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.


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. . .


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.


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?


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