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Monthly Archives: April 2011

I am entranced by neoclassical and baroque interiors,  and so I was very lucky  to have spent this Easter weekend in Munich which houses treasures of truly unspeakable beauty.  I was particularly impressed by the trompe l’oeil I saw everywhere from façades to churches, to palace interiors.  The Residenz definitely has the most outstanding examples beginning with its courtyard which is fully painted in a trellis of neo classical columns to the interiors heavy with elaborate stone inlay.  Trompe L’oeil is  a visual trick meant to expand our view, indicating a beyond….I call it heaven.

Residenz façade

Stone inlay perspective

this is not trompe l'oeil, but the colors and light create a limitless beyond

my own hotel trompe l'oeil

I am very sensitive to imagery of the  ship at sea, and particularly the ship a bit lost in an overwhelming surge.  The symbolism is quite obvious.  Jung, (my go-to source for endless brain tweezing) says the boat symbol stems from “the primordial era when the subconscious was predominant and the conscious weak.”  I say, let’s bring back the primordial era!

The things I see , the regal sails, the bravery of the crew, the mastery of the winds, the unknown, the loneliness, the fragility, the tension and strength, the unpredictability of the sea…are all so absolutely melodramatic (sorry) that they really do for me what a painting was meant to do I believe…I drop my conscious mind for just a minute and fall into a beautiful daydream out on the open seas.

And they’re just simply incredibly chic….. thus begins a collection……

amazing naval scene, from the Benaki Museum, Athens

perhaps my favorite, Rousseau, Le Navire dans la Tempête,musée de lOrangerie, Paris

My collection begins

ahoy!

It is always during this season that I suddenly remember why I moved to Paris in the first place.  Spring clearly has a way of showing the best of pretty much anywhere that has been hidden under winter’s dull blanket for so many months, yet Paris really does seem to have something extra in April, or so goes the song.  The gardens flourish here.  The flower beds overflow.  The trees align into long straight rows of lush cubic leaves.  The grass becomes an intense brilliant green and it seems the blades have all been finely woven together to ensure the softest, most plush lawn.  Even the Parisians themselves begin to look fresh again.

The most incredible garden in the city is the Parc de Bagatelle.  Tucked inside the Bois de Boulogne, this park and its tiny jewel of a château was built as a result of a bet made during a drunken evening of gambling at Marie Antoinette’s Versailles.  The Comte d’Artois lost his bet to Marie-Antoinette, and was thus obliged to construct a folly for her in the bois.

I was very lucky to have gone to lunch at the restaurant La Bagatelle (which is nothing to get excited about really aside from its sublime setting and the fact that it is always booked, so when you do get a table it seems much more lucky than it should) and spent the afternoon in the gardens.

The peacocks were in full regalia and truly the stars of the garden, the tulips were astonishing, the cherry blossoms had fallen to leave a pink snow on the lawns, the irises were on the verge of blooming, and there were even a few early roses unfolding.

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