Views and Paintings

It’s hard to beat a stroll through the Orsay Museum, once a train station that they had to foresight to preserve and use.

A look down at the main gallery from up above. You can see that it was once a train station.

You can see Sacre Coeur on top of Montmartre from various windows.

I love the color of the dresses on these dancer by Degas.

Lots of sculptures to see.

That beautiful clock.

 

Picasso Museum

While I was in Paris I made a trip to the Picasso Museum. I visited years ago when I first moved to Paris. It was closed for years for a renovation and I wanted to visit but the long lines the first week kept me away. I tried again a few months later but upon arriving at 10am found it wouldn’t be open until 11. It now opens at 9:30. So, on a rainy morning I tried again and got in. I’ve read that the setup of the collection is controversial and rather confusing and that there are many small rooms and dead ends with the art rather mixed up. I enjoyed strolling around myself. I especially enjoyed the architecture of the old section. I’m not a huge fan of Picasso. He seems to be a misogynist to be with an obsession with women’s breasts but I have to say that the written explanations on the walls around the museum gave me an appreciation of all he did. His early work before he started taking everything apart and sort of throwing it on canvas is interesting to see. He was very prolific and tried just about every medium available. Interestingly, he applied for French citizenship in 1940 but was turned down because he was a friend of an anarchist. I also read that he and a friend once stole two sculpted heads from the Louvre but returned them when the Mono Lisa was stolen. He lived in France with his Spanish passport for the rest of his life vowing not to return to Spain while Franco was in power.

 

IMG_1116[1] I saw this on a wall in the Marais near the Picasso Museum. I think it’s of Picasso. He always wore the French blue and white sweater. They are sold in the Museum shop for 80 Euros.

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A lovely staircase.

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I thought this was so beautiful.

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Sort of a typical sculpture.

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He didn’t do many landscapes. This one caught my eye because it was of a place called Royan which Maurice and I had just visited. He was inspired by Cezanne and they had a personal relationship. There is, in fact, one of Cezanne’s painting from Picasso’s personal collection, there in the museum. I have to say that I much prefer Cezanne.


A video I took of some metal sculptures by Picasso.

A Chilly Day in the Marais

We’ve had a cold front here in Europe and the high yesterday was 32 degrees. I’ve been sort of nesting in our apartment keeping warm but then getting cabin fever so I bundled up and set out getting off the metro at Saint Paul, the Marais area.These photos are all places and things I’ve taken before but they are newly taken. I’m proud I braved the cold for an hour or so, ending up in a warm coffee place for a hot drink.

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An architectural detail (there are four) called a chimère (an ancient mythological creature) holding up a balcony.

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Interesting grafitti.

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One of those narrow streets that give you the Parisian “feel”.

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I love this door.

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Look at this ancient sculpture right across the street. It probably advertised a shoe maker. I’m glad they didn’t cover it up.

Bordeaux

Maurice and I decided to do something special for our 14th wedding anniversary and, since the city of Bordeaux is nearby and we have never been there, we decided to spend a couple of days there. It turned out to be a fabulous city, really beautiful with ancient architecture but modern art sculpture here and there and a very nice tramway.

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Our hotel was in the old section of Bordeaux, very near this beautiful opera house.

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And there were beautiful windows everywhere.

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I have had canelés before but didn’t know they were a speciality of Bordeaux.

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Don’t they look good? They taste like a baked, chewy custard, vanilla flavored.

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Little known fact: the Spanish artist Goya painted here for many years and died here as well. A statue to remember him.

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Bordeaux was once a walled city and this delightful clock tower still stands. They ring it on the first day that the grape harvest starts and on November 1st.

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The remains of an ancient Roman coliseum. The Romans were here too.

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An amazing sculpture done by a woman artist-I think her name was Sanna. It’s made of metal, huge, sort of flat and, although there are features on the metal like the nose and mouth, it has more to it and looked like a photograph in many ways. Just incredible.