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Showing posts with the label France

Marc Chagall Museum in Nice

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In 1966, Marc Chagall donated the group of paintings collectively known as “Biblical Message” to the French State. These paintings were exhibited at the Louvre and became the inspiration for the Musée National Marc Chagall in Nice which was inaugurated in 1973 and attended by the artist himself. This biblical series of 17 large scale paintings form the core of the exhibition. 250 works were initially donated by Chagall. Aside from the paintings, there are sculptures, bas reliefs, a ceramic piece, lithographs and copies of his illustrated books. A mosaic wall called, The Prophet Elijah, presides in the courtyard.

Every Chagall painting has more than one story to tell. I learned to watch for the little vignettes scattered throughout his canvases so I wouldn’t miss the rich narratives that define his works.

The Creation of Man, 1956-58 An angel carries Adam from the ocean where animals thrived prior to the creation of man. The rays of a swirling sun evoke the artistic style of Delaunay (who…

One Enchanted Evening in Carcassonne

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It was a cool evening in mid-April when I first laid eyes on La Cité, the fortified medieval village of Carcassonne. I was on the Pont Vieux with a few other souls enjoying the view of the illuminated citadel. Looking up at its outline against the darkening sky was like stepping into a fairy tale.
The new bridge and its reflection on the Aude river added a romantic ambiance to the crisp night air.
Daylight gave La Cité a different presence. Stone cold walls and watchtowers rise above the Aude whose banks were wrapped in green and early spring blooms.
La Cité has a double set of fortifications. The inner walls were built during the Gallo Roman era and the outer walls which can be seen from the image above, were constructed during the reign of Louis IX in the 13th century. La Cité was in decay in the 19th century prompting the French government to order its demolition. The outcry from the residents brought about the extensive renovations made by the architect, Eugène Viollet le Duc, who wa…

Notre Dame de Paris (after April 15, 2019)

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I was traveling in southern France when I heard of the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral from my cousin in the U.S.  I turned on the television to verify the news as I didn't believe her. And the news wasn't good. Notre Dame was burning and I saw how the spire toppled, weakened by the fire that rose up into the sky. It was heartbreaking to watch. Thousands of people were singing and praying in the streets of Paris as the fire continued to raze Notre Dame into the night. 
A special mass and prayer service was held at the Notre Dame in Nice the following day as it was in many churches across France. It was a prayer of faith and hope for the restoration of one of the most loved churches in the world.
When I returned to Paris after a couple weeks of exploration, I went to the Cathedral and was relieved to see that the twin towers were unscathed as was the rose window. This view of  a spireless Notre Dame is from the Left Bank.
Behind the rose window, a hint of the extensive damage to the…

Les Nabis and the Decorative Arts

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At the recently concluded exhibition, Les Nabis et Le Décor, decorative works by the Nabi group of artists including Maurice Denis, Bonnard, Vuillard, Sérusier, Ranson and Vallotton, were on display at the Musée Luxembourg in Paris. These works of art were intended for “contemporary interiors in reaction against the aesthetics of historical pastiche that were in vogue at the end of the 19th century”.

The painting above, Arabesque Poétique ou L’Echelle dans le feuillage, is by Maurice Denis from 1892.


This wool tapestry is entitled, La Baigneuse ou La Vague. It is the work of Aristide Maillol during the period 1896-1899.

There are Japanese influences in the decorative works of the Nabis as shown on this screen, Passage Vallonné by Marguerite Sérusier from 1910. The Japanese ukiyo-e style of painting with its simple forms, vibrant colors and decorative themes appealed to the Nabis.

Most of these works were commissions by friends or patrons and themes about women and nature and spirituality …

The Café Culture in France

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The Shades Club are out in force here in Montmartre.

It’s pure delight to sit and drink a fine red Bordeaux while contemplating on this sculpture by Jaume Plensa. Bordeaux offers many outdoor cafés for watching the world go by while enjoying their famous canelé pastry.
In Nîmes, the best seat for a cuppa is right beside the Roman amphitheater that was built at the end of the first century.

In Nice, orange chairs and hanging laundry provide a colorful backdrop for these outdoor cafés.

In the medieval hilltop village of St. Paul de Vence, there’s always time to join friends for coffee and conversation at the outdoor terrace.
“And the idea of just wondering off to a café with a notebook and writing and seeing where that takes me for awhile is just bliss.” J. K. Rowling
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Images by TravelswithCharie


Posting Soon to TravelswithCharie

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Marc Chagall June and July have been busy months for me. Haven’t had the time to write much. There are so many travel articles that I would like to post soon. Here’s a preview of what’s to come. 

Bordeaux Marc Chagall Museum in Nice
Albi
Toulouse
Bordeaux
Notre Dame de Paris
Carcassonne 

Albi
Stay tuned!
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Images by TravelswithCharie

A toast to La Cité du Vin

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“Every detail of the building, evokes wine’s soul and liquid nature: seamless roundness, intangible and sensual." Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières, architects of La Cité du Vin.

La Cité du Vin (The City of Wine) is a journey through the world of wine from its earliest beginnings some 8,000 years ago to the modern period in a contemporary 3,000 m² exhibition space above the Garonne River in Bordeaux.

There are 19 thematic interactive displays exploring the cultivation of wine starting with a film that takes you on a world wine tour. On the terroir table, winemakers from 10 wine regions in the world talk about the development of their vineyards.  The gallery of civilizations expounds on the topic of divine wine, medical wine, celebratory wine and sustaining wine and how these have accompanied us through the ages. These are just a few of the highlights of an afternoon full of discoveries at La Cité du Vin. My personal favorite was the buffet of the five senses where I could get …

A patch of green

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"God almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures." Francis Bacon 
Jardins du Palais de la Berbie, Albi.

"Bare feet on the grass comfort the spirit and connect the body to the earth all at once." Maximilian Degenerez
Pont Vieux. Aude River, Carcassonne.

"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." Warren Buffett 
Esplanade Charles de Gaulle, Nîmes.

We need to take our children out more often to reconnect with nature.
Place Wilson, Toulouse.

In this medieval village, nature trails down the sides of stone houses and the scent of oranges permeate the air.  St. Paul de Vence, Provence Alpes-Maritimes.
Metal goes well with a patch of green, n'est ce pas?  La Tour Eiffel, Paris.
"I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree." Joyce Kilmer Place des Quinconces, Bordeaux.
A patch of green will do a world of good. TravelswithCharie
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Images by TravelswithCharie