Chill and White Skies

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I remember striking up a conversation with Frenchman who sat next to me on the plane when I visited Paris for the first time, and having him laugh at me because I had chosen to visit on the wettest month of the year (November). He wasn’t wrong, we got a whooping one cloudless and rainless day in those three weeks, buuuuut — I haven’t personally seen Paris (consistently) be any other way, and I’ve visited in July, in December, and now in February. The Paris I know best is all chill and white skies.

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Musée Bourdelle

The Bourdelle Museum revolves around the work of sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, and also preserves his private residence and atelier. He worked on site from 1885-1929, upon his death, and he began to plan for it to become a museum as early as 1922, which it did in 1949.

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This room is known as The Great Hall, and holds plaster models for what later became bronze statues — think of these as a sculptor’s sketches. The pieces are beautiful in their own right, and the space, with its tall ceiling and open plan, serves their monumental stature well.

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Bourdelle was born in Montauban in 1861, and began attending the Toulouse School of Fine Art when he was fifteen. In 1893, he became sculptor assistant to Rodin, with whom he worked closely until 1908. For the rest of his life, Bourdelle continued to receive few commissions and meet with resistance to his work in France, and it wasn’t until 1929, the year of his death, that he received any recognition in his homeland.

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This was my favorite room in the entire museum, and what served as Bourdelle’s atelier.

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They have kept everything in its original position, so as to preserve the actual environment that the artist worked in. It was a gloomy day outside (it was raining while I was there), but the light that reached inside was even and soft, making the space feel cozy, like I was truly stepping into a private working space.

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This part of the museum is actually the artist’s residence, where he moved into in 1885, joined by his parents shortly after. In 1918 he moved to a separate apartment a few blocks away, but he continued to come here to work every day, and even to entertain visitors.

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Recognize these from their plaster models?

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Wild & the Moon

With more than a few locations throughout Paris, Wild & the Moon is a restaurant committed to using local and seasonal ingredients to prepare their meals. This locale is tiny, with barely a handful of seats to eat-in, but the food was really delicious — definitely recommend the mango smoothie.

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