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Monday, May 24, 2010

Paris: Soaring Towers and Sunken Ponds


I am back from Paris, an amazing trip.  It has taken me a week to be able to write about it; first, because I've been busy with my baby daughter's college graduation and surprise (!) bridal shower. Second, because I needed my thoughts to stop fluttering around in my snow globe head and to settle.  

I won't bore you with every place I visited; surely you know Paris has many sights to see. I will tell you that my two favorites were the palatine chapel, Sainte Chappelle and Monet's water lilies at the Musee de l'Orangerie. 





The upper chapel of Sainte Chapelle is a room that is completely surrounded in stained glass - floor to ceiling, 360 degrees around.  It was commissioned by Louis IX, the King of France, to house the crown of thorns and a fragment of the True Cross, which he purchased in the 13th century for a vast sum.  When I stood in this room, it felt something like being inside a Tiffany lamp. The colored light was everywhere.  I imagined what it must have felt like for Louie IX to go there and ponder great decisions. 





The water lilies are almost completely abstract versions of dawn and dusk views of Monet's garden at Giverny:  the reflection of trees and clouds on water.  The magnitude of these paintings is daunting:  six and a half feet tall and curved to arc completely around each of two rooms.  I walked around each chamber, stopping to look at the view from various perspectives and, as countless others have, imagined I was seeing Monet's world through his eyes.  I'm not exaggerating when I say that it was such an experience that I was dizzy from the realization of the masterful accomplishment.   I assure you that once you enter the cool twilight of these impressions of garden ponds at Giverny, you will not ever want to leave.  

More to come...

13 comments:

Brenda said...

While you were in Paris, I was reading Claude and Camille, a book about Monet and his first wife. He is my favorite painter.

I am so jealous....Paris!

ksowens said...

Ohhhhhh, lucky you!! I am so envious - one day I have to go there :-)) Glad you are back.

Lizzi said...

You look pretty perfect in Paris! Isn't Sainte Chapelle amazing? Just amazing.

I can't wait to hear/see more!

Brandie said...

Love the pictures...so awesome! Wow..Paris. So amazing.

paperqueen said...

Wow....great photos, and I must say, you look very chic and French standing there next to one of Monet's masterpieces!
Glad you're home.
Eileen

Holli said...

Breathtaking... albsolutely breathtaking.... I'm so happy you were able to be there!!

Sydney said...

i can't even find the words. i went to Paris 13 years ago, right out of college. Ste. Chapelle... breathtaking. I need to go back and just get lost there!

Lynda Howells said...

I love Paris and have been many times and know how lucky l amx I remember the shock l got when l rounded the corner in the place and came face to face with Monet's masterpieces and l agree with you..l could have stood there for hours just staringxxlynda
http:chocolatelifeandjazz.blogspot.com

LisaC said...

Wow Teri, what an awesome experience! Thank you so much for sharing!

Lisa said...

So very, very jealous of your trip to Paris! Can't wait to see more pictures. And then you got to come home to a graduation and a bridal shower? You've been a busy lady!

ellie said...

whoa. truly magnificent experiences described here, Ter.....no wonder your head felt like a snowglobe! Gosh, viewing those paintings must have been beyond spectacular.....I can only imagine!

Thauna said...

Oh I adore Monet!!! I don't think I would want to leave this room either. Someday I will see them. :o)

Kalanna said...

i read this post days and days ago, but still wanted to say THANK you for sharing Paris with us!