December 04, 2007

Place Vendôme at night

After taking some photos of the illuminated department stores, I thought I should have a look on the Christmas decorations on the nearby Rue de la Paix and Place Vendôme. This is where you find exclusive jewellery shops like Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpel, Piaget, Chaumet… the Hotel Ritz… and the Ministry of Justice (see yesterday’s map).

A bit less spectacular as decoration, but very classy of course.

Part of the decoration was spotlights on the Napoleon column in the middle of the place. As it was slightly raining and the clouds were low, Napoleon’s shadow could be seen in the sky (see top picture).

Place Vendôme was laid out by Louis XIV in 1702 already. Later John Law, the Scottish banker who invented paper money, took over the project and the square was complete in 1720. Law had just the time to move in to his own apartments before he had to flee, bankrupt. He ended his life as a gambler and died poor in Venice.

The column, erected by Napoleon, is said to have been made out of cannons won during different battles. Both the statue and the column have been taken down a few times, depending on regimes. It stands there as it is today since 1874. The present statue is a copy; the original one was used to provide bronze for the statue of Henry IV on the Pont Neuf.
You can find a few of these photos on my photo blog.

39 comments:

lyliane said...

Tu me fais rêver avec toutes ces lumières et tous ces ors, mais le marchand de sable est en train de passer et me jette plein de poudre (d'or) dans les yeux, je pense que je vais fermer mes quinquets. Bonne nuit.

lyliane said...

J'oubliais : sais tu que Mozart a vécu et est mort au 12 de la place Vendôme? à demain.

Peter said...

lyliane:
Bonne nuit! Je pense que tu voulais dire Chopin. Trop fatiguée sans doute! Dors bien!!

Ex-Shammickite said...

Your photos reflect the excitement that is paris at night. Lovely, I wish I could see it all in person. Wonderful Christmas decorations in your previous post too. Cristmas is creeping closer, far too fast this year!

Annie said...

When a person has built and mounted their own statue, I tremble at the narcissism.

Jessica Camis said...

I love the shadow in the clouds. Gorgeous.

Olivier said...

je suis sous le charme, eclairé comme cela on dirait un immense diamant. superbe tes photos

hpy said...

Je vois que tu as fait tes courses pour les fêtes.

lyliane said...

Exact, je me suis encore trompée de musicien, c'est vrai que j'ai la mémoire qui flanche....

alice said...

Sur tes premières photos, on dirait que la colonne est en verre!
Mais dis-moi, tout était fermé à cette heure-là, comment as-tu fait tes courses de Noël? ;-)

Marguerite said...

Comme les illuminations bleues ressortent bien sur ton fond !

Law, dis tu ? Je ne connais que JUDE Law (beau gosse mais a tendance à surjouer) qui est dans "My Blueberry Nights". Faut que j'en parles, mais je dois reprendre ma photo.
Tu es allé acheter un bijou ? Pour qui ?
Personnellemnt, je vais Rue de la Paix acheter des chemises chez Figaret, mais uniquement au moment des soldes privées
(C'est pas par snobisme, mais elles sont TRES résistantes à l'usure et pas si chères)

Peter said...

ex-shammickite:
Christmas is coming quickly yes, but I have a feeling that the Christmas decorations in Paris are not earlier than last year, rather the contrary.

annie:
So you will not mount your own statue then!

jessica:
Yes, the shadow was quite distinct. The clouds must have ben low.

Peter said...

olivier:
J'ai travaillé sans tripied en m'appuyant là ou j'ai pu. Les photos ne sont pas toujours parfaitment nettes mais elles donnent, j'espère, une impression de la beauté de la place.

hpy:
A minuit, les boutiques sont fermées. Tu dois demander à DD pour les courses!

lyliane:
Pourtant le test de mémoire était satisfaisant! Tu étais tout simplement fatiguée.

Peter said...

alice:
Comme d'habitude, je vais aller le 24.

marguerite:
Figaret Rue de la Paix, c'est quand'même un peu snob. Figaret a des boutiques partout à Paris.
J'irai bein voir "My Blueberry Nights" cet aprèm, mais j'ai une journée assez pleine... Puet-être après mon retour de Suéde.

Marguerite said...

TU VAS EN SUEDE !
Pour fêter la Ste Lucie ?
;o)
Pour aller voir Jude Law, attends un peu d'être en forme. Faut que je te dise que je me suis tout de même endormie à un moment. L'action est TRES lente.

Marguerite said...

Y a un Figaret dans le 16ème aussi...

Peter said...

marguerite:
J'aime les films lents (j'arrive à suivre)! Mais, merci pour l'avertissment!

Figaret aussi dans le 7e, 8e (3 boutiques), 17e, chez BHV, Lafayette, Printemps...!

Je suis de retour pour la Ste Lucie! Tu mettras des bougies sur la tête le 13... ou le 15 chez l6?

Delphinium said...

On ne sait toujours pas, aux dernières nouvelles, pour qui peter a acheté un bijou. J'aime beaucoup la première photo, on voit bien l'ombre du monsieur truc sur le nuage. Génial! J'ai encore de la peine à faire de belles photos de nuit, avec tout le champagne que je bois, je tremble comme une feuille et il est difficile de me stabiliser sans trépied. :-)
Bises peter

Chuckeroon said...

Napoleon would have been plsd. Although in recent years I have re-assessed him, and am no longer so keen, he was/is still one of my "Top Ten".

oldmanlincoln said...

I am guessing the painting is over and you are back to doing what comes naturally. Anyway, this is a great post and in season, so to speak. I also am somewhat amazed at the shadow in the clouds. Never thought about capturing something like that before.

Nice presentation. Nice post. Great photos.

Kate said...

A very nice trip through pre-Christmas Paris. The shadow of the monument on the sky is intriguing, and I see that I'm not the only one who is drawn to it, judging by the other comments.

Peter said...

delphinium:
Ce n'est pas grave si tu trembles un peu après le champagne. Si tu trembles avant, c'est autre chose!

chuckeroon:
Would be interesting to know your tope ten list!

oldmanlincoln:
Happy to see you back here after your health check!

kate:
I was also intrigued!

Ming the Merciless said...

The chandelier structure next to the Napoleon column is quite fascinating. Is that a modern interpretation of a Christmas tree OR simply a giant chandelier?

Leena said...

Everything is so sparkling, merry and
yes, intrigued also! It could be nice to walk in those streets now in an airy manner without boots :)

Sonia said...

WOW! Wonderful photos as always, Peter!

Have a good trip to Sweden! Enjoy your family!

Noushy Syah said...

That shadow in the clouds look amazing.

Enjoy your trip to Sweden and don't forget with more pics when you get back.

lyliane said...

Bon voyage, amène nous du saumon fumé à chaud, c'est celui que je préfère.A dans une dizaine de jours. Bises

Mélisse said...

J'aime ces projecteurs laser, c'est une lumière douce et colorée. Chez moi les arbres sont enveloppés de glaçons bleus lumineux, c'est très joli aussi !

'Through JoAnn's Digital Eyes'NL/Eng. said...

Wow Peter!
Also Paris into the Xmas festivities! We should come back again around one of the X mas days?
I thought that you were in SWEDEN??? So where are you now? You make me all confused here, (hjust kkiddding) I hope your connection disturbing will be solved?

I showed today something really DUTCH, we celebrate it mostly for the children a "Sinterklaas" evening with presents and sweet candies, The Sinterklaas and his helpers are all dressed up for the children, come and see:)

Greetings see you:) JoAnn

http://fiatlux.lasiate.com/ said...

comme une immense colonne de cristal

hpy said...

Su tu n'as pas acheté de bijou, qu'est-ce que tu y faisais la nuit? Tu faisais du reperage?

Glenn Standish said...

Some incredible pics of a festive-looking Paris. Incredible how Christmas has crept up on us again this year!!! Enjoy snowy Sweden!

Anonymous said...

www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/mp/2007/11/08/kochindx.htm - 21k -


Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Thursday, Nov 08, 2007


Squaring off with circles





Balancing his two formidable identities of being a Van Cleef and a counsellor for design house Cartier, Olaf Van Cleef finds himself in his art, learns PRIYADERSHINI S.after a chat with the high-profile artist








Photo: H Vibhu

Mosaic of colours Artist Olaf Van Cleef’s works are replete with Indian motifs




A maze of colourful squares and circles, a labyrinth of meandering lines, bursts of colours, gleaming tiny crystals and shiny gems on paper is artist Olaf Van Cleef’s mind. From the renowned Dutch family, Van Cleef, he is an advisor to design house, Cartier. Caught between these two formidable identities he escapes into the colourful world of art. “It is not a nice background because it is very heavy. In between all this where is Olaf?” he asks, and places himself lightly, gently, in all his works. He is there in the chariot, listening intently to Krishna, or snaking as a symbol through the maze of squares and circles, dots and designs.


But his ‘heavy’ background cannot be denied nor does he do that. “Only 15 Van Cleefs are left from that big family. Rest are all dead, in Auschwitz. That’s the story,” he says cynically.

Van Cleef’s India connection goes back to the 30’s when his grandparents came and lived in Mumbai for six years. It was at that time that his grandmother came to Cochin.” “The king here welcomed everybody. That’s the difference. So many people died because they were Jewish. But in India no Jew was deported or persecuted. There is liberty of faith. India is a special country and I have had the opportunity to know it.”

So steeped is he into India that it is one of the prime inspirations behind his art. “I want my works to ooze Indian culture,” and they do, especially the series on exhibit. From gods, goddesses, nawabs, begums, prince and princesses, not to overlook the monkeys, coconuts, mice, lotus all the motifs that is there to India find beautiful expression. And the figures are bejewelled by the designer who counsels clients for Cartier.

Fine details







“I don’t like symmetry in design, in jewellery, or in art. If a person is totally perfect, in my opinion, the person has a problem. That’s the way with life. That is what gives it the challenge.” A challenge that he meets in details, in little nuances, shades and craft. Working on “very clever paper” he splashes it with colours that symbolise, love, family, tenderness, and relationships. A rush of gentle green or pink or blue runs across and is worked in gouache with plaster, stuck with golden chocolate wrappers or crystals; a relief of squares and circles. The finished mosaic is a colourful gem studded work.

“I see everything in colour,” he says, and explains why Indian artists use burnt colours. “There’s so much sun here so everything is burnt, but in France we want the sun, the colours.” Coming from the family that Gouda cheese traces itself to, Van Cleef routinely uses the food metaphor in conversation. “Delhi is like Mughal food, Mumbai has the shine of Bollywood, Kolkata is like delicate food,” says the artist who delves into the sounds, sights and smells of the places he visits.

On his association with Cartier he says, “For me Cartier is a taste, top, top taste. It is not like marmalade on the butter on the bread but it is marmalade, very thin on very good bread and with half a spoon of caviar on the top. It is very delicate.”

Van Cleef who began painting at the age of 51, says, “I burn very late.” But that perhaps is the reason for the maturity of his works. They are a study in itself, the present works on Indian mythology and Indian thought almost touching the spiritual. “Why does Kali have a tongue like that, why is the God blue?” he questions and finds the answers. His closeness with the country and the people has made him sensitive to their ways and he fiercely protects and justifies the Indian ways. That’s where he believes he differs from another renowned Frenchman, with a love for India, Dominique Lapierre.

Though Indian by choice his Dutch genealogy surfaces time and again. Among the maze of gods, goddesses, peacocks, crowns, chess, rubies and emeralds, the quaint windmill stands as a symbol of Van Cleef’s very own world.





At 57 and having lived across countries, worlds, Van Cleef goes beyond art when he says, “I have a small ideology. If you give a little, you receive a little, if you give a lot you receive a lot, perhaps you don’t receive in this life but that’s not important.”

That’s not important to him in this life but an afterlife? “Yes, my Indian friends tell me that I was here two, three hundred years ago. India has given me a just place.” And it is a well deserved justice to this Indophile.

Van Cleef’s first solo exhibition, ‘Diamond Diwali’ is on at the Brunton Boatyard till November 12. www.olafvancleef.org

Esra :) said...

fantastic...

the hindu said...

Van Cleef a toujours fait rèver
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=RvEs8LP1XDo

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