Day seven, Saturday April 20.
Andrew Graham Dixon , a renowned British art historian, did a fabulous series of programmes on the good old Beeb, about the art of France not so long ago. And one of the buildings he visited was Sainte Chapelle, within the boundaries of the Palais de Justice de Paris. An impressive Gothic building unusually on two floors with dazzling stained glass windows on the first floor. I was appalled to discover this gap in my artistic experience so I had to fill it.
The security was tight but the ticket queue not too long and I was soon in the beautifully painted and gilded lower chapel. It isn’t a big building so the fact that the ‘shop’ was in this area didn’t help. And when will some tourists…….learn that it is ‘good manners’ to be quiet in such places (grumble, grumble).
When you get upstairs you have one of those jaw dropping moments. There was so much stained glass it seems amazing that the whole build holds together. It was like being inside a giant colourful and fruity boiled sweet, If you haven’t been. Go !
Overwhelmed with beauty and other people, I then continued my meanderings via the marche des fleurs, a welcome, cool and fragrant place to pass through on such a sizzling day with the array of hydrangeas oddly similar in colours to the spectacle I had just seen.
On my list was also a visit to the Paris residence of Victor Hugo, who also had a home in Jersey in the Channel Isles. You know the one, author of “Notre-Dame de Paris” (1831) et”Les Miserables” (1862). I have read most of the works by Emile Zola and many other of the French classics, so maybe this is another part of my education I need to rectify. I will of course read it in the original French ! It didn’t look far to walk on the map! Here is a photo of the Chinese room which he designed himself.
I had also walked past one of the large department stores Le BHV Marais with imaginative window displays featuring the Tour de Franc and other very pretty and so chic little shops. Well time to go back now and check on les chats. Not a lot of painting done today but I made a couple of films to help my sketching students on the metro. Impressed or what?