Winter blues and Mona Lisa

Let’s see if I can get rid of these winter blues which seem to have dug it’s claws right in.

The snow we were expecting, came but didn’t settle. I was looking forward to it. It’s been a long time since we’ve had snow. Not a good thing to hope for though, as life here in the south practically comes to a halt when the snow hits us. Black ice, skidding cars and travel disruptions. Not ideal if you need to travel to work.

India is playing too well against England in the ODI at Pune as I write this, as expected I would imagine considering their recent form.

So what shall we talk about today. Paris and the Mona Lisa? About 20 years ago, I had a few days off and it was during Kavitha’s school holidays. We decided to take a cultural trip to Paree, the City of Light. We were there for about five days and covered quite a lot of museums and sights in that short time. I have been there a couple of times since, but shorter trips.

I remember going to see Napolean Bonaparte’s tomb in the Les Invalides, Sacre Coeur, Norte Dame Cathedral, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe etc etc.

I think my love of art galleries stem from my Paris visit days. The best gallery was the Orangerie, where I remember being transfixed by the Renoir, Matisse, Cezanne paintings and above all Monet’s water lilies. I went to see Monet’s ‘Water Lilly’ paintings exhibition when it was shown here, but it did not compare to seeing it in it’s original home.

The other similar experience was at the Rodin’s museum. With the sculptures dotted around the garden and main building, it was a joy to visit. The first time I had seen ‘The Thinker’, and like the ‘Water Lillies’, my impression is that although I have seen the sculpture in Toronto and in London since, he seemed at peace in his original home. The only museum we didn’t have time to visit was Picasso’s.

Last but not least the Louvre. As we had so much to cover, I made a list of the artwork I wanted to see at the Louvre. The important ones being the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. To me the Venus de Milo was much more important. The picture on my first pencil case, it was a figure I grew up with. It did not disappoint. The armless Goddess and the story of its discovery added to the intrigue.

Compared to this the Mona Lisa was a let down. One of the most famous, if not ‘the’ famous painting in the world. With its bulletproof glass case cover, size, crowds trying to get a glimpse and the height at which it was hung. All in all, it did not leave any lasting impressions apart from the fact that I can say that I have seen it.

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