• Art,  Paris

    The Louvre & it’s Galerie d’Apollon

    The Louvre The highlight of my free day in Paris was a visit to the Louvre. Although I visit Paris around 3 times a year, I considered the Louvre to be a major tourist attraction and kept avoiding it. I didn’t realise that under the beautiful glass pyramid designed by Ieoh Ming Pei, the Chinese-American architect that functions as the museum entrance from the courtyard, there is a whole underground shopping mall with outlets ranging from MacDonalds to some very fancy shops. It’s called Carrousel Louvre and connects to the exit at Rue de Rivoli. Having already purchased a ticket online for an allotted time slot, I just had to go through the line up for the security check,…

  • Art,  Paris

    Le Marais, Paris in February

    Le Marais One of my favourite areas of Paris is the Marais district in the 3rd arrondissement. No matter what time of year it is that I am there, I am always enchanted by the charm of the vibrant streets with mixture of old architecture, modern stores, all sorts of people from around the world, and yet such a typical Parisian atmosphere. After a short walk from the metro stations of either Place de la Bastille ( with the new opera house) or Saint Paul (with the Cathedral), you arrive in one of the oldest areas of Paris. The Place des Vosges, the oldest planned square in France dating from 1605-1612 ( formerly called Place Royal, then an aristocratic…

  • London,  Art

    Mark Rothko Room at Tate Modern

    The artist Mark Rothko (1903–1970) was born in Dvinsk, Russia (now Daugavpils, Latvia) as Markus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz. He was of Lithuanian Jewish descent, emigrated to the USA in 1913, and from 1925 lived and worked in New York until he committed suicide in February,1970. His life was dramatic, immigrating at such a young age, having to deal with antisemitism and poverty in early life.   Seeing these works, shown as the artist intended, in reduced light and in a compact space, is very special. The subtlety of the layered surfaces slowly emerges, revealing their solemn and meditative character. Mark Rothko saw these paintings as objects of contemplation, demanding the viewer’s complete absorption.  …