Newsletter: 28 June 2010

I’ve recorded today’s newsletter … so if you’d care to listen to it … here it is:

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If you’d care to read it …

If you happen to take advantage of the fact that the Museé des Beaux Arts in Rouen is showing a rare collection of Impressionist paintings, you will undoubtedly also be pleasantly surprised by the staff at the Museum.

They are refreshingly kind, relaxed, welcoming and knowledgeable. An example of how things ought to be. I’d be surprised if we hear of a strike up there.

The subject matter of the exhibit itself centers around the place it is held in: the thriving city of Rouen as it was in the 1890s. Monet, Pissaro, Gauguin (as well as other less well-known) show the boats, long or wide … or both… the big sails, the quays, the workers, the sailors … all against a newly industrialized background where morning fog and smoke from the smokestacks color the sky. Impressions. Outdoor painting. St. Catherine’s Hill. Looking down onto Rouen, there where Saint Joan was burned at the stake on the 30th of May, 1431.

The bridges. The two main bridges crossing the Seine are shown in morning light, morning fog, under the rain, under the snow. In one, small painting, we we the sun behind the clouds, through the clouds, its light then reflected from the Seine under the bridge of Boieldieu.

The Cathedral. Under the different lights of day as Monet observed it.

There’s something else to be said for all of this: Both the painters and today’s staff were artists.

The staff and the Museum offering us … their hospitality, the artists … their visions, their works.

As you walk through Rouen … you might pass the vast City Hall. Bullet and shell pockmarks of all sizes show on the stone walls. Those happened after these paintings were painted, after these painters had ceased to see but before the staff at the Museum of Fine Arts were born.

Just a reminder.

Thanks for reading The Paris Savannah Connection.

Mark

PS. Another sort of Reminder: At the end of the month, I’ll have updated the mailing list of the Paris Savannah Connection to only include those who let me know they want to continue receiving it. So … if you haven’t already sent me a message to let me know … well, let me know: mark@paris-savannah.com Thanks.

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