Monday, March 3, 2014

Crowd Scenes in France

How many people equal a 'crowd'?  At least, these are all benign.


At Versailles. . .
The tours have arrived.




Palace of Versailles Gilded Front Gate, France by DG Hudson
 
Sometimes you can't get away from the crowds, as seen here on tour at Versailles. This is the front walkway, intended to slow traffic to a respectable pace. Imagine horse-drawn carriages clopping over those square cobblestones to be greeted and assessed by the guards at the entry gate. The gilding on the gates had been recently applied when this photo was taken. In Louis XIV's day,  the crowds would have been courtiers, suppliers, and foreign visitors to the court but now, the crowd is composed of tourists and their tour leaders.

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At the Louvre

A battle weary crowd can be dangerous or humble. Napoleon is centred in the scene as the primary figure in the painting below. It's impressive when you see it up close. Painting famous battles was one way of commemorating the event in history.



Napoleon on the Battlefield at Eylau, by Antoine-Jean Gros, photo LM-DGH



Napoleon on the Battlefield at Eylau, February 9, 1807

Painted by Baron Antoine-Jean GROS; The scene is intended to show the compassion of Napoleon the day after a battle at Eylau, in eastern Prussia. The smoke in the background and the pile of corpses in the foreground are both indicators of what came before this scene. The Louvre allows no-flash photography, so I took advantage of that to capture this painting and a few more. . .

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A Parade in Paris
On the Champs-Élysées


Paris, French Parade on the Champs-Élysées, by DG Hudson

 
On the famed Champs-Élysées, we saw a parade in progress, but not in the streets. On the wide sidewalks of the Champs, there was ample room for the parade and the onlookers. Traffic was still king in the streets. This parade was well-ordered and nattily dressed.

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Do you like parades? Do you feel safe in a crowd at public events? Do you think parades are done much less often now than in the past?

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Thanks for dropping by! Please leave a comment to let me know you were here.

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14 comments:

  1. I like parades but being short it's hard for me to see over people's heads if I get there late. I used to go to the SF Gay Pride Parade each year but I would watch from my suite of offices on the 6th floor of a Market Street building. A couple times we got permission to use offices on the 2nd floor because they had a wide ledge you could sit on outside the window. I used to march in hometown parades too when I was a kid, and if I wasn't marching, I went to see friends and people I knew. It was a good time. The typical and/or quintessential small New England town parade tradition one thinks of.

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    1. I prefer an aerial view, too, I don't know about a ledge. . .we didn't have that many parades in my hometown, but in Canada, I've been to a few including a rodeo parade.

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  2. Parades and I have a love-hate relationship. I like them because they are fun, but I hate them because of the crowd.

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  3. I never thought about the frequency of parades before. Darn, now I'm all curious.

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    1. I'm just thinking of the parades I remember as a kid in the states and wonder if they still carry on. We have several big parades here, and a rodeo in horse country..

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  4. I don't like being in crowds and will typically avoid public events that will be crowded. It used to no bother me as much, but now I'm not thrilled with being in close quarters with a lot of other people. Not always sure about the security issues nowadays either. A lot of wackos out there.

    I used to love parades when I was a kid. They're kind of weird and redundant though. I've juggled in a couple of parades. Got paid for it so that was cool.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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    1. Parades are great for kids, but security would be top of my mind. I think that's great that you got paid for juggling in a parade. I hope someone took pix of the event . . .

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    2. If anyone took any photos I never saw them. Too bad cause I'd love to have copies. In 1964 my family was probably on TV when we all juggled in the Chicago Christmas Parade. That was an extremely cold experience!

      Lee
      Wrote By Rote
      An A to Z Co-host blog

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    3. That's cool, in another way, Lee. I would have watched that!

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  5. Not a fan of crowds, and I remember it feeling like a battle scene at the Louvre when I tried to elbow my way closer to the Mona Lisa -- it's so small, you've got to be up close to see the detail.

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    1. I too wanted to get closer, as you can photograph Mona Lisa through all that protective glass. Being of petite height, I was able to weasel my way up to the front. . . keeping my bags close, and waiting for an opening. I was going to see the lovely lady, I had come far to see her lovely face. It was worth it!

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  6. I'm afraid I'm anxious in crowds, so we don't do many parades. A few here and there, though. I would love to see that gilded gate in person. Interesting factoid on the street in front of it being intended to slow traffic.

    The Warrior Muse

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    1. I was surprised more people weren't taking photos of the gate, it's detailed and in that photo, freshly gilded. When we were there, it was more crowded than usual, lucky us.

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