Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The Park and the Past on a Sunday Afternoon

   Oh, the past weekend did not go right.  But, still there were a few lovely things...

 ... like the Church of Saint Séverin with its gargoyles in the cloister and it's lovely painting on the walls and ceilings inside.

And meeting with a hedgehog Sunday evening while we ate tarts full of giant raspberries, whipped cream, and custard in the Luxembourg Gardens.  

Also, spying on a policeman who was chatting up the lady who makes crêpes in her little stand in the park.

And, looking at this 15th century Rhinelandian tapestry of wild men and wild women dressed in garments made of foliage in the Hôtel de Cluny (which also houses The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries and the first image used in the post, stained-glass partridges from Normandy around 1500).

(click to enlarge)

 Still, by the end of it all, with all the crowds, which are growing larger by the day at this time of year, I was beginning to feel like this stained glass we also found in the Hôtel de Cluny:

   If you are wondering which character I was identifying with here... it's all of them: the harried animals, the bored and disgusted looking devil, the unhappy man pleading in the background, the devil squished in next to him.  But, my feelings aside, the actual subject matter here is the stealing of Job's livestock.

   Up until Friday there had been a long stretch of lovely things I have not mentioned here, such as the Holy Russia exhibition at the Louvre (there is still a smaller, online aspect of it here).  Another lovely thing was seeing amazing musicians from the Badakhshan region and Chitral, Pakistan (click on the picture on this page and there's an audio file).  One of the musicians made a jerry can ring out like the most skillfully played, beautifully-toned drum you can imagine.  There were also more every-day lovely things: dinners out, a thunderstorm, seeing friends, pigeons and blackbirds nesting outside my window again this year... all kinds of goodness.
   Now with the bells on the church down the street ringing five, I'm going to head off to work on some etchings on this cloudy and breezy day.


  1. Heisann!

    Gosh, you have experienced a lot .. on good and bad as we say in Norway, during these last days!
    It must be fine living in Paris! I still have a friend living there. Have had him as a pen-pal since I was fourteen!
    Have a nice week ;:OD)

  2. Thanks for the wander through a sunny Paris with you Jodi, it made a lovely start to a cold morning here. Those stained windows are beautiful, as is the hedgehog. The Holy Russia exhibition must have been wonderful, I can imagine the richness of the colours of the items on display. I seem to remember seeing some Russian Triptychs either in the Louvre or Petit Palace.

    I hope all the lovely things that you saw and heard managed to outweigh the spoiling of your plans for your weekend*!*

  3. Vilt og Vakkert,

    Since you were 14? That's an impressive correspondence!! I've always thought letter writing was kind of magical. A few years ago I learned that my aunt moved continents to marry her childhood pen pal. (I'd never given much of a thought to how she'd met her husband before that, which is normal enough I suppose).

    There are some great icons in the permanent collection at the Petit Palais... I especially like the calendars they have. One wooden panel per month and each day is represented by an image of a saint... so basically on each piece of wood there are around 30 little people staring out at you, sometimes punctuated by a little tableau if there was a holiday that month.
    But if you see that the Holy Russia exhibition comes your way... don't miss it! I have no idea if it will be travelling or not. It's the year of Russian-French friendship over here right now, so there are lot of good things (Russian ballets galore!) and maybe it has to do with that.
    Anyway, yes, don't worry, there are always enough good things to outweigh the bad in the end, aren't there?