Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Little Louvre Love (Europe #16)

Our second day in Paris, my daughter Joanna and I each followed our own artistic paths. She went for modern art and spent hours in one museum before returning to the hotel for a nap. I, on the other hand, love traditional art (think Louvre and Musee d'Orsay) and wanted to pack in as many quick visits to other major sites in Paris as I could reasonably do. Just typing that makes me lament that I couldn't spend at least a week or two in Paris. Sigh.

It didn't help that I got a late start. I don't even remember why. Maybe it was getting a little much needed sleep and then taking time for a sit down breakfast in the hotel. My intention was to be at the Louvre when they opened at 9, but I didn't arrive until almost 11. Fortunately, I had a Paris Pass, which gave me free entry to the Louvre, so my line was shorter. (As a side note, I'm not sure the Paris Pass saved me any money in the long run. I didn't go to as many of the covered attractions as I would have liked for the amount I paid for it.) 

Entrance is through the big glass pyramid.

The ever-present French soldiers...

So here we go on my favorite art pieces at the Louvre. I had to cull this down from so many more. 

Please note that my captions may not be complete or totally accurate. I usually took pictures of the information plaques next to the art, but not always, and sometimes they were fuzzy. I was moving very fast. In some cases there were alternate names for the piece or the artist. Also, the French do not capitalize all major words in a title. 

My first category is Biblical art.

~*~ Eve ~*~ 

~*~ carved angels ~*~

"La vierge et l'enfant"
by Barbiere, 15th century

"Sainte Famille"
bas relief by Jacques Sarazin

"La Vierge et l'enfant" (partial name)
by Cimabue (1272-1302)

"La Nativite et l'annonce aux bergers"
by Bernardino Luini (1485-1532)

 "L'Adoration de Mages"
by Bernardino Luini 

"Le Christ Bennissant"
by Bernardino Luini

"Le Christ decloue de la croix"
by Bourgogne

 "Le Retable de saint Denis"
by Henri Bellechose

Painting by Fra Angelico

Next up: Napolean's apartments. What? You thought the Louvre was originally built as a museum? Nope! Palace!

Don't forget to look UP! Oh, I love these ceilings!

And here's the Mona Lisa! So, it's all a little fuzzy to me, but our eyes met from across a crowded room. Seriously, I couldn't get near her. Well, I could have wedged my way through to the front of the pack, but to be totally honest, I had no burning desire to do so. This may be one of the most famous paintings in the world, but I, uh, I just don't get the hype.

"Mona Lisa"
by Leonardo da Vinci
Well, I may not get the hype, but I did get the selfie. I mean, I just couldn't NOT get it when I was right there in the room. And so did just about everyone else. You may think this dude is photo bombing me, but he's just doing what I'm doing. And I actually think he adds a lot to the mood of the photo, as well as the reality of the situation. 

Here's the uncropped version of the same photo. It was a madhouse.

This lady? She's just as beautiful and intriguing as Mona. And I love the blue dress. And though she was in the same room at Mona, I could stand right in front of her all by myself. There's something to be said for that. I always tell my kids to look for the lonely ones in at a party. I guess I'm just following my own advice.

 "La Belle Nani" by Paolo Caliari
 Oh, and Renoire!  Love, love, love!

"La Lecture" by Auguste Renoir

Then the "rock star" sculptures...

"The Winged Victory of Samothrace"
aka, the goddess Nike
Read about her discovery and recent restoration here.

by Philippe Magnier, 1647-1715

"Muse de la tragedie"


Venus de Milo - Aphrodite
by Alexandros of Antioch

Well, that's all for the Louvre! Next up: Musee d'Orsay!

You can see my 15 Switzerland photo posts here: Switzerland.

You will find Paris posts here as I create them: Paris.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

La Sainte-Chapelle, the Glory of Paris (Europe #18)

La Sainte-Chapelle, the Holy Chapel!

This Gothic cathedral is my favorite place in Paris! It has the most stunning stained glass windows I have ever seen!

Can you sense my enthusiasm?

La Sainte-Chapelle, like Notre Dame just blocks away, is on Île de la Cité, an island on the Seine River in Paris. It was built in the 1200's as part of the Royal Palace, and was a medieval reliquary, housing sacred relics belonging to Louis IX. Due to damage, it has had to be restored at various times, and additions have been built.

I already couldn't wait to go to Sainte-Chapelle. And then I discovered that classical concerts are performed there. I splurged and bought tickets for Joanna and me to see Classik Ensemble perform Vivaldi's Four Seasions, Pachelbel's "Canon", and Vitali's "Chaconne". What a treat!

I was in ecstasy during the entire concert. Beautiful music, beautiful architecture, beautiful daughter by my side. Just beautiful.

I have included a few videos from the concert in this post.

"Winter, Allegro" from Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)

"Chaconne" by Tomaso Antonio Vitali (1663-1745)

"Canon" by Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706)

Although I purchased two after the concert, I can't find their CD of this music (Les Quatre Saisons) available for American purchase on-line. However, you can get their other album "Vioin & Songs at Amazon.

Now, back to the stained glass!

The upper chapel radiates with 15 stained glass panels that are 50 feet high, with only narrow supports between them. You are surrounded with color and light!

Since the concert was in the evening and I knew I would get a better view in sunlight, I came back the next day and took more of these pictures.

The rose window was added a hundred years after the other windows. Each tiny section of the rose window illustrates a story from a scene in the book of Revelation in the Bible. Fascinating! Read more here: The Sainte-Chapelle Rose Window: St. John's Revelation

Believe it or not, the photo below is of the same window in evening lighting. Looking back in my photos, I was wracking my brain trying to identify where this blue window was in the chapel since I couldn't find it on Google - but it was right there all along. Then I remembered reading that this window takes on a different color tone depending the lighting. You can tell by the same ornamentation beneath.

Here is a closer view of the painting below the rose window and above the door.

There is also a smaller "lower chapel" at Sainte-Chapelle.

I can't help but return the glorious upper chapel for the last several photos. Breathtaking!

More about Saint-Chapelle and its windows?

You can see my 15 Switzerland photo posts here: Switzerland.

You will find Paris posts here as I create them: Paris.

God bless!
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