Dramatic Skies in the Palazzo Barberini

Dramatic Skies in the Palazzo Barberini

It was turning into a rainy evening in Rome. The downpour was steady: persistent enough to slowly seep through my raincoat, but not aggressive enough to convince me to stop meandering through the drizzly streets, past intriguing old churches and lazily flowing fountains. Eventually, I made my way to […]

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Monet's Giverny in the Summer

Monet's Giverny in the Summer

Let's travel through time and space to colorful Giverny, France in the summer. Claude Monet made his home at Giverny for over 40 years, until his death in 1926. In the warm season, you can visit his house and studio, as well as the famous flowerbeds and reflecting pond that inspired his sublime paintings. To visit [...]

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Autumn Colors at the Château de Fontainebleau

Autumn Colors at the Château de Fontainebleau

Historic châteaux differ from traditional museums in an important aspect: seasons. When I think about visiting most museums, I focus on what I’ll be seeing on the inside. But with historic châteaux and houses, I add in the factor of the time of year I will be visiting. I love making the pilgrimage to the Château de Malmaison during rose [...]

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Hunting for Beavers in La Maison du Castor (Château Ramezay)

Hunting for Beavers in La Maison du Castor (Château Ramezay)

Montreal’s Château Ramezay has a fuzzy past. The grand house was originally built for Claude de Ramezay, the governor of Montreal from 1703 to 1724. But Ramezay went a little overboard, spending way too much of his own money on the building project. After his widow’s death in 1745, the heirs sold the property to the West Indies Company, which had a monopoly on the export of beaver [...]

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Gardens of the Way of the Cross - Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal

Gardens of the Way of the Cross - Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal

My Montreal museum cocktail for the week led me to the small museum in Saint Joseph's Oratory, the grand basilica located on one of Mount Royal's peaks. I had already passed the Oratory and its enormous dome several times, and I was excited to learn what it was exactly. On a sunny May day, I arrived at the base of the Oratory's hill and was faced with seemingly never-ending outdoor stairs winding their [...]

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Wrap Up of the Creativity Theme "Outdoors"

Wrap Up of the Creativity Theme "Outdoors"

It's the last day of June, and the end of this month's creativity series on the theme of the Outdoors. All month, Garlands in Paris has been looking at art and museums through the lens of this theme: representations of the outdoors in art, objects that were created to be outdoors, the relationship between interior [...]

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Aquariums: Zoos of the Seas and Rivers

Aquariums: Zoos of the Seas and Rivers

If you’ve been following along for the past few weeks, you know that Garlands in Paris in middle of a creativity series on the theme of the Outdoors. Today, I’m happy to introduce you to Nolwenn, a dear friend and fellow blogger. I asked her to reflect on this month's theme in a Parisian cultural institution. So, without [...]

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The Grounds of the Château de Malmaison

The Grounds of the Château de Malmaison

A video of dreamy June afternoon spent on the grounds of the Château de Malmaison. The Château de Malmaison was the home of Joséphine and her then-husband Napoléon (you can read more about their love affair here and about Joséphine’s famous rose garden here).

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Smell the Roses at Malmaison

Smell the Roses at Malmaison

Some heritage is meant to be inhaled. Empress Joséphine’s roses at Malmaison are a prime example. Visually beautiful, yes, but their real power lies in their luscious perfume. Stick your nose in one of the enormous blossoms and you are instantly, and forcefully, transported. Certain blossoms were almost the end of [...]

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Expulsion from the Garden: The Louvre's Cour Marly

Expulsion from the Garden: The Louvre's Cour Marly

The Cour Marly in the Musée du Louvre is grand. Filled with natural light and a forest of ficus trees, the courtyard houses an army of grand marble statuary. These stone figures display movement despite their insistent stillness, with rearing horses, racing gods and goddesses, harmonious allegories of rivers and [...]

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Sainte-Chapelle: Inside and Out

Sainte-Chapelle: Inside and Out

Sainte-Chapelle is a decidedly interior space. To experience its full glory, you have to enter its depths, climbing from the lower chapel to the upper chapel. But it has an intimate relationship with the outdoors. At its origins, it was utterly dependent on the light of the sun for the stained glass to come to life. Morning light, evening [...]

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Green in the Orsay

Green in the Orsay

This is the first installment of Creative June on the theme of the Outdoors. (If you missed it, check out a description of the project here!) When thinking about the outdoors, the first image that came to mind was the color green. And what better museum to scour for instances of green than the Musée d’Orsay? I first thought of the [...]

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Creative June: Outdoors

Creative June: Outdoors

June is bringing a new direction for Garlands in Paris! In addition to reviews of cultural offerings around Paris, I thought it would be fun to pick a theme for the month and post about the different ways that artworks and museums fit that theme. As the weather has been so beautiful lately, the theme for June will be “Outdoors”. I’m going to [ ... ]

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Salon d'art floral

Salon d'art floral

One of my favorite springtime rituals is heading to the mairie of the 6th arrondissement for the annual Salon d’art floralThis weekend exhibition of floral art features the creations of gardeners from the Jardin du Luxembourg and neighborhood florists, who sculpt blossoms and greenery into fantastical forms. The event is held a grand [ ... ]

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The Queens of the Luxembourg Garden

The Queens of the Luxembourg Garden

I've always been intrigued by the series of statues of French queens and saints that surround the basin of the Luxembourg Garden. These women are look strong and purposeful, each unique in her pose and attitude. The statues make up the Reines de France et Femmes illustres, a series of twenty notable women from French [ ... ]

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Louvre Photo Safari: Plants and Animals

Louvre Photo Safari: Plants and Animals

This is part of Louvre Photo Safaris, a series that focuses on details found in Louvre artworks around various themes, with the aim of looking at everything differently. The Louvre recently reopened a refurbished decorative arts section called "From Louis XIV to Louis XVI". After having heard rave reviews since [ ... ]

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The Artsy Squares of Saint-Germain-des-Prés

The Artsy Squares of Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés is easily one of my favorite churches in Paris. It feels ancient; a reminder of the past in the midst of contemporary Parisian life. The structure is surrounded by two little squares, each tucked in against the church and chock-full of art. These modest parks have their own distinct character [ ... ]

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Happy Place: Garden of the Musée Delacroix

Happy Place: Garden of the Musée Delacroix

This is part of Happy Places, a series about making the time to have experiences that bring you joy, but can be hard to justify with a busy schedule. The Musée Delacroix is so small that it is hard for me to justify return visits. If I am a Delacroix mood, I’ll make my way to the Louvre’s collection. But [ ... ]

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