Yes, I'm spamming today; expect a fandom post next!



Today the bf and I retured from four days in Lille. Lille is a city in France, the first big city when entering from Calais, it is a few kilometers from the Belgian border. We spent the nights in a four star hotel called the Carlton in the center of the city. Fantastic hotel, excellent service.

The city is quite small but very pretty. Lots of eighteenth century buildings, some earlier and some later. One very pretty Jugendstil shopfront had me staring for five minutes. We went to the MuseƩ des Beaux Arts, which is the second museum in France, after the Louvre. Very nice museum; lots of nineteenth century statues, including one of a Hermaphrodite which was absurdly pretty. The Renaissance and Middle ages rooms were closed, but there was an exhibition of Scandinavian Art which included some very pretty paintings and drawings by Edelfelt.
The standard collection included several Davids and several very good paintings. A set I liked in particular were two paintings: one of 'Classical virgins' and one of 'eighteenth century virgins'. They were painted as a set, seen by the colouring and the composition. I really liked the feel of them.
As an arthistorian I do have some observations on the exhibition of the paintings; some were hung so high that the details became unclear and the lighting was terrible. The reflection of the light on the canvas made it impossible to see the painting. Other paintings, including a Vanitas which I rather liked, were so dirty the lemons were green and the glass was invisible. For a museum for which people were still queueing an hour until closing time it was shameful.

The other museum we went to was rather smaller and contained mainly Flemish paintings, but was situated in a very old, possibly sixteenth century house with eighteenth century furniture and paintings still in them. Very pretty indeed.

We visited two churches; the St. Maurice, which is a late gothic church which had been cleaned on the outside but not on the inside. There were over twenty really big oil paintings of very good quality in that church and they were in abominable state. Dark and grimy and underappreciated. It broke my heart.
The second church was the Notre Dame, of which the choir and the transept had been finished in the late gothic (very pretty windows!) and the roof and front had been done in the twentieth century. Somewhat Gothic still, but with modern elements in the windows and electric chandeliers. The front was magnificent: opaque on the outside, shining with colour on the inside. The series of paintings portraying the passion of Christ were done in a cubist manner, which I had never seen before, and were very good. A very interesting church, this was.

We also went shopping in the huge shopping centre next to Gare Lille Flandres, where I bought bright purple dancing shoes which I adore. All in all a very good holiday!

I whish you all a very Happy New Year and all the best in 2009!
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