Saturday, October 11, 2014

Africa in Paris

One of the reasons we went to Paris in September....besides being a great time of year...was for the Tribal Art show...Parcours des Mondes. This was the 13th annual show.  Dealers from all over the world come into the Saint Germain arrondissement and set up in ~60+ galleries to exhibit. Collectors, museum curators, and enthusiasts (like me) come to Paris to see the latest these dealers have to offer. You could tell by watching the people in the galleries that most were serious collectors and there was some big money involved.

I made sure I looked in most of 60+ galleries...although I had to leave Lou in a bar for part of it...he was getting bored.  Some galleries allowed me to take photos and other absolutely did not.  I always asked.  Most were polite about it...a few were put out that I even asked.

The first gallery we looked in before the show even started was Galerie J. Visser.  We talked to the owner...Joris.  He was great. He explained how some of the pieces weather by the lichens that attach to the wood...and let me take pics....and he was good looking :)

This fetish was 4-5 feet tall.  It has hair, horns, beads, and a cheetah loin cloth.  It was fabulous!!  The next time I stopped in this gallery, this piece was gone.  I'm glad I got to see it. 

Shields...I am assuming.  Great designs. 

A Hemba mask from the Congo

Funerary sculptures, carved on the death of a leader, are placed at the entrance to the village for protection.

This was my favorite piece.  A fetish of the Songye people in the Congo.  Up close it seems to portray such pain.  The eyes were just gouges...which may have been how it was made or may have been an artifact.  But it still gave me that impression

Dramatic pieces.  I like the masks.

This was another favorite.  An initiation mask from the Congo.  I especially like the little guy up top with the big boner.

Terra Cotta from Mali

Another terra cotta...I'm thinking Djenne from Mali.

I can't remember what these were or where they are from.  The carving was interesting.

An amazing Songye axe.  The iron work was great.  Looking at this I was trying imaging how they would have forged it. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Icon....La Tour Eiffel

When the Eiffel Tower was built it was hated by just about everyone in Paris.  Today it is iconic.  Even the most jaded of people have to melt when they see the tower twinkling at night.

Gustave Eiffel

We took The Romance Tour of the Eiffel Tower.  This was our tour guide.  Cute as a button!!

Did I tell you he was cute??
Part of the tour was seeing the hydraulics that life the elevators.

Another part of the tour was getting to go up on the roof of the restaurant. 

The gold dome building is Les Invalides. Among other things it is the burial site of Napoleon

The Champ de Mars

Here he is Sweetie Pie in Paris

Panoramic shot on the tower. 

Across the Seine..The Trocadero

It's magical at night!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Paris Cathedrals

... the first cathedral you see remains with you forever as the cathedral of the world. - M.E.W. Sherwood

Notre Dame de Paris was my first cathedral.  Like the quote me, it is THE cathedral. 

Sweetie Pie in Paris

It's beautiful from the front and you get an idea of the size from the side.
It's humbling to sit here.  It took 182 years to finish building the cathedral. We lite candles and caught part of a mass. It's very moving.

The ceilings in the nave are 115 feet high. 

The Grand Organ has 5 keyboards and 8,000 pipes

Gargoyles...but only from afar. One of these trips I'll get up close and personal.

The Church of Saint Sulpice was close by.  It's second in size to Notre Dame.

The Lady Chapel

This is the starting point of the gnomon.  A meridian line of brass was inlaid across the floor and ascending a white marble obelisk, nearly eleven metres high, at the top of which is a sphere surmounted by a cross. The obelisk is dated 1743.  In the south transept window a small opening with a lens was set up, so that a ray of sunlight shines onto the brass line. At noon on the winter solstice (21 December), the ray of light touches the brass line on the obelisk. At noon on the equinoxes (21 March and 21 September), the ray touches an oval plate of copper in the floor near the altar.

The obelisk with the sphere.  In the Da Vinci Code, the albino priest comes to Saint Sulpice in search of the keystone.  He breaks through the floor in front of the obelisk, only to realize he's been lead astray.  There is a sign in the church next to the obelisk....

"Contrary to fanciful allegations in a recent best-selling novel, this [the line in the floor] is not a vestige of a pagan temple. No such temple ever existed in this place. It was never called a "Rose-Line". It does not coincide with the meridian traced through the middle of the Paris Observatory which serves as a reference for maps where longitudes are measured in degrees East or West of Paris. (...) Please also note that the letters "P" and "S" in the small round windows at both ends of the transept refer to Peter and Sulpice, the patron saints of the church, and not an imaginary "Priory of Sion".

Not my first picture of this fountain.  I love the lions. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

La Seine...

A final reminder. Whenever you are in Paris at twilight in the early summer, return to the Seine and watch the evening sky close slowly on a last strand of daylight fading quietly, like a sigh. –Kate Simon

A floating bar and across the river...The Louvre.

The Louvre

And The really is huge

There are 37 bridges over the Seine and that doesn't include the pedestrian bridges.  This one is my favorite...Pont des arts. 

Most of the major sights in Paris are just off the Seine...this guessed it...The Louvre.

Looking up at the Latin Quarter

This trip was relaxed.  We spent a couple afternoons just sitting on the banks of the Seine. 
View from the Eiffel Tower

And another

At night...with a little help from Photoshop.