Wednesday, February 6, 2013

January Statues

Our Statue of Liberty in New York City was a gift from France.  In Paris, there are three of them, four if you count this one on the balcony of my hotel.  The hotel is directly across from this one, on a little island in the Seine.  We cruised past it while eating foie gras.

There is another one at the Musée d'Orsay.  I think it used to be in the Luxembourg Gardens.

At Sacré Coeur, with a dusting of snow.  Not enough to keep him from heading off to war.  Or from protecting damsels in distress.  Or whatever he is up to.

How cold was it, you ask?  Cold enough to freeze water and make gargoyles look really creepy.  Creepier than they already do.

Also spotted at the Musée d'Orsay-- Goethe's hair.  Quite a do.

The Musée d'Orsay hippo covered in snow.  Glad he has thick skin.  And he didn't have to worry about which shoes he should wear.  Or fret over the fact that he did not bring snow/rain boots, only cute suede ones that he didn't want to ruin in the slush.

Outside the Church of St. Germain des Prés.  Cold?  I'm not cold, silly woman.

Ste Thérèse inside the church.  The candle is there to send up a prayer for the BFF's brother and my sister.  There is also a statue of her in Sacré Coeur, but I've already been fussed at in French for taking photos in there, so I do not do it any more.  Almost anything sounds good when said in French, but I do not like to be fussed at in any language.

The Alma bridge across from La Tour Eiffel.  I could be wrong, but I am not sure he is wearing any clothes.  Brrr.  Cold parts.  However, he is standing strong, braving the storm.

Now, down to the south of France...
On the drive from Nîmes to Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, I saw crosses up on a hill.  We drove up to explore.  A monastery with a calvaire.  Note the beautiful blue skies.  No snow.  I often ask my Frenchie friends if they appreciate their country.  I mean, history is every where you look.  Churches, statues, castles, Roman ruins...  They live with it.  But do they really see it?  I hope so.

In France, there are these beautiful little buildings, crosses, or statues called oratoires.  They are for divine protection.  In Arles, there are still a few left on the corners of some streets.  I have seen them in other towns, too.

I know that I love gazing up at them.  If the protection is an added bonus, well, I will take that, too.
Mme P and I also saw the Venus of Arles.  She is quite beautiful.  Mme P had never seen her before.  She lives in the Hôtel de Ville where she can stay nice and warm.  And protected.  Not Mme P.  Venus.  Mme P has her lovely restored home in Pujaut where she and her family stay nice and warm.  And me, too, when I visit.

While in Arles, Mme P and I went to the Musée de l'Arles Antique.  She had never been there.  It is a musée built in 1995 to house all this cool stuff they keep digging up in the area.  Heads everywhere...  Hadrian, looking quite pleased with himself, I think.

Little Lucius César, wondering what happened to his nose...

A random Roman foot.  Can't remember who it belongs to.  I just liked it.  All nice and smooth and posed just so.

What happened to the noses?  I know that statues where beheaded during the Revolution, but benosed?  What's up with that?  Poor lady.  She can't wake up and smell the lavender.  But she was having a good hair day.

Not so with this one.  Sad look... maybe looking in the mirror after having been coiffed for the day by a servant.  Or maybe humid weather messed up the do.  Do you know the feeling?

This poor guy looks miserable, too.  Like he is being crushed.  Ouf!

And look at this big strong boy... carrying a sheep.  Not just a little lamb.  But a full grown sheep.  (I always feel like this word is plural.  Seems weird in the singular.  Or is that just me?)  Asking his neighbor when he can put this bad boy down.  And where.  Maybe they are going to eat it for dinner.  Arles is historically well-known for its sheep population.  I want to be invited to that cook-out.

The lion is the symbol of Arles.   This one, with the lights shining on it, makes quite an impression as it guards the entrance to the exhibits in the museum.  I wonder how old he is.

At the end of the week, I made my way back up to Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport.  It is a direct shot on the TGV.  While waiting for my Air France flight in the new terminal (a whole blog on that alone is planned for the near future), I found an exhibit devoted to Rodin's sculptures.  Copies of the originals.
M. Le Penseur.  Je pense donc je suis.  Or maybe wondering what to have for dinner.  Or contemplating his luck at not being stuck in the garden in the snow at the Rodin museum like his big brother.

M. Balzac, standing proud and strong.  Wearing a bathrobe.  At least he is keeping warm.

And finally, my favorite.  Le Baiser.  The Kiss.  Admiring this one always embarrasses my students.  So, I stood and admired it for as long as I wanted to this time since no 14 year olds were with me.  Très romantique, n'est-ce pas?

My airport doesn't have works of art in it.  How about yours?

I had a lovely 10 day adventure, even in the snow without proper shoes.

Bon appétit, les statues!

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