Saturday, April 9, 2011

Lucas Cranach and Paris Rooftops at Night

Last night there was a group of middle-aged people a few doors down hanging out on a terrace and getting drunk on wine. Later on in the night, I heard one of them break out a Guitar and play the most beautiful Flamenco I've ever heard. I threw open the window to listen and it was a beautiful night - clear and warm, and I could see the rooftops of my neighborhood and the lit-up steeple of Notre Dame, so I broke out my oil paints and did this little Nocturne painting from my window.

I wandered around the Luxembourg gardens today. I think they were built by the Medici Family, but they are like luxurious Roman gardens from ancient times, complete with classical sculpture and fountains.

There is also the Musee de Luxembourg, a grand museum inside the gardens, which happens to have an amazing exhibit up right now: " Lucas Cranach et Son Temps" (Lucas Cranach and his time).

It was a comprehensive exhibition of the life and works of Lucas Cranach, the man who ushered in the Northern European Renaissance when he became the Court painter of Wittenburg (then an Austrian enclave of the Holy Roman Empire).

He was also close friends with Martin Luther and played a crucial role in propagating the ideals of the Protestant reformation.
His paintings have a beautiful strangeness to them - the golden figures in his paintings emerge out of dark, lush jewel-toned landscapes. The serpentining rhythms and shapes give his work a certain sensuality - and ironically the same paintings contain in them a warning against the passions they seek to ignite.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Paris, France

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