Our France Adventure (Rodin, Paris Opera House and Au Revoir, France)

May 18, 2016 Day 15 Our final day in Paris was packed with as much as our legs and feet could stand. It started with a visit to the Musee Rodin and the former home of Rodin called Hôtel Biron which was Rodin’s home along with other artists for many years. Auguste Rodin was a sculptor who worked primarily in bronze but had been self taught as a painter as well.  He was not well accepted by the artist community early in his career so much of the collection on display contain works in other art forms such as painting and stone carving. The sculpture garden and interior galleries contain thousands of works by Rodin and works by  a few others such as Vincent van Gogh and Pierre-Auguste Renoir which were given to Rodin by the artists.  Three of his most famous pieces (The Thinker, The Kiss and The Gates of Hell are housed in the expansive gardens.   The museum features a large garden and was a site of a private villa which was turned into a hotel where Rodin lived for several years before being dedicated to Rodin’s work. The collection includes a large array of finished works but also works in progress to show his entire process of design. It is a very enlightening exhibition in a beautiful setting. image From Rodin’s Museum, we took a cab (something was going on at the subway stop we were planning on using) over to the flagship store for France’s largest department store chain (Galleries Lafayette) called Boulevard Haussmann located in the 9th arrondissement.  It is near the Paris Opera House which was on our list of “must visits” for the day. Bring your credit cards! Many of Paris’ highest end stores are located under one roof on 7 levels spanning several city sized blocks. They also have a mixture of very nice restaurants and a roof deck that gives you a wide expansive view of the city from the Pompidou Center to the Eiffel Tower. If you looking to do some high end shopping or just to oogle at the high end fashions and accessories, this is a good place to do it. The newest trends in fashion are all on display in one location! Oh and you will be impressed by the 1912 Art Nouveau skylight and decorative staircases for added benefit!! After lunch, we visited the Palaise Garnier (Paris Opera House) which was just across the street. Made infamous as the location of the story from the 1910 novel Phantom of the Opera, we did a self guided audio tour which was  the best choice for us.  After seeing the tours being lead by guides–in English  or French–I would suggest doing the self guided tour. It’s easy and you can spend more time at your leisure in the awe inspiring theater. Stories of life in the mid 1800’s that are told on the audio guide set the stage for an experience of what it must have been like attending an opera, ballet or other theatrical performance in a venue laden with gold gilding and reflective mirrors which provide the patrons an opportunity to see and be seen. Experiencing a piece of high society living from that time can still be experienced today as productions are still going on today. Unfortunately, it was between productions so we couldn’t experience a live performance but that leaves something to do in the future. One amazing “new” feature of the Opera House is the painted ceiling by Marc Chagall. In 1965, Marc Chagall was commissioned to paint a new ceiling (onto a removable canvas much to my relief) in the Auditorium. It depicts fourteen major composers who were popular composers of the 1800’s.  Many purists criticize the work while others praise it.  You decide for yourself.  In the photos, you will find the original artwork and an image of the Chagall piece. Well, that pretty much concludes our French Adventure.  I appreciate the followers and comments that I’ve gotten from everyone.  It is so crazy to think that people all over the world are “liking” the site.  I promise to visit everyone of your sites and reciprocate with similar acknowledgement.  As I stated earlier, keep checking back as I get back home and I get can back onto a real computer and not try to do this from my iPad.  It works but it’s a little clunky.  Aside from fixing typos and flat out misspellings I will be adding captions to help with telling the story of our trip.  I may also be adding more images.  Who knows, maybe even a movie!..Just for fun.  So, until the next trip… Au Revoir!
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