Saturday, August 26, 2023

The Doors, not Jim M.

As usual when it comes to creating the letter art, I did a complete U-turn last minute, when I found this old sketch of tiny 19th century figures with parasols…

Instead of painting your favorite French foods as promised, I fell into drawing PARIS DOORWAYS with little figures for the new letter.

Mind you, I researched 🔬 a lot of cookies 🍪 & madeleines before the creative lightbulb 💡 went off 🙄 The waistline did not appreciate ☹️

Ah an artist’s life…you have to do what’s the most fun. Or else what’s the point?

On Thursday, I went out to look at some of these doors in person, instead of just in picturebooks 📚 

The Castel Béranger apartment building is in the 16th, at 14, rue de la Fontaine.

It was architect Hector Guimard’s (then only 27 years old) first & most important Art Nouveau creation. The building won him 1st prize 🏆 for the most beautiful Facade in the city of Paris. 

This prize led to many commissions including Metro entrances like 
Place des Abbesses (with the 220 steps when the l’ascenseur is not working).

A 5-minute video in French is worth a watch.

While I was taking pictures of all the beautiful, curvy
Art Nouveau details, a resident came out & offered me entré. Like a fool I declined 🙄 She decided I looked suspicious and kept her eye on me. One would think my ‘just waft in’ skills would be further developed by now. My excuse - she was French. I didn’t want to get yelled at ☹️

RATP Bus 72 stops 5 minutes walk away (at Radio France-Pont de Grenelle). 

I crossed the street & took bus 72 back down to see Paris’ most beautiful doorway at Petit Palais.

The Petit Palais was built for the 1900 Universal Exhibition, like its neighbor the Grand Palais, on avenue Winston Churchill. It became a museum in 1902. Designed by Charles Girault, it is based on a trapezium shape and is made up of four wings around a semi-circular garden bordered by a richly decorated peristyle. The architect achieved a successful blend of traditional and modern architecture which is evident in the natural flow of visitors around the building and in the bold openings he created onto the Champs-Elysées gardens and inner courtyard garden'.

We sometimes walk through doorways without noticing their beauty. I couldn’t resist painting ✏️ le Petit Palais.

Here’s a beautiful
2-minute time-lapse visit inside and out.

I’ll visit more doors this weekend. The in-person experience makes a big difference 👍

Meanwhile Anita asked if I’d ever do a story on Jim Morrison’s residence & grave at
Père Lachaise? At first I thought 🤔 probably not. But then I checked out Morrison’s address at 17, rue Beautreillis. What a beautiful door 🚪 !
The streets of Paris are full of beautiful doorways. Don’t miss out. Just stroll & throw away your to-do list  👍


  1. Anonymous2:13 AM

    Dear Carol,

    I have had a grand time looking up your gorgeous gates on Google maps. My favorite is the one on 14 de la Fontaine. I agree with you, work should be fun! Love the cookies. Please eat some for me, and please pass on the calories as well.


    1. Anonymous2:36 AM

      They really are worth visiting. Photographs in books don’t do them justice as I found out on Thursday. I have more to visit 👍

  2. Adrien Bray2:29 AM

    Tres interessant! Merci for pointing us to the Guimard/ Castel Beranger article, Carol. J'adore l'Art Nouveau <3 So sad that so many of his buildings were demolished...thankfully we have Le Castel, I bet it costs a bomb to live there! Coincidentally I have been rewatching The Forsyte Saga BBC tv series which includes a prominent architect character of this period who is more of a modernist but also has to fight to be appreciated, comes to a much stickier end than Hector!

    1. Anonymous2:35 AM

      Yes we are very lucky to still have it 🙏 I don’t think it costs a bomb to live there. It’s not in the poshest part of the renown ritzy 16th.

  3. Anonymous8:18 AM

    if you have a chance, you should go inside club pachamama rue du faubourg saint antoine. the interior was designed at the period of Eiffel .. just super

    1. Anonymous9:04 AM

      Uh oh Unfortunately Trip Advisor has Very bad reviews on the security staff attack guests ☹️

  4. Your eye finds beautiful doors everywhere in ornate and gorgeous then you go to Provence and all the doors are humble..and so beautiful also:)

  5. Bonnie L8:58 AM

    Beautiful, Carol! I agree with the Petit Palais being most beautiful…just stunning! And, your watercolor is lovely. Good reminder that Paris is chock-a-block full of beauty we just need to look around us and be open to it. ❤️

    1. Anonymous1:58 PM

      imho, even better than the gorgeous doors at the Petit Palais is the staggeringly beautiful curving staircase inside. i spent over an hour admiring and photographing it from every angle. possibly my favorite piece of art in the photo does it justice. so excited i'll be visiting it again next week!

  6. Anonymous9:34 AM

    Don’t feel that you have wasted research time on cookies…clearly you did not finish your work and you must persevere until your muse is truly ignited. Jeanette sclar

    1. Anonymous3:24 PM

      Hahaha Thanks Jeanette 🥰
      You put it so well 👍

  7. Anonymous10:52 AM

    A wonderful post, as always! I love the last photo, of lone biker (early morning?) riding down a near deserted, narrow street in the Marais near a house buckling from old age (seventeenth century?)! This led me to Google Maps, to try to find the street in your photo, at the cross section the rue Beautreillis -- can anyone identify it?
    Looking forward to more of your museum exhibit photos, Carol! Thanks!

    1. Anonymous3:33 PM

      It’s actually in the 4th arrondissement
      According to Wikipedia the origin of Its name, attributed in 1555, is a memory of the Hotel de Beautreillis, which was built on the site of the Hotel Saint-Pol and which took its name from the trellisses that rose against the walls of its garden.
      No plaque for Jim M. but a plaque said both Cézanne & Baudelaire lived on rue Beautreillis

    2. Anonymous2:16 AM

      It was dusk/l’heure bleu similar to morning light.

  8. Anonymous11:44 AM

    Loved this post on Paris doorways Carol and really appreciated the videos included as well. Your water color painting of the Paris doorways is beautiful and I agree that you have to paint what inspires you. -Suzanne P.

    1. Anonymous3:34 PM

      Thanks Suzanne P. - so many terrific videos on YouTube - almost as good as being there 🥰

  9. Anonymous11:45 AM

    I love your painting of doorways. It is hard to be in Paris and not want to take pictures of them!! Looking forward to walking through some fun doorways with you next week!! Carolyn

  10. Anonymous1:00 PM


  11. Anonymous1:10 PM

    Lovely! Agree w/Carla comment above!

  12. sukicart2:00 PM

    The beautiful doors of Paris are endless - it's so fun to walk down any street and have your breath taken away by the doors.

  13. Anonymous3:23 PM

    You chose some really gorgeous doors. 👏🏻 Beautiful❣️

  14. I love the doorway paintings with the mini people! Maybe the biscuits were best for eating and doorways best for painting. Always good to see you enjoying painting the letters. I laughed at your least line - as a big ‘to do list’ person!

    1. Anonymous9:09 PM

      Exactly what attracted me to The Doors Kirra - the little people 🥰👍

  15. Anonymous9:47 PM

    LU Écoliers are a family favorite that we try to keep on hand for tea time. Thanks for showing us Castel Béranger’s gorgeous door! Enjoyed the video of Petit Palais - makes me want to go back and sit in the courtyard.

    1. Anonymous2:14 AM

      I did exactly that - such pretty little birds 🐦

  16. Anonymous11:48 PM

    Love the doorways, my other favorites are Paris balconies at windows with flower boxes. I have a picture I took of one in my bedroom. Not as beautiful as your doors but it was our first day in Paris on our first trip and I was intrigued. Cheryl

  17. Anonymous8:33 PM

    As usual, GREAT newsletter. Just a point of information to your readers, the #72 Bus is a fantastic FREE sightseeing tour from one end of the line to the other.

  18. Genevieve Blaise2:44 AM

    Let’s not forget the magnificent building 29 avenue Rapp in the 7th by architect Jules Lavirotte. Not to be missed !👍


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