Friday, March 2, 2012

If I were in Paris... Friday, March 2, 2012

This seems like a good week to go walking on the Left Bank.

Over in the 5th arrondissment, at the Musee Cluny, there is an exhibition that closes Monday, 3.5, on Gaston Febus. The Cluny is another of the small, brilliant museums scattered throughout Paris; this one focuses on medieval life--and if you think you'll be bored, you're very wrong.

Febus -- or the very first self-named "Sun King" -- was a medieval lord of some skill, but also an early man of letters. A writer and bibliophile, the Cluny has a number of his illiminated manuscripts on view, as well as documents and other artifacts of his earl court and fascinating medieval rule.
The Cluny has an excellent bookstore and is best visited now, during cool weather. The museum also includes the foundations and remains of a Roman bath, again demonstrating not only how old the city is, but how many, many layers of history and living have occurred in this one, small urban space. The museum is housed in a medieval hotel, which is also worth seeing.

Then one might stop for a cup of coffee and some people watching along the Boulevard St. Michel, and continue to the Musee Rodin, where there is an unusual exhibition, "Capturing the Model." On view are 300 drawings by Rodin -- better known as a sculptor -- combined with a series of paintings by Paul-Armand Gette, based on his 40-year study of the female body; the Gette exhibition is titled "Artemis and her Nymphs." Both exhibitions run through April 1.

The front of Rodin's museum... note roses
The Rodin museum is of course in Rodin's home. One can walk through the grounds, and although June is the prime time to visit the museum for this purpose -- when the many, many rose bushes are in full blossom, with Rodin's sculptures scattered throughout the grounds -- the opportunity to see the house, sculptures, and grounds is fantastic any time. Additionally, there is a much better cafe now than when I first visited this site, 25 years ago.

Interior staircase

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! Come back and visit often.