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Chartres, Le Mans, and the Louvre, 2012 (2)


In mid-April 2012, the snow's disappearing in the Jura.

Too much work anyway. Down tools. We're going to Chartres.

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

We're going back to Paris today. To see some Art.

We're scurrying to catch the train to Paris, can't stop now. (Look at that North Tower: wouldn't you like to be up there right now, gazing down upon everybody like a god?)

The Gare Montparnasse in Paris, heavily dosed on American culture. Kristin's getting some business out of the way in the Trocadéro district, and then we're off to walk along the Seine to the Louvre.

Eiffel Tower, oh wow, but we're on our way to see some Art.

The mighty Seine, as we're scuttling along towards the Louvre.

The Pont Alexandre III in front of the Grand Palais

Les Invalides. Can't stop now. Art.

The march along the Seine to the Louvre is growing tiresome, with all the obelisks and extravagant gold-foil winged victory statues and what not. The Place de la Concorde, I think.

In fact, as it happens I know quite a lot about Paris and the Louvre, but it's all from about 1575.

"Lutetia vulgo Paris, Anno 1575" (by Iosse de Reveau)

It was all simpler then. But smellier.

Along the river side of the garden of the Tuileries, we're at the Louvre at last.

The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (Yay, Napoleon! You Go!)
(This is where the Reign of Terror guillotine was set up in 1792-93.)

A calming presence

No dignity

Oh man, look at the line.

We're in! (We went through the basement from the Carrousel.)

Tickets in hand, ohmigod, where to start?

Flemish.

A shocker for starters. One's favorite artist, Joachim Beuckelaer of Antwerp, the master of fish and vegetable markets, could do religion, too. Way to go, Joachim. I can even recognize some of his fish and vegetable selling models. (Crucifixion, 1567)

The tax collectors (ca. 1566), a copy from Marinus van Reymerswaele. Say what you want about the IRS, they wouldn't be caught out in hats like that.

Another Circumcision -- they LOVED pictures of circumcisions. What's that about? (Maître de Saint-Séverin, ca. 1490)

We collect pictures of St George, a popular name in the family, and they're always pretty goofy. (Upper Rhine, late 15th century)

"Listen up, people. Listen up! Jesus wants to say grace. Come on, listen up!" (Wedding at Cana, Gérard David, early 16th C.)

Aficionados of beheading pictures (Holofernes, John the Baptist, Goliath, etc.) will rejoice in Caron's Massacres under the Triumvirate (1566) -- heads lined up on the benches, chasing people all over ancient Rome, waving heads around like party favors.

And passing heads along hand-to-hand like an assembly line. The painting commemorates various massacres of Huguenot Protestants by the Duc de Guise and his Catholic friends, not in Rome but in Paris, Vassy, and elsewhere in 1561-2 (nothing like what happened a few years later, in 1572, on St Bartholomew's Day in Paris).

Nobody can pass the enigmatic Estrées Girls with stopping for a photo, even with no-flash-allowed (School of Fontainebleau, ca. 1594).

"Not here, madam. We have a room where you won't be disturbed."

The attack of the 50-foot Queen of Heaven

We're worn out, it's time to go home . . .

. . . but we're trapped inside. Egyptian sarcophagi, African totems, gift shops, huge Roman copies of Greek statues . . . we're really lost.

Daylight and maybe a way out.

The greeting committee back in Chartres

Tomorrow: A proper look around Chartres


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 3 May 2012.


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