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Afternoon in the Tuileries Garden


The Jardin de Tuileries is Paris from the vantage point of a worn green lawn chair in the 2, 500 acre backyard of the Louvre. And there they linger, sunbathers and bemused artists, encircling the fountain or nested in the patchwork of grassy squares on the ashes of Catherine de Medicis’ palace.

Twin museums look out onto the traffic circle that ensnares the Concorde. In the Orangerie a figure eight of Monet's Nymphéas canvases invite us within the confines of his Giverny garden. Muddled reflections of willow trees, water lilies and a sunset of red, orange and blue encompass the ground floor. Though it has rightfully been called glorfied wallpaper it must be seen to do Paris right.


 
Cézanne, Renoir, Modigliani, and Rousseau hang in the narrow dogtrot gallery downstairs. Unfamiliar with the work of Laurencin, I enjoyed the graceful, hollow-eyed dancers of her canvases and the twisted acidic landscapes of Soutine.

The other museum in the duo dedicated to contemporary art, the Jeu de Paume, is worth a peek if you are a fan of photography. I have seen expositions on Lisette Model, Cindy Sherman and Daine Arbus among others. An hour is usually enough for a saunter through.

Slipping out the side gate of the park onto the rue de Rivoli for a hot chocolate at Angelina would be a storybook ending to the afternoon.

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