Monday, March 9, 2015

A Dock in Paris

My version of Luigi's "Quai Bourbon, Paris"
In October of 2009, I came across a photograph of a painting in an art book.  The painting is by Luigi Loir titled "Quai Bourbon, Paris".  The misty golden hue immediately caught my eyes.  It depicted a street scene by the Seine at dusk - perhaps in an early autumn evening.  There was such a quiet beauty in his work.  I knew nothing about him until then.  He quickly became one of my favorite artists.  Luigi Loir was a French artist. (1845 - 1916)  The height of his artistic expression was in the Belle Époque period.  He painted scenes of his beautiful city of Paris caught in fleeting moments of majestic light.  All his paintings were powerful in capturing the ambiance of its time.

In 2014, I was fortunate enough to spend some time in Paris.  Walking along the Seine, I suddenly stopped in front of a street sign.  "Quai de Bourbon".  What synchronicity!  I recalled years ago I had taken notice of Luigi Loir's work and painted my own version of it.  And here I stood at the very setting of that painting.  I looked up the meaning of "quai" which means dock.  It was also an autumn day but early evening on a clear day.  Of course, it was also a century later.  I tried to feel for the Paris of Loir's time.  And imagined it in the golden light at day's end.  I touched the stone wall.  It was here when Luigi was here.  I looked up to the trees.  Most likely the same trees that were sketched in the painting.

"Merci, Monsieur Loir."  I was able to see and experience the beauty of Paris, now and then.