Thursday, April 12, 2018

Museums and Exhibits

There are many museums and exhibition halls in Paris, from the well known, like the Louvre, to lesser known but very good museums. Here are a few exhibits we've been to lately.

First, a real surprise for me. We went to an exhibit with Craig and Julien to check out the Manga artist Naoki Urasawa.  I never heard of him but maybe the kids or grandkids have. Manga is a sort of Japanese graphic comic book loaded with normal heroes and super-heroes who try to save themselves and maybe the world.
Bat-Boy, a crime fighter

Same with PLUTO, who has super powers.

This story was about young siblings who were  orphans. The brother got into financial trouble with bad characters. The sister said she would pay back the money for the brother. The bad guys wanted her to become a prostitute but she refused and said she would learn how to play tennis and win Wimbledon to get the money to save her brother. Of course, after a struggle, she succeeds and all are saved.

So, you see they are  inspirational stories that can appeal to adults as well as young adults.

This sketch says, "Stop spending your time drawing Manga. Study!"

We really enjoyed this exhibit even though we had no real knowledge of the artist or the art of Manga.

A few days later, Judy got invited to go with Claire to the opening of the Delacroix exhibit at the Louvre. This was a pretty classy event. She got all dressed up and would loved to have had a chauffeur drive them into the Courtyard of the Louvre instead of taking the metro.
This was a very comprehensive collection of Delacroix' work. The beautiful setting was not too crowded either. Plenty of room to enjoy the paintings, especially this famous painting of Liberty leading the French Citizenry in one the many French Revolutions.

Although classical trained like most of his predecessors, he broke away a bit and painted a little looser. One can see brush strokes in his paintings which were really not visible in some of the works of earlier painters. This one looks a lot like Monet's Etretat paintings.

Judy was struck by Delacroix' sketch pad, which was on display. Very interesting.

At the Manga exhibit, there were sketch books from the artist, Urasawa, as well. All good artists keep a log of their sketches, thoughts, ideas, etc.

On another day, after lunch at Creperie Suzette, our new favorite crepe place  on Rue Franc Bourgois, we decided to continue to the nearby Picasso Museum. There was an exhibit dedicated to his famous painting, Guernica.
Once entering the museum,  there was a guide who walked you through many of the symbols and references that Picasso had included in his work, Guernica. These symbols include, bulls, horseheads, women with lamps, etc.  If you expand the photo, you can see the arrows pointing to different areas and giving some background on their meaning.
Picasso had already planned on showing his latest, large work at the Spanish pavilion at an exhibit in Paris in 1937. He was nearly finished with his painting when, during the Spanish Civil War, the German and Italian air force bombed the small Spanish town of Guernica, killing many defenseless people including many women and children. Here is a French newspaper with the account of the attack on the left column of the front page.
Picasso was so outraged by this attack on his country men that he quickly modified his original work to include many symbols of the violence of war. This work was now "Guernica" and it became an anti-war and anti-fascist icon.

Although this is not the real "Guernica", it is a copy to show the actual size of the painting. It is about 12 feet high by 26 feet long. Picasso only took a short time to add his anti-war references to his original work 

During WWII, Guernica was sent to NYC for safe-keeping and has since travelled the world. It ended up in Spain at the Prado and has since been moved to the Queen Sofia Museum in Madrid. 

This was a well done and enlightening exhibit that gave us a new understanding and appreciation of a world famous piece of art. 


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