I began my Saturday at Café Delmas on the Rue Moufftard drinking my café au lait and eating my croissant. I spent a leisurely morning enjoying the area and avoiding the rain. After lunch, I took off to the Palais Royal for a Renoir Exhibition and a Treasures of Istanbul Exhibition.
Paris is so cool. While waiting in line at the Palais Royal (which happened to be a long one in cold weather and drizzling rain!) I had the pleasure of enjoying a serenade by a wonderful clarinet player. People often set up on the streets here to play their music and place a hat or box at their feet for donations. It is so wonderful. I never see much money in their tip box so I don’t think they do it for the money. I believe it is for the love of the music. I had already seen this same man playing in the metro tunnel. Yes, people set up in the metro tunnels and play. It is so lovely to hear a saxophone or a clarinet or a voice singing in the distance while you are in the tunnel waiting for the train. It echos and makes a beautiful sound.
The Palais Royal hosts a prestigious exhibition devoted to Pierre-Auguste Renoir, bringing together a stunning collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures from the latter period of the artist's extensive career. On loan from public and private collections worldwide and complemented by works from Picasso, Maillol, Matisse and Bonnard, the exhibition invites visitors to discover a less well-known oeuvre by Renoir, a body of work reflecting a softer, more modern approach in style, form and technique, particularly apparent in his series of nudes. The exhibition also includes works on loan from his own son Claude Renoir, who was often the subject of many of his father’s famous works.
I thoroughly enjoyed viewing this large collection. It also included sculptures cast in bronze. I never realized he did sculpture. I also learned that he had severe rheumatoid arthritis in his later years and was confined to a wheel chair. They had a silent film of him working during his late years. His hands were so twisted he could not pick up a brush. He had assists with him that place the brush in his hand. He could still mix the paint and stroke the canvas but they had to place and remove the brush in his hand. He also worked on very large canvas and had difficulty in his later years reaching the tops of the canvas. He devised some kind of easel that would raise and lower the canvas to the level where he needed to work.
He was truly a Master.
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