Why do people always want to forget about Paris? Is it because you had so much fun there (like Vegas?), or fell in love there and now you are miserable, and you don’t want to remember the good stuff? I’ve never understood that phrase. Today, was my last day in Paris, and I wanted to make it a memorable one. So I started my morning off with a run from Montmartre down to the Seine and back. I could already tell at 7am that it was going to be a hot one. How do you get out of a cold shower, and still be dripping like a leaky faucet?

So, to start my journey  I went first to the Opera. I hadn’t thought about going there, but this morning on my run, I ran by it. It is such an amazing piece of architecture. I remembered that the ceiling paintings had just been recently cleaned, and that there were some amazing pieces there. What an over the top beautiful place! Gold, art, and silk are everywhere. You can see some of the fine silk curtains like I saw made in Lyon, as well as the silk chairs, fringe, ropes, bells, etc. I have such a greater appreciation for weavers and tapists now that I now have a small idea of what went into them making their crafts.

Here is the inside the hall, opulent hardly describes it.

Not only did they have paintings on the ceilings, but they had a collection of paintings that in one way or another were referential to the Opera. They also had a collection of dioramas or the set designer’s mock ups for what the stage would look like lit. They are absolutely terrific, and have given me so many ideas. Here is one of the best.

The next stop was the Rodin Museum. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one. I am kind of hit or miss with Rodin. He certainly did a lot of work, but he never really says anything. The museum was huge, one a nice mansion, and set within one of the most posh neighborhoods possible. While it did entertain, it failed to hold my interest, but I was glad that I went. There was this nice pastel there though by Quentin de la Tour. Notice the child has a legion of honor pin, this will become more important in a moment. Quentin was the best ever at pastel! The Louvre has a nice section devoted to him and his practices. I tried to photograph it before, but the glare problem was insurmountable.

On the way to my next museum, I stumbled into a church that was along the way. I found 6 more Bouguereau paintings. They are his first public commissioned works in Paris. They aren’t terribly successful, but he was keeping with the theme established in all the other chapels…which is boring and stiff. But, there you go. I got to see them. After this I went to the Musee du Legion of Honor. Not what you might expect, quite of few paintings of people getting their legion of honor pins, or being portrayed afterwards. I didn’t realize how amazing these pins were. The museum had drawer after drawer of the medalion/pins that you could look at based on country, subject, rank, or metal/materials used. Unbelievable. These two are just two of many with diamonds (big enough for any girl to be happy), unreal wealth in this country at one time.

Next I returned to Musee d’Orsay. It was the first thing I went to when I got here, and it was fitting that it was the last thing (almost) I saw here. A lot has changed for me mentally and artistically in a month. I wrote a 6 or 7 page manifesto of sorts about it on the train. It basically set my course in 10,000 words. But, by accident, it got deleted. I think it was best though. Now it forces me to be more concise and direct with my plan. And, it keeps me from posting the whole thing here where it may not hold a logical thread or progression. So best to rewrite it short and sweet. I will attempt this on the plan home I think. So nothing lost.

I forgot to mention though, that when I was in Avignon with the McSpaddens, I set my camera down to eat a sandwich with the family. When we got up to go…I left the camera sitting there. This isn’t some point and shoot, it is the best camera Nikon makes, and one of the best lenses $$$$$!!!! I was less than a block away when I realized it, and came running back for it, it was there to my hearts relief. That was both the worst and best part of my day that day.

So, I went to d’Orsay as I mentioned. I basically stared at about 15 paintings in 4 hours, and reconstructed the working processes of the artists. It was a grand time. Happy. Sorry I don’t have any pictures, the d’Orsay doesn’t allow them. I thought about taking some, but I am trying to be really honest about stuff like that. It basically boils down to greed and impertinence. I don’t agree with the rule, and so I could use my cunning and charm to get what I wanted anyway, we all do this from time to time, but we know deep down it is wrong. So, I’ve been trying to follow the rules, when I do, something even better always happens, something you could have never imagined, the Universe takes care of you.

Finally, the last stop was the Louvre. I can finally say, I have seen the entire Louvre, at least all the pieces on display. It only took 5 trips!!! One of the last things I had to do was to visit the Napoleon apartments. As you can see they are appointed floor to ceiling with velvet silk draperies, wall hangings, couches, chairs, you name it. That is a lot of work.

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