Thursday, August 30, 2012
They say that Notre Dame is the finest example of French Gothic architecture and that it was one of the first buildings to use flying buttresses to support the walls around the choir and nave. It's also famous for its scary/cute gargoyles and for being the setting of Victor Hugo's novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (which I only know by the Disney animated movie).
I like the way it's squeezed into the tip of Ile de la Cite and surrounded on three sides by the Sienne. It really is the heart of Paris. Under these trees is my favorite corner of Notre Dame because you can sit in the shade and admire the stained glass windows and the flying buttresses.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Once again we found ourselves at the Jardin du Luxembourg and once again it was magical. The long stretches of gravel walks, boarded by neat lawns and leafy trees tempted tourists and Parisians alike to relax and wander in the golden light. Couples strolled together holding hands and talking softly, dog owners promenaded their well-behaved pets, and book lovers relaxed in the many comfortable chairs.
Chris and I were on our way to a crêperie in a nearby street. I had a galette (a buckwheat crêpe) with onions, potatoes and tomatoes, followed by a crêpe with chocolate, almonds and coconut. Yumm!
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
This day was perfection. It was 75 degrees with a cloudless sky. Chris and I had just spent several hours in the Louvre, looking at the finest paintings in the world. Now, we were in the Tuileries Gardens, walking between green lawns and flower beds bursting with blooms. We found a table in the shade and ordered a Tuscan salad with a Pellegrino. It was delicious, and I finished it with a double decaf, sipped while I painted this fabulous view of the Louvre and the gardens. What could top that? A nap in the shade, perhaps...?
Saturday, August 11, 2012
The morning in Paris was sunny but a bit cool as Chris and I walked across the pedestrian bridge to the Louvre. I had already planned a route to visit to see as much painting as possible, so we headed straight to the Sulley wing with famous French paintings. It was practically deserted, a nice change from the noisy crowded entrance under the I.M. Pei pyramid.
It was a treat to have the halls to ourselves and to really study my favorites up close, works by Le Brun, Fragonard, Flandrin and Ingres. After I had absorbed all I could we moved on to the sculpture garden. I love it there! It's so light and airy, surrounded on all sides by classical facades and filled with beautiful sculpture.
Friday, August 3, 2012
Back to Paris: After sketching the side of Notre Dame, I went around to the front. This is the view with your back to the Cathedral, with the statue of Charlemagne to your left. It's a beautiful building that houses the Police headquarters, which I think is reason enough to join the police force.
I know you're going to ask me what that little building on the left is. I really couldn't figure it out. But it was there and I liked it in the composition, so I kept it.