The Faces of France: The Cluny and around Paris

The Faces of France: The Cluny and Around Paris

Ferocious door handle holders…Devourers? Paris

On an earlier trip to Paris, my husband Mark (Marc Henri when we are in France…) said to me, “After awhile, I felt like I was just a giant eyeball, an eyeball on two legs, just trying to take everything in…

And Paris, or much of it, and la belle France, or much of it, is indeed as Hemingway so aptly said, “…a moveable feast.

A glorious feast for all the senses, but, especially “pour les yeux” …for the eyes  One of my favorite aspects of this are all the carved faces which are everywhere…adorning the interiors and exteriors of building, playing sentinel over doorways, emerging out of ceilings corners, festooning roofs,  animating churches, and gazing down upon us the viewer and the passerby as if to bless us with a Latin benediction or perhaps curse us with an ancient pagan epithet.

Upside down and all around. Faces and figures whether human, animal or fantastical, often come in pairs. Musée de Cluny, musée national du Moyen Âge. (The Cluny Museum, National Museum of the Middle Ages),  Paris

“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid”. Carved wooden pew…decoration/embellishment…Musée de Cluny, musée national du Moyen Âge. (The Cluny Museum, National Museum of the Middle Ages),  Paris

Gazing upon each other…with angels in the background. Musée de Cluny, musée national du Moyen Âge. (The Cluny Museum, National Museum of the Middle Ages),  Paris

Back on the Paris streets…carved faces gaze down upon windows, architectural supports, and doors.

In context…and glorious repetition of detail…filling space in a beautiful and visually arresting way.

King and Queen? Master and Mistress? Preside. Paris.

In context, gazing out solemnly, as if wearing a mantle of responsibility.  Paris.

Hard to leave this magnificent city…but glad it is guarded by so many watchful eyes.

Paris, you are forever. I think if you go, we go too.

Live on, for we love you, and will guard you as assiduously in our hearts as your  silent sentinels do on your walls, roofs, doors and ramparts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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