Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Start of Paris stay.

Now installed in Paris, staying in a very nice studio apartment near Montmartre, with access to lots of cafés, little restaurants, and the hilltop view of Paris from Sacre Coeur, France's attempt at "saying sorry to God" for the Prussian fiasco.

Looking up from the courtyard.

Looking down at the courtyard.
Interior alley towards the building. At right is an apartment dwelling, looking like it was converted from a previously industrial calling.
Walked through les Tuileries on the way to meet Feng Chen and Bo Chou at the Orangeries Museum. Saturday was the "Nuits Blanches" festivity of art in the streets. Looks like they were protecting the statuary, here, but it turned into a bit of a stone strip-tease.
Love those green, metal chairs and the white, chalky gravel. les Tuileries.
Musee de l'Orangerie, so named because the building used to house orange trees, at the end of les Tuileries gardens. The exhibition holds a permanent display of Monet's "Les Nymphéas", large, panoramic paintings of the water lilies at his home in Giverny (I'm guessing that's where these were painted). The large scale emphasizes the brushstroke textures and the nature of light as color rather than line.
We made several failed attempts at panoramas of "les Nymphéas" with multiple characters.  This is my attempt at appearing appropriately thoughtful in the face of great vision.
Feng Chen looking a bit warily at the camera. She's been filling up her SD cards with lots and lots of photos to bring back home. They went to a contemporary art performance out near the Palais de Tokyo, and we said goodbye after l'Orangerie as I went to sign up for Japanese language lessons and they went to investigate Notre Dame, Shakespeare & Co., the Cluny Museum, and les Deux Magots, or whatever they ended up finding on their treasure hunt.
The work of Chaim Soutine, a prototypical suffering artist of Russian extraction who soaked up the life of Paris with a caricaturist's eye to distorting reality.

I think I met this waiter on a previous trip.
Modigliani. Died at 35, 12 years of intense painting and sculpture.
Matisse, "Les Trois soeurs".
Derain through a window. The current exposition highlights the collection of prominent art dealer Paul Guillaume (1891-1934), who worked primarily with Soutine and Modigliani, and who lived a brief but exciting life after starting out as a mechanic.
The Jardin du Luxembourg is an oasis of book-reading calm in the city. People were enjoying the early autumn sun in the green, metal chairs, shifting to avoid the creeping late afternoon shadows. This place is the perfect outdoor setting to enjoy the indoor activity of reading. You can also watch the tennis players and the pétanque experts, and sometimes the ponies with children on their backs. Park security will make sure you sit only on the approved grass in their never-ending efforts to keep the grounds pristine, the price we pay for order in perfection in France.

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