Sep 042011
 

 

How does one express their first impressions of this magnificent city? And during what a pitifully short time can one even say they’ve even experienced Paris? A day and a half is woefully inadequate. Unfortunately, that is all I had for my first visit to Paris. And it was a glorious day and half–the weather perfect, the evening balmy. Strolling along the Seine, wandering the Tuileries Gardens, exploring a tiny bit of the Louvre’s astounding collections, confronting the mammoth magnificence of the Eiffel Tower and tasting a morsel of Paris’ famous cafes is about all one can manage.

Yet, due to the wealth of beauty and design, the images I found capture the iconic nature of this City of Light. Certainly there are cliche’s in the bunch, perhaps most of them. One can’t help but create clichés. Literally everything has been photographed 10,000 or 100,000 or even a million times over. But, I hope to have brought something from my unique, highly-honed perspective to the mix. And I can honestly say, my interpretation of La Gioconda, the Mona Lisa, you’ll find at the end of this post, truly captures a bit of the absurd frenzy surrounding this most iconic of paintings.

 

Pont Neuf, my first view of the incredible Seine.

 

One of Paris' iconic book sellers along the Seine.

 

Pont de Arts and the Bibliothèque Mazarine

The courtyard of the Louvre.

 

In the Jardin des Tuileries

Cliche' of Tuileries lovers.

 

Late afternoon in the Jardin des Tuileries.

 

Place de la Concorde

Dusk along the Place de la Concorde

Night cliche' of the Seine.

The gorgeous lights of the Louvre.

 

Leaving the metro and approaching the Eiffel Tower I find myself (at least it kinda looks like me), depicted on an enormous scale in an ad for Australia. I think I should sue.

 

Breakfast by the Eiffel Tower--delicious pastries and quiche. Taking in the grandeur and complexity of this architecture and technological masterpiece.

 

You've seen so many images of this Paris icon yet nothing can prepare you for its shear size and massive, structural complexity.

 

Oh yes, I too had to do the "postcard shot". Had the day not been hazy, we would have ascended with the hoards to be astonished but the view. But, another time.

 

The Louvre--Architectural detail of the entrance through the pyramid.

 

Modern and classical. Architectural detail of the Louvre.

 

Detail abstract of the ceiling inside the Louvre's pyramid.

 

A magnificent ceiling inside the Louvre.

 

A Grecian statue from the Louvre's vast collection.

 

In the apartments of Napoleon III.

 

The modest dining room of Napoleon III.

 

Abstract from the huge underground shopping mall beneath the Louvre.

 

The Apple Store in the Louvre. Here, as with every Apple Store I've been in, people congregate in droves to play with the technology.

 

And finally, my interpretation of the Mona Lisa…

 

 

 

 

The Mona Lisa is absolutely THE must-see object in the Louvre. She’s on every tour groups itinerary. For those who have visited the gallery in which the Mona Lisa hangs, no words are necessary. To the uninitiated; after walking down a very long gallery past scores and scores of true, Renaissance masterpieces, you turn into another gallery packed with tourists from all over the world. People elbow their way through the throngs to get close enough to lift their cameras or phones above the heads and cameras of those in front, snap their picture and then elbow their way back out. Proof positive that they’ve been to Paris and “seen” the Mona Lisa. It was hilarious, beyond absurd.

 

 

Copyright 2011 Dennis Jones/Dreamcatcher Imaging

www.dreamcatcherimaging.com