Sunday, April 29, 2012

Partager The École des Beaux-arts

The École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-art (ENSB-A) is the very distinguished National School of Fine Arts here in Paris, founded by Charles Le Brun in 1648.

You enter the impressive courtyard of this former convent on the 14, rue Bonaparte and immediately are confronted with the large carved heads of Pierre Paul Puget and  the bust of Nicolas Poussin.  It was pouring rain and sideway winds were pushing me around, as I tried to find my way to the current exposition.  It was my first visit to this side of the school, and I was a bit turned around in a good way, ... as I wandered thru this labyrinth-like complex of buildings ... leading to courtyards ... leading to other buildings ... leading to classrooms and ateliers ... not the least bit upset that I had forgotten my umbrella,  as the rains whipped thru the hallways.  

After a few minutes of wandering, peeking in windows, watching students working on their projects at various stages of completion ... and remembering the days when I was in art classes ... I found the main building which housed the exhibition I was searching for, Rembrandt’s students drawings.  Sadly, this expostion is finished now, but the vast complex of buildings that I wandered thru were better than any exhibition!  The Cour Vitrée took my breath away!  

So, if you are wandering thru St. Germain, near the quay Malaquais and the rue Bonaparte, look for the bust of Poussin in the courtyard.  It is a public establishment, so you are allowed to enter freely to explore the nooks and crannies of the most prestigious art school in the world.  Plus, there are usually exhibitions of future and past famous artists !   
Just to name of the alumni - Fragonard, Garnier, Givenchy, Wyeth, and Sisley!

École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-art 
14, rue Bonaparte
75006 Paris


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Partager Paris Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature

If you find yourself wondering around the Marais, not far from La Place des Vosges and du Musée Picasso, with no particular plan, I would suggest you stop in and spend some time at Le Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature. 

François and Jacqueline Sommer have housed their exotic collection in a beautiful Hotel Particular, L’Hotel de Guénégaud, built in 1651-1655 by François Mansart.   I had planned for the longest time to stop in, and finally, an arrangement was made with my french teacher, to spend our lesson at this inspirational and educational museum.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect since I am not a hunter, and I have never lived anywhere but near the beach,  and now in Paris;  and not having any family members or friends who enjoyed hunting ...  But, the museum’s collections held my attention for nearly 3 hours, all of which was being explained to me in french ...  while the atmosphere was as if I was a guest in someone’s home.

Not only does the museum have the different types of instruments (beautiful, intricate works of art) for hunting, and all the trophies of animals from Europe, Africa, Asia and America, it also has many works of art:  paintings, sculptures, tapestries, ceramics and pieces of furniture.  And to make the museum even more interesting, there is usually a temporary exposition of art that somehow relates to nature or hunting.  

It is one of those museums that I want to revisit the next time I find myself wandering around the Marais with no particular place to go ....
Here are the details:
Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
62, rue des Archives - 75003 Paris


Monday, April 16, 2012

Partager Paris - Day -Tripping to Chartres

Paris is a city that can constantly keep you entertained, but sometimes its nice to get away from the bustle of it all .... 
so a day trip is in order.  One of those "easy to visit"  places, especially by train, is Chartres.  A beautiful little, idéale city that has it all,  plus ... one of the most famous cathedrals in France. 

Visiting the cathedral is a must do, and if you are organized, you can get there in time for one of the guided talks given by Malcolm Miller.  He has been studying the cathedral since 1958.    His talks are at noon and 2:45 for a mere 10 Euros.  No tours on Sunday.

The city of Chartres is quaint and easy to get around.  Of course there are many touristy shops and restaurants right around the cathedral, but if you venture out a bit you will find some small winding streets, little shops, restaurants in small squares, and even some bargain-filled buy-sell shops.  Wandering near the river that runs near the edge of the town has some nice photo ops as well.  You can even go fishing there!
The "petit place" is a good place to shop, eat or just sit and enjoy the people watching.  When I visited not long ago, I had a great french and history lesson with the woman sitting next to me.  She had been living in Chartres for over 20 years and knew it all!  and was quite happy to share the knowledge of the city.

So, when you are making your plans for Paris, consider setting aside a day for a short 45 minute train ride to Chartres.  During the summer months, the city becomes the "Chartres en Lumières" with about twenty different places around the city illuminated with colored lights.  A real fairyland and a great pleasure for all!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Partager Joyeuses Pâques !

As a child, Easter was one of my favorite fetes.  I’m not sure if it was because there had been no real fetes since Christmas that included gifts, or if Easter Egg Hunts were such a thrill, or that I found chocolate bunnies too pretty to eat hidden in my room, or if it were the beautiful, full-skirted, lacy dresses that my mom dressed me and my sisters in for our day in church on that special Sunday, or ... maybe it was that even then .... Even then, I knew that Easter was special.  

It was the time that things became all new and shiny again, a rebirth, a new beginning, hope for things to come .... 

Champ de Mars 

Joyeuses Pâques!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Paratger Paris dans Le Printemps

You can tell that Le Printemps is slowly, doucement, arriving in Paris.  ....  les fleurs savages are popping up in the grass in the parks; tulips and daffodils are being sold on every corner, 
painted toenails are seen on the metro, boots are not the chausseurs of choice;  parties are lasting longer into the night; the trees are dotting the parks and rues with pale pink blooms, the winter citrus isn't as plentiful at the markets, and the strawberries are taking their place ... brightly decorated chocolate Easter bunnies are crowding into the vitrines of the patisseries ... rosé wines are being served at the corner café ...

But, the most important sign that spring is here is people are starting to fall in love, tomber amoureux !


"C'est quand le soleil brille qu'il faut faire les foins"