DATE: Friday 4 August, 1995

PLACE: Paris to London


Louvre, Monet and Lilies

REMARKS: Desiree to the Louvre early to queue; me to finish packing, clear the room and get the kids there by 0930. Desiree is first in line, and joined soon after by an American queuing for 3 daughters - similar problems: getting started, and organised! We're 10 minutes late, and find it actually opened at 0900, not 0930. Straight in though. The ultra-modern pyramid, the over-riding impression is of light and cool colours. This is the most impressive gallery I've seen - the light sandstone of cream and the airy spaciousness are magnificent, and the surroundings enhance, rather than clutter.

We view the obligatory Mona Lisa, and Venus de Milo, and then see some Greek vases for Desiree. We also track down 2 Bosch paintings for me - not the truly gruesome ones, but interesting nonetheless. Here also we see, especially in the Dutch and German painters, realistic portraits (as opposed to militaristic or classical posings) and landscapes - a rarity until now.

So that's the Louvre!

We still have time and have discovered the best Impressionists are in the Musee d' Orsay and the Orangerie, so off we set. A brisk walk and into another cool, airy gallery, and at last paintings I can identify with! No biblical or classical symbolism, but light, landscapes, and people who are 'true to life'.

The final revelation is the Waterlilies by Monet. In rooms by themselves downstairs, these are enormous panels full of the play of light on water and reflections. The impact is breath-taking and cooling. The blues of the water seem to have endless shadings.

Again it is quick, but we have a plane to catch. Cab to the airport at breakneck speed and then loitering, but the flight is mercifully short. No Bryce to meet us, but I change the date for car collection, then we catch a cab to Chiswick (and have to help with directions!)

Bryce is in Wales, but Rachel Aitken is staying so we re-arrange. And the kids are re-acquainted with TV!!!!








Waterlilies by Monet

All our photos in one place!




Maps & Aerial Photos

Our thanks to all & sundry