Lack of time...

No time for a “real post”. Here are just some leftovers from the last couple of weeks - mostly chilly and wet.

With regard to what I put as a top picture, I hesitated with another one, very similar. Which one would you have chosen, the one with the Grand Palais or the one with the Eiffel Tower?

Since the city is on “war” against the padlocks on bridges etc., the couples in love look for all other kinds of (odd) places. And to finish, a view from the top of Sacré Coeur with, far distant, two towers, the Eiffel one and the Montparnasse one. 


Petit Palais - again

I have already posted about the Petit Palais, (see here), but I thought something more had to be said and especially shown. The Petit Palais was built for the 1900 Universal Exhibition at the same time as the Grand Palais, which stands in front (see different posts).  Most of the buildings from the 1900 Universal Exhibition have disappeared, but the Petit Palais as well as the Grand Palais were built to stay… and they do. The Petit Palais houses the “City of Paris Museum of Fine Arts”, and as all the City-of-Paris museums, there is no entrance fee for the permanent collections (which is not true for the national, private… museums).  You will however have to pay for the temporary exhibitions.

A few new glimpses of the outside with its incredibly decorated entrance, the general richness of decorations, sculptures …

… of the inner courtyard (where you can have a snack, a coffee, a glass of wine…)…

… of the entrance hall and galleries, with the ceilings decorated by Albert Besnard (1849-1934)…

… the different stairs leading to a lower floor.

The collections are partly based on paintings and sculptures acquired by the City of Paris since 1870 and also to a large part on donations. They cover different periods, but basically only until 1900… more recent art belonging to the City of Paris is to be found in the “City of Paris Museum of Modern Art”, on which I wrote e.g. here.  

Looking on what you can find in the museum, I could mention one large hall presenting what mainly comes from the 1921 Tuck donation, including tableware, watches, figurines, sculptures, paintings…

On the main floor, there is a lot to see from especially the 19th century, including several paintings by Gustave Courbet (1819-77) and a fabulous portrait of Sarah Bernhardt … You may not so often see paintings by André Gill, more known as a caricaturist… and for the “Lapin Agile” (see story here).

… and there is more of it downstairs. 

We can find some sketches, plasters, models… for different sculptures which we in a more permanent form can find around Paris. This goes e.g. for the “La Défense” by L-E Barrias (1841-1905), which gave the name to the business quarters with that name (see post here) and for the statue of “Marianne” by Léopold Morice (1846-1919) on the Place de la République (see different posts, here and here).

Jules Dalou (1838-1902) is represented by the then future monuments of the “Triumph of the Republic” on Place de la Nation (see post here) and his tribute to the painter Eugene Delacroix in the Luxembourg Gardens (see post here).  

There are other sculptures, including the portrait that Rodin made of his friend Dalou, an impressive Chinese head by J-B Carpeaux (1827-75)…

There is a large collection from older days, icons…

… and even some antiques.

Unfortunately some treasures, mostly from the 17th century, including Rembrandt, Rubens, Poussin… were hidden when I passed by the other day (so I “stole” some pictures from the museum site).


Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Consolation

In the rather small street, Rue Jean-Goujon (named after the renaissance sculptor) there are two churches, one referred to as a chapel, Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Consolation, the other one referred to as a cathedral, Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste (Armenian Apostolic Church).  They are both rather modest in size, were built rather simultaneously (1898-1904) and have the same architect, Albert Guilbert (1866-1949, who later followed the “fashion” and made some interesting buildings in Art Nouveau and Art Deco design).

More or less occupying the space between these churches – before they were built – a temporary building, the Bazar de la Charité, could be found here. It served for an annual charity event, organised by the French Catholic aristocracy … and in 1897 a catastrophe arrived - a fire which cost the life of 126 people and, of course, many more were seriously injured. The bazaar was held in some kind of a wooden shed, decorated like a medieval street. A special attraction was a "cinematograph"… and the equipment caught fire. Where were the signs for the exits…? Panic! The event made headlines in many newspapers, maybe also as many people – especially women – were of high ranks. The most famous person who died was the Duchess of Alençon, sister of the Empress “Sissi” and once the fiancée of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. She was born in 1847, meaning that she died at the age of 50.

Very shortly after the disaster, money was collected and the above mentioned Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Consolation was built. On this Paris map from 1894 we can see where the bazaar was situated… and on the Google Earth map, where the chapel today is situated.

Here are some views from the interior of the chapel. The ceiling has been painted by Albert Maignan (1845-1908) who also e.g. decorated the walls of the restaurant Le Train Bleu (see previous post) and of Opéra Comique (see previous post).

There is of course place made to commemorate the 126 victims. You can find a Veiled Christ, which somehow refers to the famous "Cristo Velato" in the Capella Sansevero in Naples (see previous post).

Over the years the donors have opened the church to different catholic communities with the hope of keeping the chapel in shape. This is costly and the Italian community which used to occupy the place has lately been forced to leave and has been replaced by what is referred to as “FSSPX”, the Society of Pius X, an extreme fraternity which among other things maintains the traditional Latin mass.

A special attention is of course paid to the Duchess of Alençon. Here we can see her portrayed young and just a year before she died. Something new for the time, at least in France, before the DNA, was the first-time identification of bodies with the help of dentists’ medical cards. Five people were identified this way, including the Duchess, thanks to some gold fillings... and here we can see her card.

She is buried in the Royal Chapel at Dreux. Her tomb effigy was originally made by Louis-Ernest Barrias (1841-1905), who has made a number of well-known statues on which I have already reported, La Défense (see here), the Young Girl on the tomb of Gustave Guillaumet (see here), Maria Deraismes (see here) and Bernard Palissy (see here). The effigy was considered to be too violent for the tomb and has been replaced - but can still be seen.


Back from Sweden...

A very short stay in Gothenburg. It was cold, but the sky was blue and nice most of the time. 

One major reason for my short visit was to go to the concert hall and listen to Marja Inkinen-Engström, a personal friend and who has a number of Paris friends after several visits here. She was the soloist in the Prokofiev violin concerto no. 2. 

I also paid a visit to the local art museum (see also top picture) and could admire some paintings which rather recently have been exposed at the Petit Palais in Paris ... and a lot more including some Rembrandts... 

Well, here are just a number of photos which I'm not commenting. I have already posted several times on Gothenburg, my birth town....

... and some extra pictures with a French touch. 


Off... for a couple of days

I'm off for a couple of days, back to my Swedish birth town, Gothenburg, to see friends, listen to music... Soon back! 😉


The Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois Church

The Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois Church got its name from a man who was a bishop at Auxerre during the 5th century. A previous church was destroyed by the Vikings during the 9th century, a second one from the 11th century was replaced by the present one during the 12th and 13th centuries – of course with a number of additions and modifications during the following centuries.

The church is situated very close to the Louvre and has always been some kind of a royal church. It became known in history because of the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in 1572, when the bell, named “Marie” – still there – rang at midnight to announce the beginning of the killing of thousands of Huguenots, Protestants. The 12th century tower a spire in those days, which disappeared in 1754.

Here we can see how and where the church appears on a map from the Saint Bartholomew Massacre year. We can see that the Louvre didn’t look at all like it does today.

A few years later, the now oldest still existing Paris bridge, Le Pont Neuf, had been constructed, the Louvre had got an aisle and part of the Tuileries Palace had been built.   

A picture from the 17th century shows the church with the tower spire. In 1834 there were still a number of buildings between the Louvre and the church. The Haussmann modifications of the city plan led also to the idea of opening space in front of the Louvre. In 1858 we can see the church standing a bit alone (also painted by Monet in 1867), but around 1858-63 the Town Hall of the 1st arrondissement, with an architectural front very similar to that of the church, and the Tower / Bellfry were added.

Here are some pictures from the exterior...

... and some from the interior.

I actually found the fading colours and decoration in the side chapels – they have not been renovated since the 19th century (at least) - quite attractive – see also the top picture.