Paris itself is a living museum. Filled with over 150 museums and the streets that ooze with history and architecture spanning centuries. Before we had my beloved Musée du Louvre we had the churches that filled their walls with art from some of the biggest artists of the time. The Louvre opened in 1793 and over three hundred years before Notre Dame de Paris opened its doors.
Art of the past was very different then it is now. Today it is just as much about the artist itself sometimes selling for millions of dollars just because of their name. Centuries ago the only way for an artist to be seen was in the churches and the Salons. For this we are very lucky and you can see some of the greatest French painters for free by just popping into a few of the churches in Paris.
In the newest episode of Paris History Avec a Hemingway on La Vie Creative podcast we talk about many of the ones you should search out when you arrive. You can discover the painter of Louis XIV Charles Le Brun in Saint Nicolas du Chardonnet where he was also laid to rest. The designer of Vaux le Vicomte was appointed by the king to bring the vision of Versailles to life as well as the Galerie d’Apollon in the Louvre where you can find another master.
Eugene Delacroix was the leader of the Romantic movement and believed the best way for an artist to be remembered was to hang large scale pieces in public spaces. In 1824 Delacroix was commissioned to create a painting for Saint Paul Saint Louis. On the left of the transept above the door is Delacroix’s Le Christ au Jardin des Olivers shows why he is the master of Romanticism.
A short walk away in the Saint-Denys-du-Saint-Sacrement church is Delacroix’s take on the familiar scene of La Pietà depicting the body of Christ in the arms of the Virgin after he is pulled down from the cross, was painted directly onto the wall of the Saint Genevieve chapel.
Of course his greatest work was inside the Eglise Saint Sulpice that he created in those last years of his life.
Listen to the newest episode to hear all about these paintings and more.
More info and photos: https://www.claudinehemingway.com/paris-history-avec-a-hemingway-podcast-1
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