Only for a limited time...

FIAC is an annual important art fair, for fairly contemporary art, using the Grand Palais. This year it took place October 17-21. Some artwork can also, for a limited time, be found outside, on some squares … and also in the Tuileries Gardens. I went there the other day, maybe a bit too late, but I found some of the exhibited items.

I’m not going to give the names of all the artists, you can find it all here. We recognize of course Calder…

This double horn makes it possible to watch the surroundings differently… and also to listen.   

Well, this was also an opportunity to watch some happy birds…

… and to admire the fantastic work by the gardeners in this late season.

Leaving the Garden, a last glimpse on the obelisk.


Saint-Eustache Church

I made a post about the Saint-Eustache Church already in my previous blog (see here), now a bit more than ten years ago.  I thought it was now time to make a new post. The church is spectacular and has a lot of history to tell, and especially... I discovered some details which I neglected in my previous post.

Let’s first have a general look on the church. Here, we can see the church already in 1734, then about 200 years old, surrounded by buildings. I turned “Google Earth” in the same direction – west-east, to compare with today.

We can see that the western facade has been remade… or I would rather say, has never been finished. One tower is still missing.

So, we can also see that the church today, still, is squeezed in between other buildings - some buildings may even be the same as in 1734.

There are still shops in what must be considered as the church building. You often saw this a century or more ago.

But of course, one side of the church is now completely visible. This is the way we today mostly know it, from where the “Halles” used to stand (see previous posts) – and this is where you today must consider that the "main entrance" is situated. … and the bell rings from this little tower.

One thing which I didn’t realize before was the enormous sun dial, now newly cleaned and renovated… and especially, a bit further down, something which obviously is a “meridian dial”.  A bit difficult (for me) to understand, but I read that the lines are etched on quarter hours, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and obviously this is supposed to be a rather precise tool. I took my photos rather late in the afternoon… and the shadows didn’t give me any hour…

Some newly renovated decorations on the facade.

Something, which I had not noticed at all before was the deer - or stag - head in the top angle of the southern facade (see top picture). So I had to learn about the legend about Saint-Eustache, Saint Eustace in English. He was a 2nd century Roman general, named Placidus, who, when hunting around Rome, had a vision of a crucifix lodged between the stag’s antlers… and he was immediately converted … and he changed his name. You can read more about him and what then – possibly, according to the legend – happened to him and his family, ending their lives as martyrs, here.

The story was illustrated by many artists, including Dürer, Bellini, Pisanello… 

A few photos from the magnificent interior…

… with the always ongoing (needed) renovations.

We must remember that Richelieu, Molière, Madame de Pompadour... were baptized here, that Louis XIV made his first communion, that Lully, Sully got married, that Mozart organized the funeral services of his mother, that Colbert, Rameau and many others are buried in the church, that Berlioz and Liszt gave concerts – the organ is considered to be one of the world’s best.

Here are some examples of works of art - one painting which used to be attributed to Rubens (not anymore), one sculpture by Pigalle and, perhaps more surprisingly, a triptych by Keith Haring.

A last little thing... you can now donate by using your credit card. 


Below the stairs...

The street, with some imposing stairs, which you find on one of the sides of the “Palais de Tokyo” (see previous post here) is named “Rue de la Manutention”. As “manutention” may be translated into “handling”, this indicates that we are in a previously industrial area. Since the 17th century we could find a soap factory here, which later was replaced by some military installations … until the creation of the “Palais de Tokyo” in 1937. Several architects were involved then in the project (but names like Le Corbusier, Mallet-Stevens… were not retained). The “Palais de Tokyo” opened in 1937 for the “International Exposition of Art and Technology in Modern Life”. *

Here we can get an impression of what the area looked like in the middle of and by the end of the 19th century.

But now I wish to concentrate on what you find today along the street, “Rue de la Manutention”.

The back side of the Palais is full of stairs, not only real ones.

The wall towards the higher "Avenue de Wilson" are since 2016 covered by illustrations by street artist Pablo Tomek.

Along the building, there is a “garden”, which you actually can enter. It was obviously originally created in 2002 with some artistic ambitions - one actually left different pieces of this garden to be developed by different, nominated, people. 16 years later I have the impression that some of these persons possibly have lost part of their original ambition, but, it’s of course also late in the season.

However, there are some flowers…

… some fruits and vegetables.

One has prepared to welcome some bird families…

… and, especially, as now all over Paris, there are some bee hives … and a lot of happy bees.

*/ By the way, it seems that the “Tulips” by Jeff Koons on which I talked in this post, finally (… and if I may say so, fortunately) will be placed elsewhere than in front to the Palais de Tokyo, probably somewhere in the park behind the Petit Palais.   


Île Saint-Germain

This is actually not Paris, but almost. This is another Seine River island, with the name of “Île Saint-Germain”. We are just south of Paris, in the suburb “Issy-les-Moulineaux”. Maybe we should start with a look at the “map”. We can see that this rather important island is divided in an office-and-residential area and in a park area. This post will only be about the green part.

If you approach the island, as I did, via the bridge, “Pont d’Issy”, you get a wide view of the Seine River, in this area surrounded by modern, mostly office, buildings.

The first thing that strikes you when entering the park area is the giant sculpture, named “Tower of Figures”, by Jean Dubuffet. There is even a door to enter… but it was closed!

The second thing that at least struck me is that despite the thousands of people employed in the nearby offices and despite the excellent weather (too nice for the season), there is an absolute calm to be found – very few people. However there were some, having lunch, taking a walk, running, just lying down in the sunshine…

There is so much to enjoy when it comes to “green”, slowly turning into autumn colours.

The island used to hold a military camp, abandoned, but there are some traces of old buildings.

There is also a “poney club”…

… a restaurant, a “Guignol”, puppet show, theatre…

On one side of the island, with the narrower branch of the Seine River, you can find many barges (one named “Peter”), transformed into living, office, workshop, restaurant… space.