Inspiration Thursday

DSCN1221Every Thursday my friend, Karen Samimi visits an exhibition, museum or monument in Paris, researching the venue before she goes and taking photos as she visits. Sometimes I even get to tag along, and now, you can too, as she shares her visits on FindingNoon…

DSCN1228Maison de Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo was born in 1802 in Besonçon and lived in this 280 square meter Parisian apartment on the second floor of the Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée, located on the Place Royale (now called Place des Vosges) from 1832 to 1848, before his exile to The Channel Islands. He was exiled for declaring Napoleon III a traitor to France. His Paris home is now a museum run by the City of Paris. I especially enjoyed viewing the numerous paintings of the important people in his life. The house also contains sculpture and furniture, books, manuscripts, drawings, photographs, and Chinese decorations from his mistress Juliette Drouet’s home on the island of Guernsey. The permanent collections can be viewed in approximately an hour. Also of particular note are the paintings, sculpture, and posters exhibited in the stairwells.

DSCN12436 place des Vosges, 4è

01 42 72 10 16

Métro: Bastille, Saint-Paul or Chemin-Vert

Bus: 20, 29, 69, 76, 96

Open Tuesdays to Sundays between 10 am and 6 pm, last admissions at 5:40 pm.
Closed on public holidays: January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, May 8, Ascension
Thursday, July 14, August 15, November 1, November 11, and December 25.

DSCN1230The permanent collection is free to the public.
Audioguide rental is 5 euros.
Temporary exhibitions are between 5 and 7 euros.





all photos ©KarenSamimi2014

Just in time for Valentine’s…

Screen shot 2014-01-27 at 4.41.30 PM

Last weekend M French and I exercised his Christmas present, an annual pass to the Grand Palais and the exhibitions of the Réunion des Muséees Nationaus to walk past all the Parisians standing in the cold and waiting up to 2.5 hours to the jewels of Cartier.

Entering the opulent hall, a jewel-toned kaleidescope projected on the ceiling nearly took our breath away. Which was a pretty impressive feat given the astonishing jewels that sparkled as far as our eyes could see.   Screen shot 2014-01-27 at 4.40.44 PM Screen shot 2014-01-27 at 4.41.14 PMYou’d think that an exhibition dedicated to jewels wouldn’t interest a man, but a certain maharajah was one of the jewelry house’s biggest clients and they certainly mastered the art of pleasing men, creating an entire series of magical clocks that hide the mechanics in the most mysterious and elegant way. I still don’t understand how they do it, and I read the explanation twice, in both French and English! There were gorgeous pieces, astounding stones and lots of history with the tiaras and parures of women like Wallace-Simpson, Princess Grace and Elizabeth Taylor. A dress woven in gold and silver threads, illustrations from BonTon fashion magazine and the chronology of the displays put everything in the context of the fashion of the time. Screen shot 2014-01-27 at 4.39.44 PM

And then there were the tiaras. Simply stunning.

More on the exhibition and how to get (highly recommended) tadvance tickets… click here

For more tiaras and jewels, visit my Facebook page

Amsterdam museums

Screen shot 2014-01-03 at 11.30.50 AMThe reason I wanted to go to Amsterdam was rather devious. 15 years ago I had an Indonesian meal there that was of my favorite meals ever, right up there with Aquapazzo in Venise and St Placide in St Malo. Home sick for anything close to resembling serious spices in Paris, I’ve been wanting to return, so badly that it had become something of a obsession with me.

Screen shot 2014-01-03 at 11.30.04 AMThere was no way I was going to tempt Mr French with a holiday based solely on the memory of a meal I had enjoyed over a decade ago; I needed to find a lure. Skimming the net, I found that the newly renovated Rjksmuseum had made it to somebody’s Top 10 museums in the world list. I had my bait! In addition to the fine art museum, there is a newly renovated contemporary art museum, a highly regarded science museum, a maritime museum, the Tropen museum on the Dutch colonies, the FOAM photography museum, Rembrandt’s house, Anne Frank’s house, a Jewish history museum and several private homes that are now open to the public. And unlike Paris, many of them stay open for New Years Day!

I booked my Indonesian restaurant, just to be sure they were open over the holidays and would have a table for us, then I cast my line and suggested we go to Amsterdam for a museum holiday. Mr French bit my squiggling worm hook, line and sinker. I booked the Sir Albert Hotel through the Splendia website, pre-purchased museum tickets, loaded up the car and we were off, the girls snoring in the back seat as we crossed borders and sped by polders. Windmills started popping up in the landscape… cyclists, grazing sheep and canals. We were in Holland!

Screen shot 2014-01-03 at 11.31.10 AMThe Dutch spent an entire decade renovating their star museum and it is beautiful, featuring a large, glass topped hall that is flooded with lone of the country’s rarest commodities; light. Just before Christmas was a terrible time to go, the place was more crowded than the Louvre in July and without the infrastructure to handle it. Even with tickets in hand, our line went outside the building and around the corner, full of people anxious to see what was new. And there was plenty to see.

Every single work of art had been moved into a new space. Only Rembrandt’s Night Watchmen had kept its original space, dominating the central hall surrounded by masterpieces. The best part of the Rjksmuseum are the descriptions. There is an interesting text for almost every piece, explaining the history of the work or giving an interesting detail about the art. You learn all kinds of random facts; foot warmers symbolised love in Vermeer’s time, a sea captain once burnt his ship so it wouldn’t be caught by the enemy and some profiteering merchants then made a fortune selling bits of burnt wood from the “ship”, swan feathers look amazing when depicted in reds, blues and greens.

Screen shot 2014-01-03 at 11.32.38 AMThe museum is huge and after several hours, the girls and I were ready for a break. We’d seen the entire 2nd floor, all of it fascinating, it slightly overwhelming, and we’d spent nearly 20 minutes just looking at the 4 Vermeers. It had been a feast for the eyes, but we were now ready to feed our tummies. Mr French could have stayed all day, but the cafeteria was overflowing and he relented when I promised we’d come back. And we did, on New Years Day, when we visited the fabulous Middle Age and Renaissance collections, as well as the disappointing modern works.

The Stedelijk, Contrmporary Art Museum was another disappointment. 20€ each for a rather small collection of minor works. I think this is quite possibly the first time I have ever given a museum a negative review. I usually just don’t mention them, but this one is on the Museumplein and it really is outrageously overpriced.

Screen shot 2014-01-03 at 11.32.06 AMHappily, there were others that made up for it. FOAM had an excellent show that was installed by the 85 year old New Yorker William Klein, featuring the evolution of his work from the late 40’s to today. Across the street, visiting the private mansion of the Van Loon Museum gave an insider’s view on the life of Screen shot 2014-01-03 at 11.31.51 AMthe descendants of the East India Company and at the port the maritime Scheepvaart Museum shows the world how interactive displays can make any subject, even boats, come to life.

We missed the Tropen museum. I’ve been wanting to go there for 20 years, and I’ve still never made it. So happy for the excuse to go back!

Braque to basics

Screen shot 2013-11-25 at 3.42.38 PMA few weeks ago I was running through the halls of the Louvre on an art inspired scavenger hunt, celebrating Halloween with ThatLou. At our first destination there were extra bonus points for finding the ceiling that Georges Braque had painted in 1963. “AHH” I squealed with glee, “We’re going to get that one, I was at his exhibition this week!”

And indeed, I had been at the exhibition with my friend the Yoga Yenta and her Mom, in town from NYC. The thing with being a Yoga Yenta is that you work in a shop. Which means rising insanely early for yoga practice, then spending the entire day on one’s feet. Even one’s Saturday. Screen shot 2013-11-25 at 3.49.56 PMWhich explains why going to an art exhibition is a rare treat for the yenta. She was excited to be there and her enthusiasm was contagious!

The show starts with his earlier works as a fauvist and we appreciated seeing how he got from realism to this :

which then evolved to this:

Screen shot 2013-11-25 at 3.50.09 PM

I was very careful as I took my photos, focusing only on the ones where photography was permitted. I had learned my lesson from the Matisse exhibition and was not looking to cause an incident. But a guard came over any way. He started explaining the rules. I politely pointed out that I knew the rules. Then he told me the real reason he had approached me. He was a professional photographer and he could tell that my photos were crap. I was framing them all wrong. Zooming in too much and not including the frame. I needed to include the frame. I thanked him politely (ever so polite with those guards!) and asked more about his work. Did he have a website? Of course! Could I have the URL to check it out?  No so fast! Instead, he handed me his phone number and suggested I give him a call. Most creative pick up line of the year, ladies and gentlemen.

Back to Braque. The yenta and I had been wondering about him. His work seemed to mimic the work of his contemporaries. It can be hard to distinguish some Braque pieces from a Picasso or a Matisse. We were a little puzzled about that, so we started reading and learned that Georges and Pablo were inseparable pals during the early Cubist movement. They’d spend hours holed up together, cutting and pasting their collages., then heading out to share a drink at the bar downstairs. No wonder their work looked so similar, they were echoing off one another as they explored Cubism.

Screen shot 2013-11-25 at 4.05.12 PMBraque’s later work reflects the joys of falling in love and the sorrows of war time with powerful palates and the simplest of lines. As we continued through the show, I tried to add some frames to my shots. It’s not easy, as the perspective makes for funny angles. But I kept zooming out, and out and out, until I got this shot, which I was quite pleased with. In fact, going home, I realized that I take all my museum photos of individual works of art for posting on this blog or using as my iPhone background. In doing so, I was missing out on the opportunity to create a bit of art on my own. So thanks to this anonymous guard and his sage advice, I had a little taste of what Picasso and Braque may have felt, exchanging ideas and developing their images in the ever evolving process the world calls art.

The Braque exhibition is on until Jan 6, but its popular, so pre-purchase your tickets!

If running through the Louvre, taking photos and having fun with art sounds like a good night out on the town, check out ThatLou. There’s a Thanksgiving hunt coming up this week!


And the show goes on…

Alaïa Exhibition

Fashion week may be over, but it seems like I just can’t enough. Yesterday Mr French and I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon waiting in line at the Palais Galliera to see the first exhibition since the City of Paris’ Fashion museum closed its doors for renovation in 2009.

The city continued showing fashion at other venues, and I am still kicking myself for having missed the Balenciaga show, so I was not about to miss the first show back at the old digs. Especially when I heard that it would be all about Azzedine Alaïa.

AlaïaBorn in Algeria, Alaïa came to Paris to study sculpture at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. He got a part time job sewing up dresses for women and before he knew it, he had found his passion. He credits much of his success with the fact that he never went to design school, but rather learned his metier by dressing women. As he says, “Women, women define fashion, I make clothes.”

And his clothes define a woman’s fantasy, of being held tightly, yet totally free. They are sexy, seductive and most importantly, flattering. Of course, all the dresses on display were cut to fit a size 0 model, but his prête à porter line is designed to highlight the roundness of the female form, and looks breathtaking on women who are too large for the catwalk.

Its a small show, with only 5 rooms in the Palais, featuring dresses that are easy to recognize as they had been worn by such stars as Grace Jones, Tina Turner and Rihanna. There is the black and white hound’s tooth dress that was designed in collaboration with France’s historic discount store Tati and at least 4 garments I wish I could have packed up into a suitcase to take home.

Its not very clear, but there is a 6th room at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, directly across the street. The continuation is in the salle Matisse, where some of the most astounding pieces of the collection seem to sway under the dancers painted by Matisse.

The crowd was just as fun as the show. A man who looked like my Turkish tailor bent forward to study the stitches, a boy with white running shoes and an athletic sweatshirt was busy sketching the designs in his notepad. A black hatted woman in a silk Prada coat, despite the threat of rain, another with gorgeous laser cut, patten leather jazz shoes.

Everyone lingered over the collection, savouring the details that put these garments on the fine line somewhere between fashion and art.



Under where? Under there!

I’ve got a thing for underwear. Especially when it is French and silky This is not a very well kept secret, so it was not at all surprising when my phone started ringing off the hook (my kids would NOT understand that expression, it probably belongs in a literary archive and not in this post) with calls from friends telling me about the La Mécanique des Dessous exhibit at the Union des Arts Décoratifs.

The title doesn’t sound half as sexy as the term lingèrie and that is because ever since around the 14th century underwear has been first and foremost all about foundations and support. Fans Shakespeare and Commedia dell’Arte are some of the few visitors to the show who will not be surprised to learn that once upon a time men wore reinforced structures called codpieces, to exaggerate their, hmmm…. manly prowess. For many,  seeing one hammered into a suit of armor is a highlight of this collection.

Screen shot 2013-08-19 at 5.32.41 PMProof positive that I’m not the only one who has reverence for foundations; the French take their undergarments very seriously and this exhibit is a celebration of the architectural creativity that has gone into making the perfect silhouette. I loved seeing the mechanical device that was used to lift those ridiculously wide skirts that Marie Antoinette and her friends would wear. I had always imagined them side stepping through doors, but the metal frames, called paniers, that held the skirts out could be lifted up with a string, allowing the skirt to fall flat ans the wearer to enter a room.

Screen shot 2013-08-19 at 5.32.50 PMOther highlights include seeing the metal frames that were used to support Queen Elizabeth style ruffs, modern day models that showed haw many of the under garments worked, a series of film clips featuring lingèrie scenes, vintage underwear ads, and an area for trying on corsets and crinolines. That is a lot of highlights for a relatively small show and I was not the only one who loved it. Attended with my friend Karen, who had brought along an article by fashion editor, Suzy Menkes that had been published earlier in the week. Not only had she loved it, but she had learned a bit herself.

Finally, a word about the Union. It is the other museum in the Louvre Palace. Very few people even know there IS another museum in the Louvre, but there is and it is the national Decorative Arts museum, featuring furniture, jewelery and design from across the ages. It would be hard to find a more central location and unlike the Louvre Museum, it is open Tuesday, which is kind of a bonus.

ps photos were not allowed, so these ones are dark and elusive, teasing you like lingèrie should!

La Vie Romantique…

I can’t speak for every French man, I’ve only dated a few, but living with my French man has been somewhat, dare I say très, romantique….. Not that he should get all the credit for it. I mean, how hard can it be to make a girl’s heart swoon when the stage set is on a café terasse, a flûte of champagne on the table, cobbled stones lay below and a church is lit in the background? And if he’s really luck a jazz band will set up, providing the perfect sound track, leaving very little work for him to do in the wooing department. Occasionally he goes a little bit further, offering me romantic cards calling me his dear, his bunny, his cabbage and his flea. Or coming home with a blue heart shape album of Elvis Presley songs that you can listen to on my Facebook page.

It’s a lovely rêverie, but the Musée de la Vie Romantique isn’t about that kind of romantic, its about the Romanticism cultural movement of the 19th century. It is the movement that brought us artistic geniuses like Beethoven, Liszt, Turner and Constable. In France, Géricault, Delacroix, Chopin, de Musset and George Sand were all part of this era, and the museum is dedicated to them. Particularly to Madame George Sand who wrote over thirty novels and whose collection of art and artifacts fills two rooms.

As an idea, Romanticism was a revolt against Industiralization and confining social norms, in practice it inspired everything from politics to the arts to the sciences. As far as home decor was concerned, this was a very dark period, with rich, deep colors in a conflicting patterns filling rooms to suffocation. And they had odd habits, like making jewelery out of human hair. It is all very normal with a slight tinge of the horrific. It is not surprising that this period inspired works like Dracula and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Outside the museum guests can enjoy tea or a light snack under white parasols in the rose encircled gardens, reminding one of the more contemporary definition of Romantic….

ps, Impromptu is a great movie about George Sand and her torrid relationship with Chopin.

Fashioning Fashion

I have heard that there is a fantastic exhibition of Haute Couture at the Hôtel de Ville right now, and I can hardly wait to go, but first I wanted to see Fashioning Fashion at the Union des Art Decoratifs in the Louvre. Why first? Logistics. Sunday was the last day the show would be in Paris and the first day I had time to see it. Turns out this was particularly lucky as the show displays European fashion trends from 1750 until just after the era Mr Worth sailed to Paris from London and because the first Haute Couturier, ending in 1915.

Women were caged

Fashioning Fashion was in town directly from California, where the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has an extraordinary collection thanks to the generosity of two very astute, influential collectors, Martin Kamer and Wolfgang Ruf. Seeing the sumptuous fabrics, exquisite needle work and intricate beading made it easy to see why these men had been so passionate about the dress-wear. The details are captivating.

And so were the explanations. In totally un-Syvia like fashion I read every single one! They’d explain the subversive revolutionary messages in a vest, or nostalgically describe how the gold embroidery and moiré silk would reflect the candlelight at dinner party. You could almost see the effect.

19th century beach bunny!

And they discuss, or rather allude to the constraints of dress for women at the time. When you see those large Marie Antoinette gowns, you can imagine the cage that created that shape. What I’d never realized was that the cage was full of undercoats helping hold everything up, making walking something of a slog. I also learned why the ladies need so much help getting dressed. In period films you often see a lady being tied into her corset, but you never see the following scenes when she is actually sewn in to her bodice! A century later the frames that held out the hoop skirts took advantage of new technology so that Madame could move, at last. But not for long, because along came the bustle which seriously shortened one’s footsteps, make the tennis outfits and riding costumes of the time something of an oxymoron.




                                                                photos courtesy of ibiblio

version anglais en bas de la page…

Je ne sais pas ce qui se passe à Paris, mais j’ai l’impression que tout le monde est devenu amateur d’art avec des queues insupportables devant tous les musées de la ville. Il nous a fallu trois visites au Pompidou pour osé Dali, on a raté Guardi au Jacquemart André et c’est seulement grâce à une prolongation qu’on a pu voir Hopper ce weekend.
On a quand même hésité. Avec les foules comme ça on n’a pas le temps de vraiment apprécier la collection. Mais je connaissais peu sur cet artiste et j’avais une grande curiosité. Et, la gourmande que je suis, j’étais motivée par nos réservations au Mini-Palais pour après l’expo.
L’oeuvre de Hopper est relativement petit, que 100 tableaux, 26 graveurs et une poignée d’aquarelles. Le tout est présenté en ordre chronologique, ce qui a démontré l’évolution de cet homme en tant qu’artiste.

Pour enrichir l’exhibition et démontrer le parcours de Hopper, les oeuvres de ses collègues et de ses amis, des artistes comme Degas et Pissarro sont exposés dans les premières salles. Ce sont les oeuvres qui ont influencé, enrichi et défini le travail de Hopper.
L’exhibition commence avec son apprentissage avec Robert Henri. Dans les tableaux mono-chromatique de son copain George Bellows on distingue déjà un intérêt pour l’architecture, la puissance de la géom’trie, la force de la solitude.
Après ses études Hopper se rend à Paris et rencontre l’Impressionisme. C’est ici sur Degas et Pissarro qu’il développe sa palette et étudie la lumière. Pour gagner sa vie, il travaille comme illustrateur publicitaire.
Hopper déclare que c’est en travaillant en graveur qu’il a trouvé sa voix et c’est dans cette salle qu’on voit la solitude sans relâche : l’homme qui surgit des ombres à côté des rails d’un chemin de fer, la maison isolée avec la silhouette d’un homme, deux pêcheurs sur un bateau seule face aux vagues. Et vous observez tout ce “seule” dans une petite pièce pleine de visiteurs. Vous êtes bousculé, poussé, entouré, mais infiniment seule. La juxtaposition est époustouflante.
Bientôt vous descendez et vous êtes avec ses tableaux, au peu près une quarantaine, ce qui êtes impressionnante pour une exhibition sur une artiste de cette importance. Et facilement, sans trop y réfléchir, vous observez d’autres thèmes. Chez Hopper, la lumière, elle est jaune, les ombres sont fortes et le vert est presque une personnage, tellement c’est présent dans son oeuvre. Il y a des angles, presque toujours un angle fort qui traverse le tableaux, montant de la gauche au droite. Et encore l’immobilité.  Une danseuse burlesque semble être figée sur scène, son pianiste ne bouge pas, non plus.
Je n’ai vu qu’un seul toile avec du mouvement, The Bridle Path avec des chevaux qui courent vers un tunnel, les cavaliers anxieux et mal à l’aise. Ce n’est pas un grand tableaux et ça démontre bien pourquoi le meilleur de Hopper ne bouge pas. Ce qui est sans importance, parce que c’est l’émotion, une solitude sans pitié qui nous remoue chez ce grand artiste.

Last week a friend went to see the Hopper show and afterwards pronounced that she’d been very disappointed. The crowds were thick and there’d been very few paintings. This made me a bit hesitant about heading out into the cold on Sat night for our 20h30 reservations to see the show, but my instincts told me that this was an important show for me to see.

There was a lot of confusion at the entrance, with three separate queues for ticket holders, non-ticket holder and some swanky private party guests.  I was starting to think that maybe I should listen to my friend and try to scam my way into the party, but this was a date with Mr French and that is not his style. We’d be doing what we’d set out to do; see the Hopper exhibition.

The format and layout of an exhibition are almost as important to me as the content of a show, and in this show, the presentation was nothing short of sensational from an intellectual perspective. The curator presented Hopper’s work chronologically, grouping everything by periods.

I could immediately understand why my friend felt their were few paintings; Hopper’s entire oeuvre is only 100 paintings, so the show starts out featuring the work of his friends, colleagues and collaborators. But, by the end of the show I had (very unscientifically) counted about 40 paintings, which means that those attending the show got to see a very large percentage of his work, which is incredibly rare for a show featuring an artist of Hopper’s importance.

First, there is his work as a student with Robert Henri and when you see the monochromatic grey paintings of his fellow classmate George Bellows, you suddenly start to “get” Hopper. Then there is the art from his Paris years. Unexceptional, except this is where he really seemed to master his sense of lines and boundaries. And you can clearly see the influence of his impressionist friends Pissarro and Degas on both  his subject matter and his palette.

You then see his work as a commercial illustrator, followed by his first American paintings. Again, there are paintings by the friends and colleagues that inspired and influenced his work and it is at this moment that I started to see a theme; solitude. All the influences in Hoppers art and nearly of all of his subjects, from two sailors at sea to a solitaire home, from a person emerging up next to railroad tracks to the customers at a coffee shop in his seminal work, Nighthawks, Hopper’s work defines alone.

The show has drawn over half a million visitors and as you strain to study the etchings that helped him find his “voice” as an artist you are jostled by a tight crowd, bumping into people every where you turn, yet absolutely surrounded by alone. It is a impressive juxtaposition.

As the show continues, so does the solitude. And you may start to notice other themes. In Hopper’s world, light is yellow and shadows are clearly delineated. Green is every where, always brightly toned, in a multitude of hues from kelly green grasses to lichen green wall paper. Life exists at a tilt with sharply illustrated diagonals, general one very clear diagonal per image, often running up, from left to right. And finally, the stillness. Even a burlesque dancer in the Girlie Show looks completely still, although her arm is raised and she is clearly on stage.

The only painting with any serious movement, The Bridle Path, is of three horses racing into a tunnel, their riders looking awkward and reticent to advance. It is not a great painting and does a lot to show why Hopper’s best work is absolutely devoid of any motion. But not Emotion. Hopper’s painting are full of that; solitude and loneliness abound and it is this intense feeling he provokes in the viewer that makes him a great artist.

Parisiennes are fashion

This Sunday, I headed out my front door, skating across ice capped puddles to see the Impressionism and Fashion exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay. I haven’t seen a lot if expos this year, but I was determined to see this one before its Jan 20 closing.

When I go to a show, its for the art, however as I stroll through room after room, I am also very aware of the curation of the exhibit; what works were chosen? Why? How are they displayed and what story do they tell when presented like this? Have I learned something new about a well known work of art? An artist? A genre? And of course, I hope to learn all of this without taking time to read the explanations, which is incredibly unreasonable and some what lazy of me.

My laziness was richly rewarded by the international team of curators for this event. The show begins with a display of newpaper pages from the 1850’s, announcing the opening of the Galeries du Louvre department store and displaying fashion pages. You then enter a long, narrow hall featuring glass encased ready to wear dresses. There are photos of fashionable Parisians along one walls and paintings on the other, but mostly, you’re shopping. This strategy does a fantastic job of putting Impressionism into the context of its era.

Turn the corner and there is a remarkable quote on the wall,  “La Parisienne n’est pas á la mode, elle est la mode” by A Houssaye and you’re soon in a ball room, chairs lining the walls, each seat labeled with the name of a particular Madame: Monet, Manet, Whistler, all present while larger than life masterpieces of formal ball scenes take center stage.

The next room is a day salon, where the curators flaunt an unbreakable rule and covers the walls with patterned wall paper. In theory this should conflict with the paintings, causing a visual cacophony in reality it enriches the theme of the show, while casting a soft rosy light, perfect for viewing the art. The clothing on display has become haute couture, more finished in rich fabrics that tend to reflect the wardrobes in the artwork.

Many of the painting on display are already part of our visial vocabulary, but seeing it displayed like this forces one to stop and look again. Take notice of Cezanne’s brush stroke, admire Renoir’s use of pink to create a mood and appreciate the stylistic bridge between realism and impressionism in the work of Fantin-Latour.

As you digest all this and prepare for end of the show, there is suddenly grass below your feet and bird song in the air. Parisian park benches line the walls as sumptuously
dressed women with parasols stand tall in oil on canvas. You’re in a French garden. Like the masterpieces that surround you, the show has succeeded in transporting you to another place and time. A masterpiece.

*Parisans are not fashionable, they are fashion.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...