Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
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A Los Angeles Childhood – Day 7 (Jour 7) – Des Freres Caillebotte
Saturday, 18 June 2011 12:45

My day starts in the usual way, French Press, Cornflakes, writing and out the door! Another try for the 84 Bus and voila, it goes! After quite a long ride I arrive at Boulevard Haussmann. I walk to 158, the Muse Jacquemart Andre. My friend Sherry told me about this museum and I actually Googled it before I left on my trip. The exhibit with the two brothers, a conversation in photographs and paintings interested me.

The museum itself is a beautiful turn of the century (19th) mansion filled with major works of art from the 18th century School, including some 17th century masters such as Rembrandt, van Dyck, with English masters in the smoking room. Just imagine what life was like when this area was first designed and large mansions being built, 15th century Botticelli, Uccello and all the grandness of that empire.

Enter the Caillebotte brothers. Brothers of wealth from a family who tells them, be anything you want to be. Choose your own métier. They both chose artistic careers, one a musician and then a photographer, the other a painter. Their life is told in conversation, photos and paintings. It gives such a great insight into wealthy life during that period, 1848 – 1910. Gustave, the painter and Martial, the photographer documented their fascination of modern symbols and their keen interest in outdoor life but also the poetry of day to day existence. It shows their mutual interest in rowing, yachting, love of gardening, the busy life of the new Haussmannian Paris as well as the quietude of daily life.

Many of the photographs and paintings were done from the balcony of their apartments, “the boulevard seen from above.”

Some of the photographs I particularly enjoyed were those of Pierre Auguste Renoir and his family, including his son, the cineaste, Jean. The paintings show their passion for gardens and botany. They shared a friendship with Monet through this love.

Photographs with automobiles documenting the industrial revolution in Paris were said to radically transform the urban view of Paris.

Of course, no day would be complete without sushi and gelato at Amareno. I just found out today that those of you in New York can enjoy the gelato delight with bursting intense flavors. One of my favorites is a combination of raspberry, lemon and chocolate in a petit cup. The joy of this is that you can have a small slice of up to three flavors in the small and the bigger the cup or cone, the more possibilities. Et maintenant, bonsoir!

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