Saturday, 8 December 2012

Impressions of a Parisian Christmas

Christmas has definitely arrived here in Paris.

There are stars, lights, markets, reindeer, decorations en masse.....and it's bleak and cold....bitterly cold for a gal from sunny, warm Queensland (which I hear is currently experiencing heatwave conditions.)  Here in Paris today it's 2 degrees max. going down to -1 degree!
Christmas Marché...St Germain de to London
in a week of so....let's hope I see some real squirrels!
Promenading on rue Vielle du Temple
Le Bon Marché..their windows are fantastique.
Just outside Le Meurice...a nice little bunker
on a cold night in Paris!
So little wonder Pierre and I have been spending some time indoors lately....inside the musées...and at the top of my list is that gorgeous little Musée de l' the end of the Tuileries near Place de Concorde.  

I love this musée and have been many times.   

Monet's monumental (8 mural) Impressionist masterpiece, The Water Lilies is here....and also Paul Guillaume's fabulous art collection.

Paul was an extraordinary art dealer and patron who 'discovered' and bolstered the career of many artists....and his collection is gorgeous....Picasso, Matisse, Renoir, Modigliani, Utrillo.....and the fabulous Soutine.  It was Paul who 'discovered' Soutine in the 1920s and promoted his art. you know his work?  I'm always drawn to it when I visit.
Apparently, he was a great admirer of Rembrandt's (well, aren't we all) and would spend a lot of time at the Louvre observing the great master's work.  Not a bad place to learn 'the basics' is it!

His bold portraits, slightly skewed, simple in form but with luscious colour have a special quality that seem to capture the personality of the sitter.   He was a good mate of Modigliani's too....he's another artist that I particularly like...but Soutine had the good fortune to have the assistance of very wealthy patrons...Madeleine and Marcellin Castaing...that's Madeleine in the gorgeous red dress above.

Here's just a glimpse of Paul's fabulous collection....what an eye he had!
Cézanne....and I could almost feel the softness of those furry peaches.
Utrillo...can't you tell he loved Montmartre and its community?
Picasso....genius!'s that little Odalisque that I told you about in
my postés sensual non?
Modigliani....the reds, russets, aubergines, purples and blacks...
the curves....
the composition.....
always a favourite of mine.
Look how carefully Modigliani signed his name...
another beautiful element of his painting.
Renoir...this is his daughter playing...exquisite isn't she....
but that bouquet of white roses divine is that!
And if you visit, make sure you don't miss the trés petit model of Paul's apartment and his fabulous art collection...someone extraordinary has made's amazing...everything's in perfect miniature scale...totally divine...and housed in its own little room at the end of the gallery.  
Look carefully...and you'll see Gulliver (moi) peering into Paul's gorgeous, art-filled apartment.
This gorgeous little model of Paul's apartment
is no more than 30cm x 20cm!!!
Everything's in perfect miniature scale.
There's Soutine's "Pastry Chef"...though here it's
only as big as a thumbnail!
Can you see Paul Guillaume...upper right corner....
as painted by Modigliani?   Looks very dapper doesn't he!
And here's a representation of Guillaume's extraordinary
collection...c'est trés impressionnant non?
Those Modigliani curves and composition...j'adore.
And to let all those Parisian Christmas impressions sink in....Pierre and I thought we'd head across the Tuileries and duck into Le Meurice for a vin chaud! that's another story....whenever you visit Le Meurice you just know all your Christmases have come at once!  A bientot.
Rodin's The the front of the Mlusée.
Another the side of the Musée. I've said before...
is a cornucopia of gorgeousness.
The kids making the most of a fine afternoon in the Tuileries.

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  1. Such lovely photos! You made me remember my time in Paris working as aupair. I was in all those places that you show us. Thank you very much!

  2. Christmas in Paris how wonderful! You have really inspired us to do something similar - might have to wait until I retire though.

  3. I've been to La Pinacotheque de Paris for Modilgliani, Soutine and the Legend of Montparnasse exhibition last Summer. Wonderful gallery and an extraordinary expo. Love immensely both artists. I discovered Soutine years ago with the Portrait of a Mad Woman in Red. He has these series. Couldn't forget since.

    1. Yes, I saw that exhibition too Natalie...I loved it. Soutine and Modigliani...I just swoon!

  4. What a wonderful collection! Merci Robyn for sharing with moi. Oh, I did spot Gulliver too! Jude