Friday, November 16, 2018

Visiting St. Ambroise and Pere Lechaise Cemetary Fall 2018

Gentle Friends, after the Atelier I had two more places, St Ambroise and Pere Lachaise...I wanted to visit and they are both over in this part of Paris...I had my map and directions and first up is St Ambroise...

 ... this lovely neo-gothic church was built between 1863-68.  St Ambroise replaced an earlier church called Notre-Dame de la Procession... there is a super public park in front.  It is a newish church for Paris but really high style gothic for the mid-19th century...

 ... looking down the nave towards the high altar...

... a very Italian looking altar, it so reminds me of the altars I've seen in Florence...


... there's really no ambulatory behind the altar, but there is a lovely chapel...

 ... some of the windows...


... one of the transepts with the small rose and Saints windows...notice the heavy bronze chandeliers...

 ... the Lady Chapel, with original frescoed walls, as with many large historic spaces, this church needs quite a bit of restoration work...

...after leaving the church I continued my walking north-east towards my next destination...

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Pere Lachaise Cemetary.  I have been meaning to get here for years.  It is always on my list and I have just never been able to make the time ...it just never seemed to happen, but this trip it happened...

.... the is the main entrance to the cemetery,  I came in from a side entrance but left through these gates... specifically to get this shot of the front gates...

... the cemetery is built on a hill and was one of the first "Garden Cemeteries" built in France

.... I had a list of graves I really wanted to find... and with over a million burials I had a map in hand and even then some of them were really hard to find!!.... but here go the ones I did find...

... the neo-classical french painter ... Jacques-Louis David...

 ... this is the grave of Louis Alphonse, Comte de Rayneval (1814-58)  he was a French Politician and Foreign Minister to Spain and Russia...  I just liked the massive solidness of this one!!

... the French Romantic painter... Eugene Delacroix...

... Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, another romantic painter and a painter of society portraits...

... just another great shot of the memorials in the graveyard...

... these next two people were not originally buried here but their remains were moved here in 1804 as a marketing strategy.  Since no one wanted to be buried so far from Paris... the administrators of Pere Lachaise at the time organized the transfer of the remains of... Moliere (above) and Jean de la Fontaine (below) such huge luminaries of French literature!!!  These graves, although they look easy to see they were really hard to find as they are sort of behind another block of graves... I was determined and stubborn!!


... this monument is the grave of Oscar Wilde... and was easy to find.   He was initially buried in a cemetery outside of Paris.  In 1909 his remains were disinterred and transferred to Pere Lachaise, inside the City.  This tomb was designed by Sir Jacob Epstein.  It was commissioned by Robert Ross, who asked for a small compartment to made for his own ashes, which were duly transferred in 1950.   In 2011, the tomb was cleaned of the many lipstick marks left there by admirers and a glass barrier was installed to prevent further marks or damage


... I went looking for Simone Signoret, I loved her in "Ship of Fools"  and when I eventually found her grave I found that she was buried next to Yves Montand her second husband...simple and elegant...

... Georges Melies, a Director of early films...

... I found the family vault of Georges Seurat, a pointillist painter who was interred here in 1891...

... and I wrapped up my visit to the graveyard by visiting the grave of Colette.  
This is a big place and since it's on a hill, you're either walking up or you're walking uphill... I felt that I was always walking uphill... it never seemed to be I was walking downhill.  So glad I made the time and visited.
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There you go sports fans, thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,
edgar 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Paris Fall 2018

Gentle Friends, I headed to Paris via train, getting on in Saumur, changing trains in Tours then hoping off a few hours later at Gare Montparnasse....  it was late in the afternoon, and I opted for a taxi instead of my usual Metro riding. Once I settled into my hotel, I took a shower... and then did a little research on my phone for a Sushi restaurant and found that there was a pretty decent one just a few doors away from my hotel called Tsuru...

... I started off with some miso soup...   and a beer...

... then some pot stickers...

... and some really delicious Sashimi, anTunana Roll with some decoratively shredded daikon......

... and I wrapped it all up with a  nice espresso...It was a sweet little dinner and a great way to start off Paris.
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  The next morning I had already bought tickets and made some plans... usually, before I leave for a trip I do quite a bit of research online about things to do, see or new things to do if I've been there before.  I've been to Paris quite a few times and have done many fun things and seen many wonderful things but I was sniffing around to see what was new that might be fun in the City...  

I found a place called Atelier des Lumieres or the Workshop of Lights... It is a brand new art space that just opened this past Spring... here's a blurb...   It is located in a former iron foundry created by the Plichon family in 1835 and has gone through a 9 million euro make over Culture Spaces.  It is the first Digital art center featuring 120 voideo projectors and a special discrete audio (50 nexo speakers with controlled directivity) for immersive exhibitions.  

With what information I could find and the short video's I watched I was still a bit leery.  I am very traditional when it come to art and I like flat work flat and scuplture in the round...  but I thought why not give something modern a try.... I am SO GLAD I did!!  You can click HERE to see the Ateliers site and their video...  I found this video on YouTube, it's in French with subtitles.  It is a short visit from "Arts in the City" about the goings on in the art community in Paris.... and gives you a real feel for what the AL space is like...



... I also took some stills while I was there, but they are not very good about showing what the experience is like... after reading all about the space and seeing the short film...I really wanted to get to the "exhibition" ... there were two "exhibits" one about the artist Klimt and the second about Viennese Succession called Hundertwasser .... so I quickly ordered my tickets online and was booked in for 10 am ... a short metro ride over and a quick walk up rue St Maur and I found the space...

Image result for light workshop
... I was glad got early tickets in advance as the line when I got there was huge (the snap above I swiped from online).... and I just walked right past the crowd and on into the building.  There are free lockers to lock up your things so that was handy...  I walked in on the middle of the frist presentation... and while enjoying it and getting my bearings I found a large wooden spool to sit on and just took it all in.... then it began...



... the images flowed over the walls and floors ... breaking up and ...swirling about..






... here's another short film...

... I took this shot of the space during the break between presentations... 
you can see how really big the foundry is...

.... I stayed for a good couple of hours and watched the presentations a few times... it was probably one of the coolest things I did on the whole trip... and I would highly recommend this experience to anyone going to Paris and you would enjoy the art there are "exhibiting".  I know that they have extended this premier show until January so there is still time to experience this wonderful exhibit!
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There you go sports fans, thanks again for stopping by do stop again!

Take care,
edgar

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A Little Bit of Christmas!!!

Gentle Friends, it's still Fall and I have Oogie Boogie out on the counter... but over the weekend my Christmas started up as it does every year... with Bud's Egg coming into the season and arriving on the shelves...

.. and to make it even better I stopped into my German Store over on Chruch Street and they had all their yummy German, Christmas treats out and selling full blast... so I picked up some Lebkuchen, Pfeffernusse and even some Marzipan "potatoes"... so I...

... poured me a tasty borboun laced eggnog!! 
My Saturday ended on a super Christmassy High Note!!
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Thanks for stopping by, remember Christmas is only about 42 days away!!  

Take care,
edgar

Monday, November 12, 2018

A Little Stitchin'

Gentle Friends, still stitching away.... on "Smith"...


... it's coming along nicely now... I was really happy when I found that it was all going to line up and meet... I always worry about being off a stitch and throwing the whole piece into a tailspin... then it's trying to figure out if I can fudge that border or will I have to frog part of it...  no fudge, no frog on those borders.... woo hoo!!!
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Thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,
edgar


Friday, November 9, 2018

Visiting Saumur Fall 2018

Gentle Freinds, on my last touring day in the Loire we decided to stay close to home.  Le Puy, the village where we were staying is about 15 minutes from the City of Saumur... and Saumur has a great Chateau set on the highest point overlooking the City...
this is the restored stone and drawbridge leading up to the Chateau...

The Chateau de Saumur was constructed on a high rocky point overlooking the Loire near the confluence of the Thouet river.  The first large fortified castle on this site was built in the 10th century by Theobold I, Count of Blois.  A larger more fortified castle was built in the later part of the 12th century by Plantagenet, Henry II, some of his titles include... Count of Anjou, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine and King of England he had others and was a powerful figure along with his wife Eleanor.... remember her??    That 12th-century structure was a more a utilitarian fortified castle.  It was enlarged by later Counts of Anjou who eventually rebuilt the main tower about 1360.  The first Duke of Anjou, Louis I converted this tower/fortress into a luxurious residence.  This "new" chateau-palace would become the most beautiful residence of the Dukes of Anjou-Valois.  After the last Duke of Anjou died the Chateau returned to the royal estate under King Rene in 1480.  The Chateau is built of locally mined stone called tuffeau.

Image result for tres riches heures du duc de berry'
... and important early illustration of the Chateau Saumur is in the "Tres Riche Heures du Duc du Berry." The illustration is from the page for Septemeber when the peasants are harvesting in the fields.  The Book of Hours is the most important remaining French Gothic illustrated manuscript.  The Duke du Berry who commissioned the book was the Brother of the Duke d'Anjou so he knew this Chateau well.  Both Dukes, at the time, were sons of John II, called the Good, who was King of France from 1350-64.


... looking from the Court of Honor out over Saumur and Loire...

... inside the Court of Honor...

... these are postcards that show how the Chateau looked around 1900 and before restoration began...

... some of the original floor tiles... they were recreated during the restoration...

... the rooms are large and are hung with some great tapestries...

... I really couldn't find much info about this tapestry, but it looks like a royal progress of some sort...

... all the fireplaces are big so that large fires could try and keep these room warmish...


... another tapestry, this one depicting a battle...


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The Chateau also has a huge collection of French pottery and porcelain...and you know what a nut I am about plates and porcelain... I took lots of snaps!!  

... this case is full of low fired faience from Rouen factory Sinceny, founded in 1715.  It's a thick earthenware covered in white tin glaze and decorated with lovely bright colors...  it all dates to the 18th century...

... in addition to all the pottery, there is scattered about some furniture and other decorative things....  this Louis XV small two draw bombe chest has a great piece of marble for a top and two really super crouching porcelain Foo Dogs... 

... a case of 17th-century faience from Nevers and a super needlepoint covered Louis XV chair...

... a case of high fire faience from Rouen dating to the 17th and 18th centuries...

... there are also some beautiful portraits... this is of Mademoiselle de Blois (1677-1749) who was the daughter of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan. O/C...

... above some of the cases in different rooms are more tapestries...  this series is called "Les Enfants Jardiniers"- children gardeners...  these two are... on the left Autumn, on the right Summer...

... these three are called Le grand Printemps, the big spring...

... and these two are... on the left Spring and on the right Winter...

... here's a snap of how they are hung....and how big the rooms are... notice the fgreat tiled foloors...

... a case of high fired porcelain from Niderviller in Strasbourg...18th century...

... close up of the floral decoration on these plates...


... this is just a super gorgeous porcelain plate...

... floral decorated Chantilly pottery cache pot...

... this is Lady Genevive du Dufort, Duchesse de Lauzun (1689-1740) O/C

... and this is her husband, Antoine Nompar de Caumont, Duc de Lauzun (1632-1723) O/C.  He was a Marshal of France and a renowned General of the French Army...

... a lovely big case of Mennecy soft paste porcelain from the factories around Chantilly, Sceaux, and Bourg-la-Reine, 18th century... notice me in the picture..... it's my reflection...

... a super Mennecy soft paste porcelain Compotier, with bird decoration, 18th century...

... a super faux bois decorated cup and saucer and covered jar, hard paste porcelain... 18th century...

... a restored circular wood/stone staircase from one of the towers...

... here you can see where one of the curtain walls were not restored which left the court of honor open to views of the city...
... another view out over the city of Saumur...

... standing back and looking at the Chateau...
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We headed back down into the Saumer to visit the church Notre-Dame des Ardilliers ... 
which was attached to the Convent Notre-Dame des Ardilliers...  

Here's some history of the church and why it's here....in ancient times there was a natural fountain/spring near here which was the scene of pagan sacrifices.  After Christianity came to the area a monastery was founded near the spring by Charlemagne.  That Monastery was destroyed by the Normans in the 10th century.  One surviving monk from that early monastery retired to a nearby cave as a hermit and with him took a statue of our Lady, his sole remaining treasure.  In 1454 a small statue believed to have belonged to that monk was found by a local farmer while he was plowing a field.   The ground the statue was found in is called "ardille" or clay in French and it's from that, the name of the chapel comes from... Notre Dame des Ardilliers.  This statue wrought many miracles and so the erection of a small arch above the spring was built.  Soon followed by a small chapel which built and dedicated.  By 1553 the arch and small chapel had turned into this magnificent chapel and had attained magnificent proportions as other additions were made, most notably by Cardinal Richelieu.

The worship of Our Lady of Ardilliers blossomed during the reign of Francois I.  This handsome edifice, extended into this wonderful-looking space by the 17th century.  It became one of the most popular pilgrimage centers in the western Loire valley with over 10,000 pilgrims a year visiting.  The building is of Italian inspiration, the 88-foot high cupola is quite striking.  The ancient miraculous statue stands next to the left of the nave, in the Richelieu Chapel.


... during the Battle of Cadets, in June 1940, most of the structures around the chapel were destroyed and the vault collapsed.  These were restored between 1947 and 57.  The oak frame of the dome is replaced by a concrete shell to limit the thrust on the walls and the windows were replaced with scenes from the passion of Christ...

... looking down the nave...

... the high altar with exuberant and beautiful Baroque stone carving..  for such a small (relatively speaking) space this is a magnificent piece of sculpted stone-work!!

... the Richelieu Chapel with the "Ancient Statue" in the niche below the large Pieta...




...the Royale Chaple...

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... then it was off to downtown, so we went to the Place St Pierre and some lunch...

... to the half-timbered Auberge St Pierre...

... it was a brisk and overcast day, but we sat outside anyway with a view of the church...

... I ordered "Boeuf Bourguignon a L'Ancienne"  a very good and hearty beef stew!!  Along with lunch, we had a lovely red wine!

... and here's a snap of Saumur's WWI memorial which has become a memorial to the residents of the City that have been lost in... WWI, WWII. the Polish-Soviet War (1919-21), and the wars in Indochina (1946-54) and Algiers (1854-62).  It was designed and sculpted by Paul Roussel (1867-1928).  The reason for the inclusion of a horse in this memorial is that Saumur has been the home to the Cadre Noir and the French Riding School since 1763 when Loius XV and the Duc de Choiseul set the school up...  It was a great day and a wonderful way to wrap up the Loire valley part of the trip... 
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The next day I took a train back to Paris for the last part of my trip.... next it's on to Paris... 
There you go sports fans, thanks again for stopping by do stop again!!   

Take care,
edgar