“Super Bjork”: My First Foray Into the World of French Art

September 4, 2009

I came to France for several reasons. The first reason was to practice the French language, the second was to eat French food, and the third reason was to experience the art-all kinds, and in all places. I’ve already explained my language woes, and my almost embarrassingly passionate love of the food, but after yesterday I finally feel like I can begin to talk about the third (and most important) subject.

Whether or not you like art, you cannot help but be visually accosted by it at every turn in France. I mean this actually quite literally-art can really hurt! I learned this yesterday when I became so entranced by the enormous and ornate Tours Cathedral that I walked (quickly, and with a lot of force) into a very solid iron post cemented into the sidewalk. But despite the rather painful bruise on my thigh, I wouldn’t have it any other way! L’Institut is incredibly gorgeous on the outside, but I never expected to be in a classroom that looks like a miniature hall of mirrors. Whenever I tire of grammar I just study the soaring birds painted on the sky ceiling. I only wish the photo could do it some justice…

Grammar Class

Grammar Class

But yesterday I finally had my first visit (of many I hope) to a French Art Museum. The Musee des Beaux-Arts in Tours is small, but absolutely lovely! We had a fabulous, and very enthusiastic, French tour guide, who had quite the “moustache”! He took us through the museum only stopping at a few points, but he gave a very nice overview of the major periods in art history, starting with the Middle Ages. It was a needed review, and his visit highlighted some really wonderful pieces, including a Rembrandt, and Monet, and a Rodin.  Seeing the Monet reminded me how much I love the Impressionists-I got chills looking at the painting, because the visible brush marks and brush strokes somehow made the painting so much a part of a real human being. While beautifully finished works in the classic style of course tell about the artist, with Impressionism it somehow seems that the paintings are much more intimate. I may be finding my art history niche, though I do also have a growing love for abstract art…

However lovely, visual art was not the only thing I was exposed to yesterday. Last night was the “concert pop-rock” offered as an SBC sponsored outing. I had no idea what to expect, but I was still very surprised! The “concert” was really more of a show, in what was really a large stone cellar near Place Plumereau (the essential student square full of cafes, bars, candy stores, creperies, and small dance clubs). The warm up group was 4 women, one in a somewhat haute-couture style bubble dress, and three in black togas with bare feet. Their “sound” could best be described as (to borrow phrases from my friends), “super Bjork”, “Bjork meets the Dirty Projectors”, “similar to Enya” “…but kind of like Corinne Bailey Rae”. If you’re reading this and are completely confused, it’s okay. So were we. To explain as best I can for those of you who don’t listen to the aforementioned musicians, it was some female beatboxing, with some vaguely Middle Eastern “yodeling” and then there was some pop mixed in-it was mostly acappella, but not always. Clearly I study visual art and not music, but that’s the best I can do. I think from now on I should stick to describing paintings.

Though for now I think I will just let some photos do the talking. These are photographs taken by me of everyday life, art created by others, and just things that I found interesting or beautiful. Enjoy!

The Cher

The Cher

Da Vinci Invention-Amboise

Da Vinci Invention-Amboise

Column with windows-Amboise

Column with windows-Amboise

My bedroom window, flowers on the front gate

My bedroom window, flowers on the front gate

Villandry

Villandry

Villandry

Villandry

Tours

Tours

Dinner in the garden

Dinner in the garden

Rain at l'Institut

Rain at l'Institut

Tours-seen from l'Institut

Tours-seen from l'Institut

A bientot!!!

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One Response to ““Super Bjork”: My First Foray Into the World of French Art”

  1. Laura Trudeau said

    What lovely descriptions Victoria! Remember to use arnica on the bruise! Love, Mom

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