Some odd shots (2)

Still making some kind of pause... Here are two photos,, the first one from inside the (new) National Library...

... and a second one from inside the National Assembly.

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Some odd shots...

As already said in previous posts, I have a little problem with an eye and need an operation ... and some time to recover. In the meantime, to make it simple, I have pre-programmed some odd posts with photos, which I have not yet publsihed. Here are just two photos taken around Place de Stalingrad.

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Christmas windows again

(This is a pre-programmed post – see explanation in previous post.)

As each year, I try to give you a glance of what the department stores, Printemps and Galéries Lafayette, Christmas show windows look like. So, it’s time again - as usual with a tight fight between the two neighbouring “rivals”. This year Printemps has Dior and Galéries Lafayette Louis Vuitton as basic themes. Most of the windows are for adults, but there are of course a few for the kids. What you can’t see from my pictures is the fact that there are la ot of movements in many windows.

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... and to finsih with the Christmas decorations, a few photos also from the interior, including the usual gigantic Christmas tree under the Galéries Lafayette cupola: 



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(My "real post" for today is to be found below.)

Mozart in Paris

Also Paris has a “Mozart House”.

Mozart visited Paris, accompanied by his parents and sister, as a young boy and had great success, performed for the Royal family… When he returned in 1778 for a couple of months, he was 22 (21 on the portrait) and had less success, although he was offered a job as organist at Versailles which he rejected. He didn’t get the prestigious job he was looking for. He wrote to a friend : “Paris is totally opposed to my genius, inclinations, knowledge and sympathies…. God grant only that I may not impair my talents by staying here.” He made however some concerts, worked as piano teacher… and composed.

He wrote a number of sonatas, including this one. …

… and especially a “Paris Symphony”. After a first more private performance, it was then, and at least twice in his presence, played by a great orchestra in what then was used as a big concert hall in the Tuileries Castle (destroyed in the Communard movement 1871, see previous posts). However no royalties were present. After the first Tuileries concert June 12, 1778, he was satisfied and went for an ice-cream in a café in the Palais Royal Gardens (see previous posts), maybe this one?.

The symphony was then played a second time August 15 and in the meantime he had rewritten the second movement, which somehow had “failed to please”.

Also, in the meantime his 57 year old mother who had accompanied him to Paris got seriously ill. They stayed in the building you can see at the top of the post, 8 rue du Sentier.

He went to pray in the nearby Notre-Dames-des-Victoires Basilica (see previous post)

His mother died July 3 and the funeral was held at the Saint-Estache Church (see previous post).

Mozart left Paris for the last time during the autumn.

I have a little problem with an eye and will have an operation. I will probably need a few weeks before I'm again quite "fit for fight", meaning work properly with my computer etc... In the meantime, I have prepared, pre-programmed, some posts, but I will of course hardly be able to look at other blogs, comment... Sorry!  

... and in the meantime you can also listen to Mozart's “Paris Symphony”.
First movement
Second movement
Third movement


Anna-Lisa Unkuri

I’m a member of a Paris Swedish Art Association where we try to support Swedish artists working here. One of them, Anna-Lisa Unkuri, exposes at present at the “Centre d’Art et Culture” at Meudon, a Paris suburb (15 bd des Nations-Unies). Yesterday was the varnishing day. The exposition goes on until December 1. I’m a fan of her work, and obviously not the only one; several paintings were rapidly reported as sold. Anna-Lisa develops different styles and you can get a more complete idea of her works by going to her own site.

Some of her work will soon also be presented at the Galérie Guillaume (42 rue de Penthièvre, 75008 Paris), exact date to be confirmed. 


Cara Black

Last week I met for a chat and a coffee with bestselling author Cara Black. She is a frequent visitor to Paris, knows each corner and street better than most Parisians.

She will soon publish her thirteenth novel in the series about the private Parisian detective Aimée Leduc.

If you are interested, here are some sites about her (1, 2, 3) - which should give you a chance to order her books and to preorder her next one (and possibly win a trip to Paris)…  and some videos (1, 2). 

Her books exist in several languages.


Montmartre - artists

(Later) famous artists of all kinds, maybe especially painters, were very present at Montmartre during the latter part of the 19th century and the first part of the 20th century. They lived of course a bit “everywhere”, moved often, but there are a number of spots, where you can talk about artist “colonies”.

During a short Montmartre walk, you would certainly pass by the “Bateau Lavoir”, which got its name by the building’s resemblance to the “laundry boats”, which you a century ago could find along the Seine River. The building, which offered a number of artist workshops, burnt almost completely down in the 1970’s, but a few workshops survived and new, far more comfortable ones, can now be found behind the white wall.  Among the more famous artists who lived and / or worked here you may mention painters like Picasso (the cubism – “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” – was “invented" here), Modigliani, Juan Gris, van Dongen, Braque, Matisse … and authors like Appolinaire, Max Jacob, Gertrude Stein…

Also quite centrally are the buildings which now have become the Montmartre Museum, on which I have posted a number of times (the most recent one a week ago), where Renoir, Emile Bernard, Suzanne Valadon, Maurice Utrillo, Raoul Dufy… were active.

More on the western and northern slopes of Montmartre, there are other locations with a high presence of artists, like the “Villa des Arts”, on which I already posted. Renoir, who moved a lot, was also here for some time, as well as Cézanne, Signac, Picabia… 

Another one of these more excentric artist “colonies” on which I would like to concentrate today is “Les Fusains” (which can be translated as “charcoals”). The main entrance is today on a steep street, rue Tourlaque, but it covers an area with other entrances from the parallel street. Unfortunately I could not use any of those, so I have only outside pictures. However, I found an ad about a flat to rent with some illustrations from the inner courtyards, which I “stole” ‘(see “map” below), and also a post by a fellow blogger, “BBONTHEBRINK”, which shows what I would have liked to see. From my “map” with a Google Earth picture one gets an idea of the great number of workshops, about 30. Most of these buildings were created around 1900 by using material from the 1889 World Exhibition, some were added later.

A little comparison of the street in 1875, when "Les Fusains" were not yet there, and today.

Below, you can see some of the artists who have had their workshops at "Les Fusains". Renoir – again - was obviously more or less here already before, using an old shanty as workshop. His portrait of Julie Manet (1894), Manet’s niece, dates from this period. I tried to find photos and works which correspond to the time these artists lived and /or worked here for shorter or longer periods, basically from the very beginning of the 20th century to before WWII. The portrait of André Derain is by Vlaminck. Bonnard is a self-portrait. There are still artists around… maybe someone will post about them in a few decades. 

Walking up the street, on a corner, is a building, where Toulouse-Lautrec, now and then lived and had his workshop 1886-97 (his 22nd to his 33rd year), his most active Montmartre-period. You can below see his paintings of Suzanne Valadon (with a hangover), who was his mistress for about two years, and of “La Goulue”, the first cancan-dancer. I guess it was when he left this place for another workshop that he left 87 works behind, which the next owner used as wallpapers.  He died four years later, in 1901, at the age of 37. (Correction, he lived and worked for a while in the white neighbour building, not the red brick one. Sorry!)

So these places, with the exception of the Montmartre Museum are still active artist places. … and then I must mention another one, “La Cité Montmartre aux Artistes”, which still is very active with some 180 workshops, actually Europe’s most important artist workshop centre. It was created in the 1930’s by the same architect who remodeled “Moulin Rouge” to what it is today (Adolphe Thiers). If you live on the bottom floor, you may have a garden, if you live on the top floors, you have a splendid view of Sacré Coeur.


Père Lachaise Cemetery - again

Some four or five years ago, I posted on the Père Lachaise Cemetery. I have been back now and then… and yesterday I had the privilege to accompany sixteen young Swedish girls and to, as some kind of “guide”, make a summary tour of this beautiful place. The Swedish Church in Paris organizes events for the young visitors to the city and they kindly asked me if I could make this little walk with them – a mixture of students, au-pair girls… not a single guy!

I use this opportunity to show some random photos I have taken at the cemetery at different occasions. This time, I’m not listing or showing all the tombs of famous people. For that you can either look at my previous post or go to, for example, this site or this one.