The fences around “my” park, Square des Batignolles are being restored. The park was designed by Jean-Charles Alphand, who has his name linked to some twenty other squares and parks in Paris, including the most well-known. The park was officially opened in 1876, but the fences are there since 1862, so 150 years later the need for restoration was there.
The works are planned to be finished late this year. The first restored pieces are now there, however the ornaments, which had disappeared in the meantime and now are promised to come back, are still missing.
The poster giving information about the works is illustrated by a painting by Eduard Manet, “The Railway”, from 1873. The lady on the painting is the same as we can find on the maybe most famous paintings by Manet, “The Luncheon on the Grass” (1862-63) where she shared the role (the face) with Manet’s wife (the body) and “Olympia” (1863). “The Luncheon on the Grass” was exhibited in 1863 and created uproar, but “Olympia”, exhibited in 1865, even more. Her name was Victorine Meurent (1844-1927). She played the guitar, the violin – even gave lessons – sang in cafés and also modeled for Degas. She became a good painter herself. “Palm Sunday” is by her.
The rail tracks are still there, but the steam engines have been replaced. Even if it seems that “The Railway” may have been created closer to Gare Saint Lazare (Pont de l'Europe), it has anyhow been painted along the same railway tracks that lengthen the park…
… and Manet’s name is clearly linked to the Batignolles area and to the members of the “Batignolles Group”, who later became better known as impressionists (Degas, Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Bazille, Cézanne, Sisley, Pisarro, Fantin-Latour… ). I already posted about all this e.g. here.