Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Friday Adventure

Friday mornings the cleaning lady comes, so Marcie and I decided to go out.  We first went to an exhibit about the Medici family at the Musee Maillol.  First, there is a reason why I was so enthusiastic about visiting this museum, other than the fact that this family is so historically influential.  In the 9th grade, my literature teacher assigned a year-long research project.  We were to "become" any historical figure that we were interested in.  I have this small love for being interested in things that aren't so well known, and paths that are less chosen (I chose to play viola in middle school, and took pipe organ lessons in high school).  Anyway, rather than choosing Marilyn Monroe, Genghis Kahn, or George Washington, I did some pre-research on various European queens, and became intrigued by Catherine de Medici.  After a year of research and completing various projects regarding Catherine, including writing from her perspective, I feel very close to anything Medici.

Sign outside museum
The museum was great.  I saw a Botticelli painting, a Michelangelo sculpture, and many other amazing things.  In one room, there was a cello made by Nicolo Amati dating from around 1640.  Nicolo Amati was a teacher of Stradivarius, another exquisite maker of instruments.  Anyway, the cello fascinated me, apparently it was a creation between the viola da gamba family and the modern cello.  It was slightly larger than a modern cello and was used primarily for accompaniment purposes.  There was a beautiful amber varnish on the wood, and at the bottom of the thick fingerboard, nearest to the bridge, was an inlay of mother of pearl.  Gorgeous.

And, of course, coming across an enormous portrait of Catherine de Medici enchanted me for quite some time.  Unfortunately, pictures weren't allowed in the Medici exhibit, but it was very enjoyable.  So was our walk back to our side of the 7th arrondissement.  Here are some pictures of the walk:

Walking down La Rue de Grenelle

I like this one because it has the Eiffel Tour, a French flag, and a pretty statue

Invalides, where Napoleon is buried

Once we got this far on our walk, Marcie realized we were near the Rodin museum, you know, Auguste Rodin, who made "the thinker."  This is another museum that I can get into for free, so I think I'll return!  We just walked through the gardens around the museum, but there were some very beautiful things.  The first thing I noticed was this sign:

So, apparently Auguste Rodin was associated with RM Rilke somehow--I'm only so interested in Rilke because of my mother's fascination with his poetry.  Anyway, this was very interesting to me, so I'll have to do some research about their connection.  The only thing I read was that Rilke was Rodin's secretary, of sorts.  Whatever that means.

Looking at the Museum

The gardens

"The Thinker" or "Le Penseur"

Close-up on "The Thinker"
 Did you know that "The Thinker" was made individually after appearing as part of "The Gates of Hell" (pictured below)?  Many of Rodin's most famous works made their first appearance on this grand doorway.
"The Gates of Hell"
We came across a glassed-in display of many marble sculptures, that used to be spread about the gardens, but the moss and weather had started to deteriorate the marble, so they cleaned them up and put them behind glass.


This was one of my favorites:

Auguste Rodin

The gardens were just so lovely, and it seems it would be a great place for reflection, writing, reading--just quiet time surrounded by beautiful things and nature.  Although, that's not too hard to come by.  Even though it was winter and nothing was really in bloom, I still thought it was beautiful.  It seems to be one of those places to return to each season, to see it grow and blossom and change.

We walked home after the Rodin museum and came across this little Lutheran church, I thought it was cute.

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