092718: Paris Revisited

I recently donated a print of the above image to a charity auction to raise money for the Southern Poverty Law Center (a most worthy cause, to my mind). The image, a favorite of mine, was taken on an upper floor of the d’Orsay Museum in Paris.

Digging up that print got me thinking about my other Paris images and that led to a pleasant afternoon rediscovering that photo library. Here is some of what particularly caught my eye. Above is another from the d’Orsay.

Louvre Window Study

Sortie (Exit)

Windows, Gare d’Austerlitz

Grand Palais



Staircase, Museum of Comparative Anatomy



Louvre Entrance


Book Stalls on the Seine

I’ll finish today with this picture postcard image of the Seine as it passes through the heart of the city.

I hope you enjoyed the visit.

0205: More From the Vaults


Greetings from the snow covered upper Hudson Valley. The wind is howling as I write this today, giving life to the multitude of chimes I have hanging all around outside my studio. The cacophony of bright, crisp sounds provides a pleasant backdrop to today’s tasks.


I have chosen once again to dive back into the vaults seeking overlooked images. And this time I settled into my images from Paris. First is a group from one of my favorite museums, the Gallery of Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy. The gigantic ammonite seen above hung in a stairway landing – an odd place for it I thought, but striking nonetheless.


Next an arachnid, I think, from a time unknown to me (Take me out of the world of marine invertebrates and I am lost!).


And the last fossil for today – a pterodactyl.


Aside from the wonderful collections housed in this museum, the building itself is worth a visit alone. Built for the Paris Exposition of 1900, it has wonderful detailing at every turn, such as these three examples of the “natural history” architectural embellishments.







And then there are the stairwells.


Earlier posts captured this museum much more fully. For anyone interested, here are those links:






These last few are some random favorites, a somewhat odd mix. The first is a view of the Seine taken from the top of Notre Dame. Speaking of stairs, there are 387 steps to the bell tower and another 147 to the very top (where I shot this picture). And, as I stood there trying desperately to catch my breath, I looked across at the 300′ tall spire – only to see three workers climbing to the top!




Gare d’Austerlitz


An odd but favorite image of mine – Voltaire’s tomb in the basement of the Paris Pantheon. His shadow watches over.


One last image from Paris for today. The wonderfully inscrutable work of one of my favorite artists, Cy Twombly, at the Pompidou.


A couple of final notes. This Saturday, February 7, two of my images will hang in juried openings:


“Madonna Erotica” will appear at the Woodstock Artist Association and Museum in the Small Works Show – 4-6pm.


And this work from my Devonian Drawer series will appear at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance in Narrowsburg NY. That opening will run from 2-4pm. If you are in either area please stop by.


Thanks for the visit.

Colorless Again

_MG_1857_01_LR_BW_12Before we dropped off into this latest deep freeze I managed to take some pictures of my favorite cephalopods in what is ordinarily a dry stream bed. The brief thaw exposed them and the melting snow had the creek running. Seems like I’m staying in that colorless world that I wrote about last week.


But before I explore that I’d like to tell you about an opening set for Saturday the 26th (tomorrow) at the GCCA Gallery on Main Street in Catskill. Entitled Visitors, Visitations, Visions, the show will display the works of 21 Hudson Valley artists including the following three of my own.

IMG_5502_01b_LR_10The Lost Boys


IMG_4068_01c_LR_10Enlightenment 1


IMG_4069_01e_LR_10Enlightenment 2


And in the upstairs gallery my good friend friend and wonderful painter Elin Menzies will have her work hanging as part of a two person show entitled Animal, Myth, Magic. the opening for both shows will be an early one – 2PM until 5 PM.

ElinElin Menzies, Crow and Crowboy Admire the Giant Poppy


So here I am stuck in that colorless world again. What I have assembled this week is a mix of images from my library that I hadn’t yet had the opportunity to play with. As you will see, they cover a range of subjects. Their obvious commonality is the lack of color. Are details and patterns more recognizable? Is there a greater purity to gray scale – no distractions? I don’t really have a position on that old argument about color versus black and white. A strong image is about content, composition, contrasting tonality, and a host of other considerations with color only being one. In this digital age, the image may suggest its fate.


IMG_7688_01_LR_12Eiffel Tower from the Trocodero


_MG_1128_01_LR_12The Louvre


_MG_0681_01BW_LR_10The Pantheon


_MG_0640_01_LR_12Jardin des Plantes


_MG_0115_01_LR_10Place des Vosges, Paris


IMG_7348_01BW_LR_10Saint-Eustache Organ, Paris


_MG_0639_01_LR_10Paris Alley


IMG_8934_01a_LR_10Route 32, Saugerties, NY


IMG_8224_02_LR_12Snowy Landscape





IMG_5698_01BW_LR_10Jack & Jill

Thank you as always for visiting. More images at www.artmurphy.com

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The Paris Natural History Museum

Gare du AusterlitzOur ever ongoing search for fossils led us to the French National Natural History Museum. While not part of the usual list of Paris “must-see” museums, it turned out to be the most fun and the greatest surprise. The metro dropped us off at Gare D’Austerlitz, one of the six large railroad stations in Paris. Originally built in 1840, it, like so much else in Paris, is a sight to behold. And it was easy enough to understand the lure such places held for the Impressionist painters while pausing for a look around.

evolutionA short walk brought us to the Museum, in whose lobby entrance sat this wonderful marble sculpture of Evolution upended! This particular building, the Gallery of Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy, housed the largest public display of invertebrate fossils I’ve ever seen. And while I was delighted to see so much in one place I was overwhelmed by its other collections – the vertebrate fossils, the nearly thousand skeletons, the rows of animal skulls, etc. I thought I dropped off into some Tim Burton daydream!

main room, Paris Natural History MuseumThe Main Gallery is a Noah’s Ark of skeletons of all shapes and sizes all moving in one direction.






I did say we went for the invertebrate fossils, didn’t I? Perhaps not nearly as odd and as gripping as the above images, the fossils alone would have made the trip a success. Here now are some of what we found.

IMG_7463_01_LR_10Subsequent posts will have much more from this wonderful museum. The architecture, the detailing, the many other strange and interesting items on view – all to come.


We went to the Louvre. It was wonderful.

IMG_7533_01_LR_10 We went to the Musee D’Orsay. It was spectacular.

IMG_7543_01_LR_12We went to the Orangerie. It was delightful.


But nothing compared to the surprise of this museum. Instead of hushed tones and silent nods of approval we gasped at every turn and giggled at our good fortune to be there to witness all that this museum held for us.


IMG_7549_01_LR_10Baguettes in the park nearby, a couple of cafe cremes to wash them down and we were off to continue our adventure. We didn’t know what we would find the rest of that day but at that point it didn’t really matter. We hit the mother lode already with these fossils and bones.

IMG_7577_01_LR_12Much more to come.

Thank you as always for visiting. More images at www.artmurphy.com

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