Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

Off of this room is a little Gothic chapel, where Mary Tudor was married to Charles Brandon before her return to England. We could have spent hours here most delightfully, but it was closing time, so we left. We drove by the Sorbonne (Paris University) over to the Luxemburg Gardens. These are always well filled with people, students, nurses and their charges, besides all sorts and conditions of men and women.

We went from here down the “Bowlmich,” as the students call the Boulevard St. Michael. This is the usual promenade of the students of the Sorbonne, the College of France, the Law School and the School of Medicine; as these are all quite near. It is the heart of the Latin quarter of to-day.

Saturday, October 8. This morning we went to the Louvre to see the sculpture galleries. We are only looking at the gems in this collection, as our time would not admit of all. At the head of the stairs stands the “Victory of Samothrace.” This is a winged figure on the prow of a ship. The head has been lost. probably made to commemorate a Greek naval victory. The most beautiful of the Greek sculpture in the Louvre is the "Venus de Milo" in Parian marble. It is the type of full blown flower of womanly beauty. It was found on the Island of Milo, one of the Greek islands. Though injured, it has been restored. We passed through many rooms filled with Greek and Roman sculpture, finally going into the large Salle des Gardes. It is now called Caristides. This was where

It was

the hundred Swiss guards stood before the apartments of Catherine de Medici, and is one of the oldest parts of the Louvre palace. At one end is a musician's gallery, which is supported by beautiful Caryatides, from which the hall takes the present name. It was in this great hall that Marguerite of Valois was married to Henry Navarre just a week before the massacre of St. Bartholomew, 1572. Many other historical scenes have transpired here.

In the afternoon we drove out to the Luxemburg gallery to see the modern French paintings and sculpture. These when purchased by the state are shown here until ten years after the death of the artist, when they are taken to the Louvre. We saw the statue of St. John the Baptist, by Rodin, and “The Kiss,” by the same artist. Among the paintings was one by Rosa Bonheur called “Plowing." The oxen drawing the plow are magnificent animals, as all of this artist's animals are. Another by Caiolus Duran, the famous portrait painter, called “The Lady With the Glove." This is a portrait of his wife. Outside the museum building we saw a replica of MacMonies' statue in bronce of a Baechantee (a priestess of the wine god, Bacchus). The original of this is in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, U. S. A. It was refused by the city of Boston. Returning from our drive after leaving the Luxembourg, we passed through the narrow Rue Bonaparte and by the entrance to the Ecole de Beaux Arts (the School of Fine Arts). It is quiet now, but when all the students are here it is a lively place. From here we motored out to Malmaison, the home of Josephine. It is only three miles out of Paris. Josephine bought the villa and its gardens a few years after her marriage to Bonaparte, and lived here after the divorce until her death in 1814. Napoleon retired here after the battle of Waterloo in 1815, and left it just before his exile. Afterward Josephine's son, Eugene, sold it, and it is now government property and is a museum. In going through it, we saw many interesting relics of Napoleon and Josephine. Most of the furnishings of their time have been removed, though some have been returned, either by gift or purchase. The gardens are attractive with trees and flowers. There are winding walks all through them.

Sunday, October 9. Gaston came for us early and we motored out to Versailles, having a lovely ride out through the Bois. Crossing the Seine, we soon reached there. The palace is the largest and most imposing of the royal residences in France, though not the most beautiful. It was built by Louis XIV and all the great artists of his reign were employed to decorate it. In a large courtyard we saw an equestrian statue of Louis XIV. In the center and around the sides are statues of other celebrated Frenchmen. The central part of the palace is built of brick and stone. It was originally a hunting lodge built by Louis XIV's father. On this part is a balcony where Marie Antoinette with the little dolphin (the crown prince of France) faced the mob from Paris on the outbreak of the French Revolution.

We went through suite after suite of elegant apartments, most of them unfurnished, though all retain their magnificent wall and ceiling decorations of gold stucco, frescoes and tapestries. We saw the gallery des Glaces (Mirror gallery). The walls are lined with mirrors; hence its name. It overlooks the park and gardens, forming a fine picture, with the fountains, flowers and trees. We saw the bedroom of Louis XIV and the bed on which he died. We also saw the little apartment occupied by Marie Antoinette, which had been fitted up for her when she first came to France as the bride of the crown prince or dolphin. Though small, they are attractive. Her monogram and the Austrian Eagle are on the door handles and furniture. The Salle des Gardes was in the king's time occupied by his bodyguard. We saw a marble statue of the last moments of Napoleon I. There is a replica of this statue in the Corcoran Art Gallery, Washington, D. C., U. S. A. We went from here into the south wing of the palace to see the Gallerie des Batailles (battle gallery), named from the series of paintings of great battles in French history that line the walls. In other rooms on the first floor, we saw portraits of Marie Antoinette and her three children, Madame Royal, the dolphin who afterward died, and the baby prince who afterward became the dolphin on the death of his elder brother. It was this little dolphin who died in the old temple in Paris from abuse and neglect of his jailers after the execution of his parents, Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette.

In another part of the palace we saw the chapel which is in two parts. The upper is like a gallery that circles the walls, and from which the royal family took part in the service, other residents of the palace occupying the first floor. After our visit here, we went to the Hotel des Reservois for luncheon. This is the oldest and best hotel in the town of Versailles. After luncheon we went to the parks and gardens which lie to the west of the palace. The gardens are handsome but very precise in arrangement, which give a stiff effect. Fountains and statuary are numerous among them. From there we motored through a large park to the Grand Trianon. This is a small villa which Louis XIV built as a retreat, where he could retire for rest from the palace. Toward the end of his life he spent much time here, with Madame de Maintenon, whom it is said he secretly married after the death of his queen, Marie Theresa. We went through the Grand Trianon, which has some handsome apartments, then over to the Museum of Carriages to see the gorgeous equipages used by Napoleon I at his coronation and his marriage to Marie Louise, also the one used at the baptism of the King of Rome (L'Aiglon). We also saw the carriage used at the marriage of Napoleon III and Eugenie. We saw a number of sledges and some beautiful sedan chairs. From here we went to the Petit Trianon, which Louis XV erected and where he and Madam Dubarry spent much time. On the accession of Louis XVI, it was given to Marie Antoinette, with whom it was a favorite spot. We went through the villa, which is now quite bare, the furnishings having been removed

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »