Posts Tagged ‘paris’
India is on everybody’s radar these days, whether it’s collaborating with the ever-more-powerful technology and entertainment industries, or simply enjoying its wonderful cuisine (which, of course, you can find all over Paris). This summer two museums in Paris are highlighting the intimate relationship Europe has with India: at the Pompidou Centre the exhibition Paris-Dehli-Bombay showcases the work of contemporary Indian and French artists (until September 19th); while at Musée national des Arts asiatiques – Guimet, Une cour royale en Inde: Lucknow transports us back in time to the royal city of Lucknow, where a mixed society of Europeans and Indians flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries (until July 11th). Also, interspersed throughout the museum’s main exhibition halls are works of art by Indian-born American artist Rina Banerjee (until September 26th).
If you’re like us, no doubt you’ve already been enjoying the summertime activities in Paris. In the Bassin de la Villette and Canal de L’Ourcq there are activities going on all summer, and it’s a great place to stroll with friends and family. Bring a picnic to the Parc de la Villette before seeing the great science museum, Cite de Sciences, or the always interesting music museum, Cite de la Musique. This is a great part of Paris that you shouldn’t miss out on; the sunsets near the Villette are especially nice. We should also mention that it’s a good place for jogging, if your so inclined.
Here are some of the activities you can participate in this summer:
If you’ve read Harry Potter, chances are you’ll remember the name Nicolas Flamel, friend of Dumbledore and possessor of the legendary Philosopher’s Stone. You might be pleasantly surprised to find out that he is not just the fantasy of Rowling’s mind; he indeed existed and he was considered one of the great alchemists of his time.
Part of the wealthy Parisian bourgeois from the mid-1300s to 1418, his official title was letter-writer and sworn-bookseller, but that didn’t explain the extent of his affluence. His marriage into wealth and real estate investments assured him a vast fortune; but rumors about its origins spread, and many suspected he used alchemy to create his riches. After his death he left behind several properties, and he gave considerable amounts of money to charities and churches. Because of the amounts he bequeathed, rumors about his dabbling in the metallurgical arts grew to legendary proportions.
One of his properties was a hostel at 51 rue de Montmorency, where he and his wife cared for the sick. Not only is this spot of interest because it belonged to one of Paris’ most mysterious denizens, it is also the oldest house in all of Paris, dating back to 1407. Nowadays there’s a pricey bistro on the premises, but one can still pass by to view this corner of Parisian history.
Some footage of Leviathan, Anish Kapoor’s contribution to Monumenta 2001 at the Grand Palais. This impressive structure is straight out of science fiction, and is truly humbling to witness. It also looks great juxtaposed with the ornate, Beaux-Arts styled surroundings of the Grand Palais. Tomorrow is the last day of the exhibit, and the Grand Palais is open until midnight, so check it out if you can.
Don’t miss the last two days of Monumenta 2011, hosted at the Grand Palais. Following on the heels of Anselm Kiefer, Richard Serra and Christian Boltanski, this year the French Ministry of Culture and Communication has invited Anish Kapoor to create something for the “monumental” space of the Grand Palais’ Nave.
Kapoor says about his work: “A single object, a single form, a single colour. My ambition is to create a space within a space that responds to the height and luminosity of the Nave at the Grand Palais. Visitors are invited to walk inside the work, to immerse themselves in colour, and it will, I hope, be a contemplative and poetic experience.”
Aptly called the Leviathan, visitors can catch this impressive work of art tomorrow, Wednesday from 10:00 to 19:00, and Thursday from 10:00 to 24:00, for €5.
Just off the Place de la Concorde is the Musée national de l’Orangerie, which houses the eight of the Nymphéas, the renowned series by Claude Monet. These paintings were given to the French nation by the artist after World War I as a celebration of peace. Indeed, the large sweeping paintings, bathed in the soft overhead light, bring about a certain meditative calm in the visitor. In the halls of the Orangerie below the the Nymphéas, one can see an extensive collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings by Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri Rousseau and others.