|Courtyard where we ate breakfast at the Paris Westin|
Thanks to the hubs for winning the 2010 Patent and Innovation award, we were treated to an all-expenses paid weekend in Paris, France, compliments of his company. From the moment we arrived at the Westin at the Place de la Concorde, we were treated as royalty. Surrounded by luxury, we were able to soak in the atmosphere and allow our penchant for busy schedules to gently unwind while taking in all of the beauty of this spectacular and romantic hotel.
Our room was beautifully appointed and gifts were awaiting our arrival on the table. We took note of the tasteful room and kind gifts and then, due to the amounts of wine we had consumed at dinner, we set our alarm for a respectable 7:00 am wake-up for Saturday morning. Settling into the crisp white linen sheets was not a problem for us.
Morning promised an awesome day for Parisians. The sky was clear, the sun was out, and we were ready to begin our day. Breakfast was served in the inner courtyard of our hotel (see photo above) and we relaxed in the early warmth of the sun. Excellent cappuccinos, warm croissants, fluffy omelets and fresh preserves offered the bit of energy our bodies needed to sustain us through the morning. We were being collected for a trip to the Georges Pompidou (Musee National d'Art Moderne) and the bus awaited.
Promptly at 9 am, we were whisked away to tour the sights of Paris and then arrive at the museum. Arriving at the Pompidou, you are immediately aware of all of the primary colors of the exposed pipes surrounding the building.
|Entrance to the Pompidou|
The "Beaubourg" has the largest collection of modern art in Europe and is rivaled in quantity and quality with the MOMA in New York. Matisses' paintings and sculptures, Picasso abstracts, Robert Delaunay's cubism, and a plethora of paintings and sculptures by the European masters such as Braque, Duchamp,Mondrian, Dali, Kandinsky, Giocometti, Ernst, Miró, Calder, Magritte, Rothko, and Pollock graced the grand exhibition halls. For this I would have needed a week to view, but we were only given a few hours before we were to depart.
One of my degrees is in Art and I have studied and taught courses involving many of the artworks I saw at the Pompidou. To be able to actually stand before the paintings and sculptures that I have only seen previously in books or in film was an experience I will never forget. To view the piece in it's entirety, notice the brush strokes and application of paint or to study the artists hand at sculpture was awe inspiring. It was hard for the group to pull me away, but as I turned around to see the gallery one last time, I promised to return when I can give these masterpieces the time they so greatly deserve.
Before our departure, we were guided through the clear tubes exposed on the outside of the Beaugourg. From here you see the magnificent landscape of Paris, the Eiffel Tower, Montmarte, Notre Dame and the beautiful, Sacrè Coeur or Sacred Heart Cathedral. Here are a few of the photos I was able to take from this amazing vantage point.
But what I won't be able to share with you, is the accidental photo I got from clicking a shot with my telephoto lens of an interesting apartment building. After processing the photos, I was presented with a photo of a naked man basking in the sun's rays as he sat before the open French doors of his balcony. (I would be a dangerous paparazzi with that lens. Sorry, I am not including the photo, but it was sheer art, I tell you--sheer art.)
|Rooftop view of the Eiffel Tower from the Pompidou Center|
|Sacrè-Coeur (Sacred Heart) Cathedral|
|Site of my "sighting." Left hand side, four windows down, captured with telephoto lens which I WILL NOT publish!|
Here are just a few of my favorite paintings (who can really choose?):
|Ferdinand Lèger and his industrial influences.||.|
|Mondrian and his beautiful "swan-like" necks.|
Here is another work by another one of my favorite artists. Anyone care to make a guess as to who might have painted this famous painting? I'll give you some clues:
- He was French, 1869-1904
- He was also a print maker and sculptor
- He was known for his use of color and pointillism and was heavily influenced by Van Gogh
- Used intricate patterns and wallpaper in his interiors
- He was great friends with Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein
- Invalid and in a wheel chair at the end of his life, he made gigantic paper cutouts