In this final installment of Beach Traveler’s Europe, Islander Becky Bodnar shares her visit this summer to Paris and her experience on the Seine River on Bastille Day.
The Musée Picasso is an art gallery located in the Marais district of Paris dedicated to the work of Pablo Picasso. The 17th century mansion was built for a tax farmer who became rich collecting the salt tax and is considered one of the finest historic houses in the Marais.
The “Picasso Sculptures” exhibit features 240 of the artist’s sculptures. Picasso experimented in all kinds of materials, like cement, soldered iron, paper, plaster, ceramic and he assembled sculptures from materials and “found objects,” whose original shape is almost unrecognizable when cast in bronze. While I’m not a big fan of Picasso, the way he incorporated these disparate objects into his design is pretty fascinating and maybe even genius.
Baboon and Young (1951). The baboon’s head is formed of two toy cars, with the addition of two small balls for the pupils of its eyes. The foundry molded the plaster from a single cast, which was then rendered in bronze.
Little Girl Jumping Rope (1950). The figure includes a wicker basket and a cake mold. Plaster cast (L) with bronze (R).
Heads. Check out the tallest head, Head of a Woman with chignon (1931). This sculpture inspired a hair style used during Paris Fashion Week.
Notice the black line (lower right) I thought it was to keep people back a safe distance from the art.
Sunbather. I got this close-up of the sculpture by stepping on the black line, and setting off an alarm, which brought a lot of museum security running, amusing other visitors.
July 14 is Bastille Day, French Independence Day. On July 14, 1789, the royal Bastille fortress–a prison that was a symbol of the King’s absolute and arbitrary power–was attacked. It marked the beginning of the French Revolution. Bastille Day is celebrated much as we celebrate July 4, with parades and fireworks. The military parade on the Champs-Élysées is the oldest and largest in Western Europe. I saw it years ago and kept waiting for the floats and marching bands to appear, but they never materialized–it is not that kind of parade.
There are many places from which to view the fireworks set off around the Eiffel Tower. The Champs de Mars, the half-mile-long park stretching from the École Militaire to the Eiffel Tower, is probably the single most popular place from which to watch the fireworks, but as many as 500,000 people have the same idea. I opted for a Seine River dinner cruise, which travels along the Seine, mooring at the foot of the Eiffel Tower just before 11:00 PM, when the fireworks start. We boarded at 7:45pm at the Quai Malaquais across from the Louvre Museum.
With this installment, I say “Au revoir.” Anyone interested in seeing photos of my past travels, and this year’s, when posted, is welcome to visit