Sunday, January 19, 2014

PARIS - Windows on France

Windows need a view. A balcony is nice, too.

In Paris, there are enough styles and types of windows that one could wax eloquent about them easily. Versailles Palace, home of the Sun King, Louis XIV, has some very photogenic windows as well. Through the closed windows we see the back gardens of the estate. They also provided ventilation for the interior of the huge buildings.

Window in Versailles Gallery, by DG Hudson

Does a closed window give you any story ideas? This view made me think of the way an entire king's court called Versailles home, if they wanted to be in 'the court'. To some it must have seemed confining. But political intrigue being what it is, the king wanted his subjects within viewing distance. To anyone or anything kept in a cage of sorts, a window can be a source of escape. Windows also allow entry by those who may be on the other side of that transparent barrier. (That would be the Musketeers and knights looking for that damsel in distress. . .)


Arched, Rectangular and Molded Windows

Windows in the Carnavalet Museum, Paris by DG Hudson

In this stately Paris townhouse, the Carnavalet Museum resides. Three rows of windows, three different designs. The front three windows have the extra benefit of a small balcony for viewing the formal garden. The museum within has broad staircases, wall murals and interesting artifacts and displays of French history. The history contained in this museum is a great way to learn about France's past, especially the French Revolution. Recommended for history buffs.


Paris Shop front and Umbrella Signage
(the cane and the little orange shapes on railing)

Parisian shops and  Wrought Iron by DG Hudson

A curved handle of an umbrella seems to lean out over the brown original store front in the image above. At one time, the fabric part of the umbrella may have been part of the sign. Now, there are two small orange umbrellas. I also liked the green door beside this shop. The interior of the umbrella shop seemed to have a variety of items. Even though 'Paris in the rain' is a phrase that inspires poetic rambles and writer's angst, it only rained twice for short periods in the autumn when we visited. 


Notre Dame Cathedral
 Round Windows

Round Windows in  back section of Notre Dame, Paris by Green Eye

Walk to the back and sides of the Notre Dame Cathedral to see the waterspouts which leer outward and fantasy details such as the three round windows in the structure above. 

My imagination was stirred. That's a tree branch encroaching on the right side of this image. There is also a wall or fence, plus that tree, between where we were standing and this part of the church. I don't know if that part of the building can be accessed via tours, but unusual details always catch my interest. Notre Dame still has the capacity to amaze, and a venerable lady she is too!


Another post about  Paris Windows, and what they reveal:


Are you a person who notices windows? Or photographs them? Does being in a place with few or no windows bother you? 
What do you think of customized image windows? (a future vision many scifi writers have used) 

Please share your thoughts or ideas in the comments. I'm always listening!


Thursday, January 9, 2014

PARIS - Antiquities and Bastet at the Louvre

Sculptures bring history alive. In a manner of speaking. . .

Antiquities at the Louvre, by DG Hudson

These carvings were in an alcove off the main 'Antiquities' walk in the lower levels of the Louvre Museum. They appear to be waiting and have been for centuries. . .

The skill of the ancients is reflected in the enduring objects which they created. Would these items have survived if not retrieved and protected? Who knows? The fact that they do survive means we are now the custodians of our world history. These treasures of Antiquity prove the existence of past civilizations. How grand they seem. Their care is no easy task, as art of any kind requires protection from natural as well as man-made disasters.


A regal majesty

In the corridor off a lower main gallery, sits one of my favorites, the Great Sphinx of Tanis. It majestically fills the corridor with its size and girth. There's something about the light and shadow that enhance the carving. There is damage, which does nothing to mar its magnificence. 

The Great Sphinx of Tanis, Louvre Museum, by D G Hudson

Civilizations come and go, leaving behind a small part or sometimes, big pieces of their history, as if to say, We were here. . . These are objects from a time far enough back in our history that it is hard to grasp their age. How many sand grains has this statue seen? How many rulers?


Small Antiquities

Vases, urns or decorative objects appear in shades of green, blues, and turquoise, reflecting the semi-precious stones which were favored in certain dynasties. These displays are behind glass to protect them from damage, due to their fragile nature and the tiny size of some items.

Antiquities, Louvre Museum, by D G Hudson


Goddess of Cats, Lower Egypt, the Sun and the Moon.

Bastet, Egyptian Goddess, Louvre, by D G Hudson

Bastet, in another incarnation, was known as Bast, Lower Egypt's Goddess of Warfare. That was prior to the unification of the two main cultures of ancient Egypt. Other names she is known by are: Baast, Ubasti, Baset, and Bast. As Bastet, she became a protector diety. She has changed her form and her purpose through various dynasties.

Sekhmet, Upper Egypt's parallel to the former Bast, remained a warrior lioness deity and assumed that role for all of Egypt.

Previous related posts :

Louvre Small Antiquities

Antiquities Ornamentation at the Louvre

Guest post at Jessica Bell's blog


Have you heard of Bastet, the Goddess? Have you seen an Antiquities exhibit? Do you tread the halls of museums like I do?

Please share your comments and tell me if you have a favorite museum. Best wishes for a great 2014! 


Other related references:

The Great Sphinx of Tanis

An Article about Artifacts:

Bastet, Goddess of Lower Egypt

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Frédéric Bazille - French Impressionist Painter and Soldier

From Medical student to Paris Artist to Zouave Soldier. . .a man who helps his fellow man, in a field as competitive as art, is indeed a man with a generous heart.

Frédéric Bazille

Frédéric Bazille, French Impressionist, PD

Frédéric Bazille was born in Montpellier, France, into a wealthy Protestant family.
His family agreed to let him study painting, but only if he also studied medicine. He consented and tried, but the interest wasn't there. After failing the medical exam in 1864, he began painting full-time.

Bazille took classes in Charles Gleyre's studio, a popular atelier. There he met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, and Édouard Manet and was drawn into the Impressionist painting circle. Bazille was generous with his wealth, and helped support his less fortunate associates by giving them space in his studio and materials to use.

Portrait of Renoir, 1867, by F. Bazille*(PD)

Refer to the link below, for Bazille's Studio, to see a painting documenting the artist's friends.

Bazille's Studio; 9 Rue de la Condamine, 1870
In this painting Bazille painted the other artists who shared his studio space. Manet painted Bazille in the group, so both painter's names show.


Bazille, 28 years old, joined a Zouave regiment in 1870, after the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War. He was hit twice in the failed attack and died on the battlefield. His father came to the battlefield to collect the body for burial. He died as he lived, with honor. Some of his legacy can be seen at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, France.

Zouave was the title given to certain light infantry regiments in the French Army, serving in French North Africa between 1831 and 1962. They had a unique uniform which was by no means subtle. These exotic looking soldiers seemed the 'stuff of legends'.


Have you heard of Frédéric Bazille, the painter? Or the Zouave regiments? 
Are you ready for a New Year?



Photo image of Bazille's Self-portrait:

This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. Such reproductions are in the public domain in the United States. In other jurisdictions, re-use of this content may be restricted; see Reuse of PD-Art photographs for details.

The work of art itself is in the public domain for the following reason:
This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less

Image of artwork: Portrait of Renoir by F. Bazille

This file is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of no more than the life of the author plus 100 years.