This is Day 1 for the
Blogging from A to Z Challenge
My first topic is Art, but not only the great masterpieces hanging in the galleries of London, Paris and Florence; I include its interpretations on the streets of Europe.
Mention great art and the first thing to spring to mind may be the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci, hanging in the Louvre in Paris.
|The Mona Lisa, Paris|
Most people are surprised by the diminutive dimensions of the painting. And she is restrained behind a railing and bullet-proof glass as crowds jostle for a better look at her.
More accessible, The Thinker stands in a rose garden at the Musée Rodin in Paris. It is one of many original bronze casts located in museums around the world.
|The Thinker, Paris|
The real sculpture of David by Michelangelo stands isolated in an alcove at the Accademia Gallery in Florence. But I favor the copy in its original location, among the people, outside the Palazzo Vecchio on Signoria Square.
|Michelangelo's David, Florence|
Only a few blocks away from David, I came across performance art in this street performer:
|Florence Street Performer|
Due to a last-minute change in plans, I never made it to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence to see the works of Sandro Botticelli. But fortunately I saw one of his paintings, The Birth of Venus, rendered in chalk on a sidewalk outside the National Gallery in London.
|The Birth of Venus in Chalk, London|
Another well-known artist, Vincent Van Gogh, lived in the town of Arles and was later hospitalized in St. Remy-de-Provence but none of his original work is exhibited here. The visitor must rely on reproductions scattered around the sites in Provence where they were painted.
|Les Oliviers, St. Remy-de-Provence|
If you want to see a real Van Gogh, the nearest exhibit is in Paris at the Musée d'Orsay – home to 25 of his paintings and worth a visit prior to a tour of Provence.
|Musée d'Orsay, Paris|
And if you're visiting the Musée d'Orsay, there are a number of works by one of my favorite Impressionists, Pierre Auguste Renoir. A tour of Montmartre will take you to the houses where he and other artists once lived and worked.
An excellent book about the time in which Renoir lived is The Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland. My favorite Renoir painting is Bal du Moulin de la Galette and the setting for this painting still stands in Montmartre today.
|Le Moulin de la Galette, Paris|
|Le Moulin - The Windmill|
Unfortunately many museums and art galleries don't allow visitors to take photographs of their paintings, but sculptures and street art allow their admirers to get up close and personal.
|Button Art, Nice|
"A" is also for Arlee Bird,
the founder of the Challenge.
Thank you Arlee for my first blog hop!