Thursday, June 19, 2008

Paris: Art in the Fontaine (de Medicis)

I've shown you a photo of "Art-ful Waters of the Jardins du Luxembourg" once before, a shot taken May 2005. In 2006, I took this next shot, perhaps my all-time favourite Paris photo (favourite of my own shots, that is). The work, "De Part de Venus" is a stunning, free-floating sculpture by a Swedish artist, Lotta Hanerz. That May, we happened along just as she (at least, we assumed it was the artist) was finishing the installation -- she was wearing hipwaders and had set her boots aside.

This year, the Fontaine de Medicis served as host to another beautiful floating sculpture, La Pirogue, by Polska, who you can learn more about on her blog and see more pictures of this work. Here you can see the boat-shapes floating, one in the left foreground, one centre back, and one about midway up the pond on the right.

Here's a closer view of the foremost sculpture. This photo begins to capture some of the beautiful play between the suggestive darkness of the water (still waters and all that, you know) and the apparent fragility of the bound-together twigs, which nonetheless suggest a certain tensile strength. You can also perhaps see a hint of the role that reflection plays in this work, with the changing skies making a considerable difference. And, of course, any wind creates ripples on the water and shifts the pirogue's position. Mesmerizing.

I have more photos ready for another post on the Jardins. Hope you don't mind, but as David Downie writes, "A day spent loitering here teaches you more about Paris and its inhabitants than many a scholarly tome."


  1. The pictures are just lovely, and your commentary is insightful. Did you study art at some point?

  2. Jillian: Precisely!
    Pseu: Aren't they? I've just looked over them again, and I love the consistency of tone, all those earth colours, that are still somehow very Parisien. And thanks; no, but I'd love to take a course or two -- oh, for another lifetime, right?!

  3. What lovely photographs: the colors and the visual layout of the pictures is interesting and evocative even if one has not seen the original site. The art is quite interesting and provocative too, sparking a desire to hop off to Paris and while away an afternoon or two or three.

  4. Thanks, Mardel, and yes, if you haven't caught the Paris bug yet, I'll certainly be trying to pass it along -- you'd love Paris!

  5. Ahh, but I do love Paris! But Madrid was my first love. I didn't get to Paris until later and now they vie for my attention. Unfortunately health issues for my DH have kept me from traveling (except to see the grandchild) and for the moment Paris is destined to be more of a dream than a reality.

  6. Mardel, we haven't yet been to Madrid, but are hoping to visit there in the next few years. But we're ever mindful that health or other events/circumstances may curtail our travel eventually, and we savour each and every trip while we're able to.


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