July 14, 2010

Au Revoir France - July 7

Karl reading some German newspapers at the airport.

Flying Executive means a pod to stretch out for the long journey home.

While in our rented home in Thouars, we read a lot of books on art.  This is a quote from Ted Seth Jacobs who wrote Drawing With an Open Mind.

"I would like to thank the flowers and the trees who posed uncomplainingly, various pieces of furniture that gave their opinions about life and art, old streets full of stories, musicians - imagine! - who transform the air as we draw; generous human models, idealistic and courageous dancers, and, since we are all both teachers and students, everybody; but especially my reverent thanks for the incomparable shining gift of life."

We could not express our appreciation more eloquently.

We asked the flowers from the Thouars courtyard to please take a bow.


Musée du Louvre - July 5

The Louvre Museum contains one of the most important art collections in the world.  It has a history dating back to the medieval times.
Over many centuries the Louvre was enlarged by a succession of French rulers.

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
This triumphal arch was built to celebrate Napoleon's military victories in 1805.

The Glass Pyramid

The new main entrance designed by architect I.M. Pei in 1989 is made of metal and glass.  The pyramid enables the visitor to see the buildings around the palace, while allowing light down into the underground visitors' reception area.

The Louvre is immense and contains three main wings: the Richelieu, the Sully and the Denon. 

Karl went to the Denon Wing where many of the Italian, Spanish and 19th-century French paintings can be found.  (This is also the wing made famous by Dan Brown in the Da Vinci Code.)

Napoleon crowning himself then his Josephine.  Notice how the "church" is seated lower than the Emperor.

Of course there's the Mona Lisa.

I went to the Richelieu wing.  I wanted to see the Dutch paintings and found "The Lacemaker" by J. Vermeer.

Then it was onto the French sculptures.  Oh my, I could have sat there and admired even just one all day.

Mercury tying on his wings (to his ankles).

We took time out to play a little.

July 5, 2010

Château de Versailles - July 4 (Part I)

The Château de Versailles is the most opulent in all of France. Under Louis XIV, it became the center of political power.
An hour and 40 minutes in line to buy tickets with a 32 degree sun beating on our shoulders.

Another 45 minutes waiting to get in the front door.

The Chapelle Royale.
The first floor was reserved for the royal family and the ground floor for the court.

The beautiful interior is decorated with Corinthian columns and white marble, gilding, and Baroque murals.

The Hall of Mirrors.

Great state occasions were held in this room stretching 233 feet along the west façade. Here in 1919 the Treaty of Versailles was ratified, ending World War I.

The Salon du Sacre is adorned with huge paintings of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David.

This is the Queen's drawing room, but next to it is her bedroom where she gave birth to the royal children in public view.


The gardens are sumptuous. Geometric paths and shrubberies are features of the gardens.

The Dragon Fountain's centerpiece is a winged monster.

Fountain of Neptune.
Groups of sculptures spray spectacular jets of water in Le Nôtre's 17th-century garden.