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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 …

Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida

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"I hate darkness. Claude Monet once said that painting in general did not have light enough in it.  I agree with him. We painters, however, can never reproduce sunlight as it really is. I can only approach the truth of it. " Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida
Mother, 1895
Joaquin Sorolla (1863-1923) was a prolific Spanish painter from Valencia. He has been dubbed "the painter of light". His works include portraits, landscapes, historical and monumental themes. He left behind some 2000 paintings and there is a good representation of his oeuvres at his former home which is now the Museo Sorolla.
In the painting, Mother, Sorolla portrays his newly born daughter, Elena, with his wife who looks lovingly at her daughter. It's difficult to use white paint without overwhelming the subject. But Sorolla meticulously works with gradations of white. The white wall is a different shade from the white pillowcases and the white bedcover. He works with the curves of the bodies under the…

Fondation Louis Vuitton

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Fondation Louis Vuitton
The Fondation Louis Vuitton at the Bois de Boulogne in Paris is a new gallery for modern and contemporary art.  Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive of LVMH, envisioned architecture that would be symbolic of the 21st century and to this end, entrusted the project to renowned architect, Frank Gehry. The glass and steel building represents Gehry's idea of an evolving structure as it interacts with time and light, creating an impression of perpetual change.

The gallery was inaugurated in October of this year and the line to purchase tickets was understandably long in late November. I opted to enter the Jardin d'Acclimatation to get a close look at this colossal structure and observe the play of light on the curving glass panels as the afternoon progressed. 

Gehry's creation was inspired by glass and steel buildings of the 19th century. However, the Fondation is definitely 21st century. It appears like a ship with a recognizable bow under which th…