Look back: Paris in Photos
One important part of the world trip for me was to attend an art class in Paris, France. I had applied for a drawing class at Studio Escalier in May 2014 and got accepted. I waited for 5 months with anticipation and excitement and finally, Saurabh and I arrived in Paris.
In San Francisco, I had learned how to paint using Flemish technique - oil painting technique that uses layers and layers of color over each other — and had instantly fallen in love. In early centuries, art students had to first learn how to draw for at least a year before they actually started painting. Therefore I decided to learn drawing from life to start my art journey.
Amazonas to Paris
We flew to Paris from Amazonas, Brazil. It was a long 9-hour journey and we were really tired by the end of it. We had rented an apartment in Montmartre for 1.5 months because my course was 6 weeks long. We reached the apartment around 8 pm. It was a cozy place and 15 min walking distance from my art’s class. After we reached the apartment, the owner greeted us with a bottle of wine and a book on Louvre.
I was super excited about the course but at the same time a little skeptical about Paris. We had been here a few years back, for a day during transit and had found it less romantic and more chaotic. However, this time we were here for a different reason.
After a few days, my art classes started. In the mornings, I learned how to draw at the studio and then in the afternoon practiced it at the Louvre. It was fun! Wednesdays and Fridays in the Louvre were open for friends and family of the pass holders, so Saurabh and I saw many exhibitions on those days.
On weekends, we went to touristy places and ate Nutella Crepes on our way back. We started with Notre Dame.
Notre Dame is a Catholic cathedral near river Seine and has a French-gothic architecture from inside. It is walking distance to the Louvre and close to river Seine.
We then walked towards the bridge next to Notre Dame and saw lots of love padlocks on the bridge. However, It is not a Parisian tradition and they are considered more of a nuisance than a romantic idea.
Shakespeare and Co
We also visited Shakespeare and Company bookstore on the left bank. It was a gathering place for famous writers such as Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, etc.
Next week, we went to Sacre Coeur since it was closer to where we lived. It is a beautiful Roman church at the highest point in Montmartre where tourists appear in huge number during any time of the week. We bought tickets and visited the top of the church. The view from the top is very beautiful. After seeing Sacre Coeur, we went to the artist’s square where street artists draw portraits for a small fee.
Pigalle and Café des Deux Moulins (Amelie's cafe)
We then walked to Pigalle — the red light district in Paris. It is a beautiful place that houses Moulin Rouge as well as some famous cafes like the one you saw in the French movie Amelie.
That week, we also planned to see Mona Lisa. Louvre houses some amazing paintings by Peter Paul Ruben, Jean-Gilles Berizzi, Raphael as well as sculptures such as Michaelangelo, Winged Victory of Samothrace, etc. The collection is divided among departments for Egyptian Antiquities, Greek art, Roman art, Islamic art, Sculptures, Paintings, and Prints. It takes more than a week to see everything properly.
Back to class
My classes became more and more hectic week after week. The more I learned, the more I had to practice. It is quite easy to travel in Paris since the metro connects all the places in the city pretty well.
Next, we went to the Eiffel Tower. We pre-booked our tickets coz we both wanted to see it from the top. The view from the top is amazing and we waited till the evening to see the glittering lights. It happens twice in the evening but check the schedule on their website.
Palace of Versailles
Since Saurabh and I both like art as well as palaces, we decided to visit Palace of Versailles. It’s a huge royal palace built when Louis XIV moved there from Paris along with the royal family. The palace was developed over time by different successors of Louis XIII. We highly recommend going here early since the palace, as well as its gardens, are spread out over a large area.
At the gates of Palace of Versailles At the gates of Palace of Versailles At the gates of Palace of Versailles Palace of Versailles courtyard Inside Palace of Versailles Inside Palace of Versailles Inside Palace of Versailles Wall paintings inside Palace of Versailles Corridor at Palace of Versailles Paintings on the ceiling
Arc De Triomphe
During our last week in Paris we visited Arc De Triomphe. Its one of the famous arches in Paris near Champs Elysees and honors those who fought for France during the Napoleonic wars.
image courtesy: http://www.travlang.com/
Paris is a must see place for art history lovers. Saurabh and I loved this place and I specially loved the art class. After learning from such great teachers, I decided to sign up for their Portrait painting class in Argenton-les-vallees for the summer.