Friday, 27 July 2012

Parisian Extravagance and Opulence I

Pierre and I are so fortunate to be living in the Opera arrondissement.....there are many theatres in the district as well as lovely restaurants.

And just a hop, skip and jump away from us is one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world.....the opulent Opera Garnier.
It was commissioned by Napoleon III and built by Charles Garnier in the 1870s.

It's a majestic theatre....Charles really knew how to pile on the extravagance and opulence....the facade, monumental staircase, frescoes, gold leaf embellishment and red velvet theatre crowned with a Chagall ceiling definitely have the WOW factor.

Clearly, Charles didn't follow the principle that "less is more".
We did attempt to purchase tickets for the ballet the day we had a snorkel through Opera Garnier....but Parisians know how to enjoy the good life and it was totally booked out for this month.

So....I'm enjoying the delayed anticipation of our September booking.

First up, after a swan around the balcony (as you do), I think I'll head to the outside terrace for a pre-ballet overlooks place de l'Opera....great for people watching too.
I'll be heading for this corner of the terrace....looks a good spot n'est-ce pas?
And when it's time to take our red velvet seats inside the theatre.....there'll be no shortage of marvels to gaze at.
The extravagance and opulence of Opera Garnier reminded me of another 'house of pleasure and entertainment' in one of Paris' other suburbs.......Versailles.

As I said above, Parisians really know how to enjoy the good life and Louis and Marie-Antoinette knew their stuff!  

But more about that little abode in my next post, Parisian Extravagance and Opulence II.  
Once you see Versailles, you understand perfectly well why there was a revolution!

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Friday, 20 July 2012

Electric Rainbow

Paris from our bedroom window....Friday morning 11am.
I would describe Paris as a magnificent 'greige' city....its architecture is predominantly that of greys, slates, creams, beiges and all the tones in between.

There are little patches of colour.....terracotta (chimney pots), rich red (window boxes of geraniums), verdi gris and gold (domes, statues).....but it is a predominantly grey city.....even the sky is often grey.  It's gorgeous...but its grey.

Here's Paris....from our apartment windows this morning.
The 'greige' stone walls of Paris are beautiful...and an
inspiration for my collages.
Yes....j'adore Paris' greys........but when I see an electric rainbow of colours I am instantly drawn in.

That's what happened when I saw Raoul Dufy's The Electricity Fairy at the Musée d'Art Moderne this week.

What a wonderful illumination of electric colour it is.....a monumental work (10 metres x 60 metres) completed by Dufy for the International Exhibition in 1937.

The mural tells the story of electricity....the history and applications of electricity including portraits of 110 great scientists and inventors who contributed to the development of electricity.
Have a snorkel at the clip below...turn on the music
and enjoy...

And I mustn't forget about another OMG moment when I saw Marc Chagall's ceiling at Opera Garnier.

An electric rainbow of luminous and yellow and pink and green....purple and orange and blue.....I could see a rainbow!

I'll tell you all about Opera Garnier in my next post....but for's that ceiling that crowns the ruby red jewel box below.
Can you see those rainbow coloured ballerinas above?  Might have to book for the ballet very soon!

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Sunday, 15 July 2012


Ooooohh-la-la-la-la!  Pierre and I heard this over and over again last night.  Gay Paree was in gay abandon!

Disco balls, lights, a glittering and fireworks.  Midnight in Paris......Bastille Day 2012.

Viva la revolution!  Here's a peek at what it was like.
Oooohhh-la-la-la-la n'est-ce pas?

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