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Archive for November, 2011

Christmas Tree in Front of Notre Dame

Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 11:11 PM  posted by Mark

It took 18 hours for the City of Paris to set up the Christmas lights on the massive tree in front of Notre Dame. Blue, as we know from the great prophet Saint Elvis Presley, is the color of Christmas.

Notre Dame with Christmas Tree

Beginning of the Christmas Season

Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 10:11 AM  posted by Mark

As Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Christmas season in the US, the week that coincides with Thanksgiving in France also marks the beginning of the celebration. On a walk to the Gibert Jeune bookstore at Place St Michel, I encountered this lovely light display hanging over rue St Paul. Follow this link to a very brief video:

Christmas Lights Over rue St Paul

And a giant Christmas tree has appeared in front of Notre Dame, though as yet without lights:

Notre Dame with Christmas Tree

Much more to come, I presume.

A Walk to Luxembourg Gardens to see the “Cezanne & Paris” Exhibit

Thursday, November 3, 2011 @ 05:11 PM  posted by Mark

Today, I took the afternoon off from whatever it was I thought I was doing and walked over to the Luxembourg Gardens, to see an exhibit of Cezanne’s paintings, specifically those paintings he made of subjects in and around Paris. The exhibit covered most of his career, but more about that later (here’s a link to a video of the galleries themselves, inside the museum, in case you just can’t wait to see them! I’ll include the link again at the end of our walk, below, along with a few images of paintings in the exhibit).

So now I’d like to take you with me on a little photographic tour from my apartment to the Gardens. It’s a fair walk, about an hour, but the day is pleasantly rainy and cool. Let’s go!

Heading down rue du Chemin Vert from my apartment

Why a graffiti artist in Paris thinks Denver is funky I don't know.

An outdoor market at Place de la Bastille. That's the Bastille colonnade in the background.

 

Crossing to the Left Bank. That's Notre Dame, of course, from Pont de la Tournelle.

The Sorbonne, if you need it. Rue des ecoles, where I was standing to take this picture, features many amazing bookstores.

A fabulous exhibit of nature photography around the outside of Luxembourg Gardens.

 

The Medici Palace, now home of the French Senate.

View of the Gardens from the Senate.

The tranquil Medici Fountain. Hello, lovely ducks!

Statuary litters the garden. Behind this Greek tragedian, the Pantheon rises.

The Cezanne Exhibit

Here’s the link to the exhibit again.

Interestingly, Cezanne painted Paris itself in dull, flat colors, concentrating mainly on forms, and he selected as subjects relatively out of the way boulevards and quays, often just painting the rooftop views from his apartment:

The Parisian streetscapes have an interiority to them that feels quite cold. But when he paints actual interiors in Paris, Cezanne’s colors come alive and his still lifes are vibrant, containing a depth of feeling that’s absent from the cityscapes:

That's Emile Zola's clock. Curiously, the actual clock was exhibited in the museum, as well.

Toward the end of his career, he applied these same vibrant colors to landscapes in the countryside around Paris, working almost in pure blocks of color to represent objects and great swirling brushstrokes to evoke the movement of clouds and the feeling of wind:

Hope you enjoyed the little tour!