There’s a whole history of that time in Paris. Most of the women, if not in houses, were on the streets dressing “normally”, becoming street walkers. Toulouse Lautrec made friends with them and did many drawings of them. Degas did many paintings mostly of ballet dancers many of whom did a little business on the side. Men could come into the Garnier and watch them during rehearsals. It was an interesting display. There were a few photos, etc., that were risqué as you might think. I was especially taken with this bed set in a red room. I couldn’t find information on it but I assume it must have been used by a courtesan, well known women who were highly paid.

Sails of Glass

I read about the new Louis Vuitton Foundation while I was in the States and was looking forward to seeing it when I returned. It’s a new private museum with very modern art and also a cultural center and the architect was American Frank Gehry. It’s next to the Jardin d’Acclimation in the Bois de Boulogne in the 16th. Underneath it is rectangles piled on each other but on the outside it is covered with glass which look like sails. There are 11 galeries, a huge auditorium and, of course, art. It is not my type of art at all. I sort of stop at Picasso and even he is too modern, and prefer the older art but the building is worth the visit to look at even though there is a lot of controversy about it but, then, the pyramid at the Louvre had the same thing.

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It’s very easy to find as you exit the les Sablons metro stop on line 1.

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It sort of looks like a glass arc as you approach from a distance.

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The Louis Vuitton logo is on the outside entrance. It will one day be given to the city of Paris.

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The restaurant inside. It is very small and there was a long line waiting to get inside when I was there.

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There are many terraces starting on the fourth floor with fantastic views.

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A look at art in the lobby, a giant rose.

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A lake outside the museum in the area for children.