Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Another Paris Postcard: Bad News/Good News


So, let's start with the bad news, and get that out of the way. . . Yes, against our faint hopes, our train tomorrow has been cancelled due to the SNCF work action. Luckily, we'd backed our trip up with bus tickets, so we get to sample that mode of transportation tomorrow morning. . . .

As well, there has been one torrential downpour, part of an impressive orage (thunder!! lightning!!) that sent us scurrying for shelter (in a café -- camaraderie with others who had failed to carry an umbrella or order a rowboat. Wine as well -- not such a bad way to wait out a storm).  . .  Not going to tempt fate, but I survived that sans raincoat or umbrella or anything more than Birkenstocks on my feet, so I'm not (yet!) regretting my packing. . . .

Today (we've moved over to the Good News already), I was back to enjoying the comfort of a linen dress, no back-up other than that scarf, in the beautiful Jardin Café of Le Petit Palais.

We lunched there after our third art exhibition in three days: Russian Avant-Garde at Pompidou Centre,
Mary Cassatt at Musée Jacquemart-Andrée  -- where I sketched these beasts before and after lunch -- the museum restaurant there is a must-visit, such a gorgeous room.

Sorry, I see I didn't hold the camera steady and those palm fronds are not well focused. . . 
And then today's exhibition at Le Grand Palais (right across the street from Le Petit Palais where we had lunch) -- a wonderful show, if challenging: huge collection of works spanning his career, his important turn from figurative realism to brilliant, rigorous, intellectual abstraction which is, nevertheless, aesthetically satisfying, emotionally engaging -- his work with colour, line, form is so moving to see develop over the decades. Truly a tour-de-force.  And I was so tickled to see Duchesse write about one of the paintings she enjoyed at the same exhibition, only days ago. We'd hoped to meet up but her flight was leaving CDG just about when ours was landing. . . . Nice to stand in front of the same painting this afternoon and feel her spirit there. . .

And if I were to share a favourite painting from the exhibition, much as I appreciated and enjoyed Kupka's abstracts, I couldn't help but love this tableau (included, I think, in the category of his allegorical or symbolic realist work). It's called Les Joies, and I love it for the way the women seem to be glorying in their own sensual carnality or at least corporeality -- they're not posed as objects for a male viewer, as I see them, but rather as subjects in their own right, engaged in pursuits that please them. . .

It may seem that we're spending all our time indoors viewing paintings on museum walls, but my iPhone shows that we've put between 10 kilometres and 17 kilometres of shoe leather on the streets of Paris. . . Lots of soaking up and making notes and taking photos is happening, but the reportage may have to wait. . . Hope you enjoyed this snippet.

Now it's time to figure out where to eat, this last evening in Paris before we're back here at the end of June. . . À tout à l'heure. . .


12 comments:

  1. Eat at le Square Trousseau. Small, cute, authentic. rue Antoine Vollon, near the Bastille.

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    1. Duly noted -- thanks! We're not back in Paris until the end of June and just for a few days, but I'll make sure to check it out.

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  2. This post is just full of wonderful things...I'll respond as we (maybe just me?) did as a child when writing letters...point by point, in order...

    I see from Instagram you have treated your bus trip as a photo op (those clouds!)...the scenery does fly by awfully (too) quickly on the train. Slower can be better, in some ways.

    I have added Jardin Cafe to my list for 'next time' and your dress is just right.

    You are becoming a master in your use of greens in your watercolours...it adds so much to your sketches.

    That painting! The face on the pony...I think/hope they are going to ride into the sea...

    Bonne journée...

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    Replies
    1. I did that point-by-point letter-answering as well ;-)
      Thanks for all the kind words -- I am so pleased I brought my paintbox along this time.
      And yes, into the sea with all that joy!

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  3. I love your illustrated journal, Frances. Where are you off to next?

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    1. We're in Lyon for a few days. . . feeling a bit too peripatetic, truth be told, but for the moment we have a washing machine and kitchen!

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  4. I love your illustrated journal, and your dress looks wonderful. Keep sending the postcards, they bring such joy!

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  5. Your journal is a treasure...loving the paintings.

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  6. I quite like the painting and the stories it tells. There is the evening light - the red glow of the sun going down somewhere to the left. Two shadows in the foreground. is somebody standing there? Then there is the first pair of horse and rider: a perfect fit in mood and appearance. The second pair is quite different: the girl appears undecided, the pony definitely unhappy/scared. Is it going to throw her off?

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    Replies
    1. Not sure I can agree, but only because I've read a bit via the curation at the expo -- the artist speaks of two Kinds of joy, and standing in front of the painting, the pony didn't seem scared or unhappy, the young woman seemed daringly posed rather than undecided. But you make an interesting observation about the foreground shadows. . . hmmmm. . .

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we?

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