Monday, 24 February 2014

A walk around Montmartre

I am inviting you for a walk around Montmartre, a part of the 18th area of Paris (France) visited by millions of tourists every years. It is famous for the Sacré Choeur Basilica, the painters working at the Place du Tertre and its village atmosphere… Unfortunately, you also have to watch out for pickpockets.

Sacré Choeur Basilica

Jean-François de la Barre statue

A statue of Jean-François de la Barre is located in the Nadar garden (Square Nadar), at the feet of the basilica. The current bronze statue is the work of sculptor Emmanuel Ball (and Kalkolitik was the art foundry). It was installed in the garden in February 2001.

The plinth is inscribed with the following inscription (in French):

To the Chevalier de La Barre
Who was tortured to death
On July 1st, 1766
For not saluting
A Procession 

De la Barre became a symbol of religious intolerance and remained in French history thanks to Voltaire, a French writer and philosopher who professed humanism and opposed intolerance in any form. I would recommend that you read Candide by Voltaire (available at Project Gutenberg in French and in English)

The base of the statue is inscribed with a quote by Voltaire from his Dictionnaire Philosophique (Philosophical Dictionary): “The most remarkable is the universal tolerance” (or in French “La plus remarquable est la tolérance universelle”)

The plinth is older than the current statue. A first statue, created in 1900, represented de la Barre chained to a column. It was judged disquieting and moved in 1926 to a remote place, before it was destroyed in 1941.

Wallace Fountains

Just outside the Nadar Garden is a Wallace FountainThese beautiful fountains were financed by Sir Richard Wallace, an English philanthropist who lived and died in Paris. He wanted to make sure that homeless people in Paris would not have to pay for fresh water.

Charles-Auguste Lebourg designed the cast-iron sculptures for the fountains.


When you go down the stairs (a few hundreds of them) to go back to the bottom of the hill, you can see a wall full of graffiti.

General De Gaulle meets Bob Marley

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The John King

This boat was in Bristol's harbour. I like the overcast light from a rainy day. It works well with the subject.

The John King  (Oil on canvas panel - 6" x 8") by Benoit Philippe

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Free Art Books from the Getty Museum

Once again, Richard Byrne at Free Technology for Teachers blog pointed me to a great resource for artists and art lovers. The Getty Museum is making available online and for free some of their past publications.

The Virtual libray is divided into 3 sections:
  • J. Paul Getty Museum 
  • Getty Conservation Institute 
  • Getty Research Institute
Here is a highly subjective selection. I encourage you to go the Getty’s Virtual Library website and browse the collection by yourself.

From the J. Paul Getty Museum

Cézanne in the Studio: Still Life in Watercolors by Carol Armstrong 

Rubens and Brueghel: A Working Friendship by Anne T. Woollett and Ariane van Suchtelen; with contributions by Tiarna Doherty, Mark Leonard, and Jørgen Wadum

Looking at the Landscapes: Courbet and Modernism Edited by Mary Morton, with contributions by David Bomford, Petra ten-Doesschate Chu, Dominique de Font-Réaulx, Paul Galvez, and Klaus Herding

Courbet and the Modern Landscape by Mary Morton and Charlotte Eyerman, with an essay by Dominique de Font-Réaulx

From the Getty Conservation Institute

This section of the library is more for specialists. However, two more general books caught my attention:

If you are interested in conservation issues, the Getty Conservation Institute offers some very specific publications. For instance:

From the Getty Research Institute

Art in History/History in Art: Studies in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Culture; Edited by David Freedberg and Jan de Vries

Related resources and articles

  1. Read and Download 250+ Art Books from the Getty Museum by Richard Byrne at Free Technology for Teachers.
  2. Met Museum full text online publications