Posted by: facetothewind | August 4, 2010

Looking up at the opera

We toured the Paris Opera house today, designed by the rookie architect Charles Garnier. The building has a fascinating history from legends of phantoms to deposed Emperors to construction stoppages due to revolts and war. Now it is finished and has all sorts of little architectural surprises like the addition of a Chagall ceiling painting (not a fresco) that covers the previous one soiled by the use of gas lighting. The new one was installed in 1964 to great controversy. Unfortunately they mis-measured the size and cut it 13 cm too small – so you can see the edge. Underneath is the old painting.

And the bats on the ceiling for the room of the night. The mirrors are tinted gray to give reflections a moonlit glow. On the other side of the building is the room of day, celebrating the sun. There the mirrors are tinted orange.

* * *

We also visited the Musee D’Orsay which was mobbed with tourists. Sebastian found one painting that reminded him of me when I was 17. If only I had looked that good. The nice thing about being so goofy at 17 was that age was only going to improve things.

Louis Welden Hawkins (1849-1910)
Portrait de jeune homme

And while we’re on the note of narcissistic resemblances…look at this little sticker we saw on the back of a car in Montmartre! Seems I might have finally found the city where my “look” is appreciated. Perhaps I’ve been Parisian my whole life and just didn’t know it?



  1. Amazing! Your photo looks exactly like the painting! Very weird…

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