Category Archives: France

Paris II

I shunned the hotel free-for-all in favour of a lonely breakfast in the splendour of the Train Bleu. From there I could see dawn rising pinkly under the station canopies. Yesterday evening’s recital at the Bastille Opera was a pleasant … Continue reading

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I changed my Eurostar ticket for an earlier train and arrived in Paris before dusk. A quick walk down to the river and an impromptu trip to the booking office of the Bastille Opera . . . I’m now going … Continue reading

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Last day in Paris

The Montmartre vineyard: From the terrace of Sacré Cœur you see how pale Paris is: At the Musée de Montmartre I discovered Suzanne Valadon. At last: a Guimard Metro station with an awning: and the Église de Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre, built of reinforced cement, … Continue reading

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Roof of the Opéra Garnier

From the side, the coronet on the top of the rotunda is obvious. More leaden, sycophantic symbolism.

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Third day in Paris

Opulent or vulgar – take your pick. Built for Napoleon III, who was deposed and dead by the time it was inaugurated. How laughable it is now that sculpted bare female breasts were acceptable everywhere but a bit of leg … Continue reading

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Place Vendôme

I give it ten years . . . But I suppose that to Napoleon, having given the coup de grâce to the Holy Roman Empire at Austerlitz, it probably did seem that his new empire would last for centuries. Apparently … Continue reading

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End of the second day in Paris

Hector Guimard (1867-1942): At the Musée des Arts Décoratifs there was some beautiful and bizarre jewellery by Lalique. Prickly, unnerving items that seemed to threaten rather than charm. Given the hazards faced by women in fin de siècle Paris – … Continue reading

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