Saturday, June 18, 2005

Gare St Lazare

We met at metro Liege to start our tour of the Gare St. Lazare area. Our tour guide told us that rue Liege used to be the place men would come to find bordellos in Paris. The doors of these places remain, although the businesses inside have changed.

This was the door of a lower class bordello. The doors were refurbished years ago and the panels were placed on the wrong side -- the faces are supposed to be looking at each other as lovers do. These faces are supposed to represent Abelard and Heloise, the scandalous lovers from the 12th century. You would have known that the doors opened the way for another type of illicit love... prostitution.

After rue Liege we walked down to rue Moscou to find where the French painter Gustave Caillebotte painted his famous painting...

"Paris Street, Rainy Day"

Caillebotte's most intriguing paintings are the ones of the new broad Parisian boulevards. He was trained as an engineer by profession and liked geometry in his paintings.

Interestingly, Manet and Monet also painted some of their famous paintings in this area of Paris too. However, it wasn't an artists colony because the area near the Gare St Lazare was too expensive for most artists. Caillebotte had inherited a large sum from his father and could live where ever he wanted.

We ended the tour by Gare St. Lazare, made famous by Claude Monet in a painting.

-- said Auntie M in Paris
10:54 AM



Lets see you have done Van Gogh and Auvers and now Caillebotte and St.Lazare. What's next la grande jatte and the picnic-ers?

# posted by Mike in DC : 4:48 AM  

I love this post ... all of it ... but especially the photo juxtaposed with the painting ... marvelous and informative.

# posted by Becca : 5:08 AM  

Wonderful post. Your photos are always intoxicating.

# posted by Michele : 5:45 AM  

Oh, they should really fix the gate. Now it just looks wrong.

# posted by BohemianMama : 6:21 AM  

Ha, that picture you have, "Paris Street, Rainy Day" is in my French textbook: Rue de Paris, temps de pluie 1876-1877 Gustave Caollebotte. It's on the chapter page for Chapitre 5: Dans le passé. Nice painting.

Yes, that's the closest I'm getting to having a similar French experience to you for a while, Auntie. ;-)

# posted by Joe : 6:24 AM  

Oh very nice post Auntie. I love the Caillebotte painting comparison with the actual street. Very clever! This sounds like a great little tour. You've got me making a list now of Paris trip 'must sees' and it's getting long!!

# posted by chrisc : 8:49 AM  

Like everyone else, I love your blog. Your posts are educating me and they've made my job so much easier. For the next two months i have various family members coming from California to visit me in Burgundy. Some have kids and some don't. They range in age from 6 to 60. Having only lived here 2 1/2 years, I still have a lot to learn about Paris. Your blog makes my learning so much more interesting than most travel guides. Hopefully I will be able to give my family some interesting tours when we visit Paris. Thank you sharing your days in Paris with all of us. By the way, the photo and the painting comparison in this particular post was great!

# posted by chezanna : 1:44 PM  

Here we go again, more about Paris that after 17 years I still don't know -- and I WORK on rue d'Amsterdam, around the corner from Liège.... I can't wait to tell everyone at work about the scandalous area we work in...

# posted by Magillicuddy : 11:59 PM  

I saw that painting in the Chicago Art Museum... it's one of my favorites of all time!

# posted by Margie : 3:04 AM  

You know, in case I haven't told you lately, I really love your blog. The comparison of past and present is something I really like, especially in a city such as Paris. Thanks for keeping it interesting.

# posted by Michael : 7:46 PM  

Post a Comment