Sunday, September 27, 2015

Fragonard Amoureux, Fete du Miel, Les Routes du Miel, September Map

I know it's been awfully quiet at PB headquarters this week. It's that time of the month. Map-making time. I'm finally coming up for air. Angelina has especially created this frothy pink dessert to go with
The Fragonard in Love exhibit recently opened at musee du Luxembourg.
Get out your robin's egg blue ribbons and pink rouge PBers. Jean-Honoree Fragonard (1732 - 1806) painted during the same period as Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun (spelled correctly for once).
The 18th century has taken over Paris this Fall season.
Loads of froth and frolicking nudes, even some quite risqué scenes.
Still I love Fragonard's lively, fluid drawings. There are many in the show.
I couldn't figure out was how Fragonard escaped the grasp of the French Revolution unlike Vigée Le Brun? When you visit French cathedrals you're aware of the wreck and ruin during those years of so-called 'Liberty, equality and fraternity'. If you're keen to find out about the inner circle of the Jacobins; Robespierre and Danton, listen to radio BBC4's 3-part historic drama by renown Hilary Mantel. Gripping tales.
I've been longing to visit the Fete du Miel - jardins du Luxumbourg
Twice a year in Fall and Spring they sell the honey from the garden hives and you can sign on for classes at Pavillon Davioud.
I bought a 500g (9€) jar of their honey. No pesticides are used in the city gardens unlike country honey so Paris honey is very pure. Read lots more on French honey at David Lebovitz.
I could have used these teaching boards when I was trying to draw bees in the September street map...more later.
Coming out of the musee du Luxembourg and walking towards boulevard St. Michel I discovered a fabulous photography exhibit lining the outside railings of the gardens.
Les Routes du Miel (the honey roads) just opened September 19 on through January 19, 2016.
At least 80 big boards with explanations in 3 languages of how honey is produced the world over. I did not miss a single caption. Absolutely fascinating and the photographs are magnificent.
Photographer Eric Tourneret spent 10 years traveling around the world gathering information. There are bee hives on Notre Dame! This is a smashing don't-miss exhibition if you're coming to Paris. Plus no lines and it's free. Maybe the most exciting I've seen this year.
If you thought I didn't get to church this week (I've been averaging 3 a week) you'd be wrong. I took an hour off from mapping to tour Notre Dame with NYU Medieval art historian, Deborah (in the rain but how many times so you get a chance like that?). One important fact I want to share with you. Walk around the outside of the church before you rush inside, even if it is raining. You'll get a much better sense of it's structure. Inside and outside are connected after all.
Paris was buzzing Sunday. It was no-car zone day almost everywhere. Streets were jammed with walkers, scooters, bikers and brides. Perfect weather too.
Not one person on Ile Saint-Louis was without an ice cream cone in hand, myself included (fraise-pistache).
On to the dreaded map of rue des Martyrs. I could have used this detailed bee reference.
My main source of reference besides Elaine Sciolino's terrific book, THE ONLY STREET IN PARIS, was a vertical Japanese map of rue des Martyrs. Should I draw the the map vertically? The copy shop kid said, "No way!"
My other inspiration source - a page of engravings of French professions (glass bottle seller, sweets, tailor etc.) I spotted it in Maille mustard shop in the Louvre. I stole a shot when no one was looking. Rue des Martyrs is a grand mixup of artisans old and new, patissieres, waffle-makers, gold-leaf experts.
Voila. Naturally my first effort didn't satisfy me. Too much squiggly printing. A re-do drawing finished just before the copy shop closed on Saturday. Your Paris Street maps are shipping out Monday PBers c/o la Poste. Or subscribe here.
My favorite Fragonard painting was in the Luxembourg show from the New York Met. It's called "The Letter".


  1. Your book has to have your maps..surely someone has approached you?
    I just prepared a post with the honey I bought today at our local bio/organic orchard:)
    We had the same sunshine.
    I love that blue..I told you that already..

    1. The B-word!!!
      Next to the maps...the hardest thing to do :((

  2. Allie8:52 AM

    Yourr latestParis map is super good. The blog, too. And I love the links I can listen to.
    Thanks so much for sharing

  3. Carol, this post is pure bliss...just like that Paris honey. Your newest map...perfect!

    I also must tell you how much I admire your choice of ice cream flavors. Pretty and delish, too.


  4. Thank you Carol for always making me feel like I'm actually in Paris!!!

  5. Have you considered that you are now my "Go To Guide to Paris & It's Environs"... Carol you are quickly becoming a grand resource for all things french when one is planning a trip there!!! Please, keep it up! (btw, each french class day I ALWAYS read your post so that I can relate "what's happening" in Paris!!! Merci beaucoup!

    Mary in Oregon

  6. I love the map picture!!! I'm with Nana: Your book....

  7. Susie2:58 AM

    I just arrived in Paris Saturday night, walked through Luxembourg Gardens yesterday and tried to get honey. Malheuresment it was all gone, unless you know something I don't. But I wondered what was going on in the Museum. Will walk over there to see the expo and go to Angelina's for tea this week. Merci bien for the good info!

    1. Dommage Susie :((
      I read the honey sells out and ran over Sunday morning.
      I have et to taste it...too precious !!!

  8. Linda3:12 AM

    I cannot even believe the adorable photo of the bride and groom. (him ‘cooing’ in her ear!!)

    Timing is everything!!

  9. Great photos, - like the bride & groom on a sunny day and great art work ; the 18th Century paintings, risqué or not!
    Love the Luxembourg Gardens. Hemingway spent a lot of time there.


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