Monday, 1 February 2021

A Month in Paris

In April 2019 I was very lucky to spend a month living in Paris with my husband. We booked a month at an AirBNB  in the 13th Arrondissement near to the Montparnasse tower. The objective of the trip was to learn more about Paris than you would on a holiday and really get a flavour for life in Paris. Key to this was visiting exhibitions and museums particularly with an art theme. We also wanted to take in the parks, the markets and the cafes and restaurants. Bizarrely we also visited the cemeteries especially as we lived near to one! 

It was not a trip without drama. In the first ten days we visited the Notre-Dame Cathedral. It has always been a special place for me  .. a must see on any trip to Paris. This time we spent longer and were able to see more of the graves, friezes, paintings and artefacts. It was a shock that we heard news on TV just two days later seeing the Cathedral in flames. We watched on TV as the spire toppled and the drama unfolded. It was shocking and unbelievable .. luckily the building was only partially destroyed. The next day was surreal as there was a definite feeling of shock in Paris. People were very subdued.

It is difficult to know where to start! But it makes sense to start with Monet and the water lilies a definite must see in Paris in the Musee de l'Orangerie. The sheer scale of the works should not fail to impress whatever the weather. The paintings are housed in two oval rooms. The Monet water lilies "contemplate an image of nature evoking infinity. Nerves strained by work would relax in its presence." The Key to the works is no horizon, they are illuminated by the real sky above, the more you look the more you see or don't see. If you sit and look you will feel pure calm. 

We visited twice on our trip and neither time were disappointed despite the crowds. On return from Paris I made this pastel inspired picture as a card.

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