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Showing posts from January, 2018

Following the Thread

I've been to so many art museums in my life and seen so many paintings, sculptures, and other highly wrought handmade objects of beauty. Yet I've never been too taken by tapestries, for some reason, usually choosing to walk past them and into another gallery where I can find more paintings to look at. But during my visit a few weeks ago to the Musee de Cluny (the medieval museum, basically) in Paris, I saw some things that made me stop in admiration.

There were rooms full of these gorgeous images, 10 feet by 15 feet or larger, created in tapestry in the 1400s or 1500s. The museum's collection is quite small and actually has hardly any paintings, so this forced me to spend more time on woven stuff than I normally would. I'm glad I did, because the artistry of the mainly anonymous craftsmen who made these pieces is astonishing. Look at the perfectly proportioned figures and animals, the rich colours, and the teeming imagination that fills every inch of them.

The prize o…

Retour a Paris

I'm back in Paris, teaching for the fourth consecutive year. During my most recent free weekend, I visited the Rodin Museum for the first time in more then twenty years. My visit coincided with the best weather so far -- bright and sunny and mild. The view of the Invalides from the gardens of the former Hotel Biron is spectacular:

 This summed up the experience of the museum, actually: the building being as deserving of admiration as the work displayed inside it. The rooms on the ground floor were full of these mouth watering combinations of belle epoque decoration and Rodin's writhing, muscular statuary:

Typically for me, the documentary material also caught my eye. Here is on the of the photos of Rodin using rooms in the hotel as a temporary studio, where he would entertain admirers, hangers on, and potential new clients (Rodin is seated at front-left):

The gardens surrounding the museum consist of sandy pathways leading through orderly bushes and topiary, interspersed with…