Twelve Secret Gardens of Paris

Garden of the Hôtel-Dieu, Paris

Garden of the Hôtel-Dieu, Paris

I have been posting on the large gardens of Paris, so I thought I would present some of the smaller gardens as well. This is inside the Hôtel-Dieu complex, a working hospital, next to Notre Dame. The French believe that gardens help cure patients more quickly. This hospital has a full time gardener who keeps the gardens in good condition. The medicinal garden was a staple of gardening in medieval times, often mixed in with the kitchen garden. Also known as a herb garden or a garden of simples, specialized medicinal gardens have been made at least since the Middle Ages, though plants were grown for medical purposes long before. A “simple” is a herb used on its own in medical treatment. Many modern drugs are, of course, extracted from herbs and other plants.

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La Rotunde. Montparnasse, Paris

La Rotunde. Montparnasse, Paris

La Rotunde. Montparnasse, Paris

The Café de la Rotonde is a famous café in the Montparnasse Quarter of Paris, France. Located on the Carrefour Vavin, at the corner of Boulevard du Montparnasse and Boulevard Raspail, it was founded by Victor Libion in 1911. Along with Le Dome and La Coupole it was renowned as an intellectual gathering place for notable artists and writers during the interwar period. Picasso portrayed two diners in the cafe in his painting “In the cafe de la Rotonde” in 1901; as did the Russian artist Alexandre Jacovleff aka Alexander Yevgenievich Yakovlev in the similarly titled “In the Cafe de la Rotonde“. Even today the café remains a popular meeting place for the city's intelligentsia.

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Carpeaux at the Petit Palais, Paris

Facade of Petit Palais, Paris

Facade of Petit Palais, Paris

The Petit Palais was built for the 1900 Universal Exhibition, like its neighbour the Grand Palais, on avenue Winston Churchill. It became a museum in 1902, housing the City of Paris Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris). Designed by Charles Girault, it is based on a trapezium shape and is made up of four wings around a semi-circular garden bordered by a richly decorated peristyle. The tympanum depicting the city of Paris surrounded by muses is the work of sculptor Jean Antoine Injalbert. The main entrance gate, designed by Girault himself, was immediately praised for its elegance and the virtuosity of its craftsmanship.

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Rodin Museum, Paris…The Paintings

Munch the thinker
Munch scream

I could not bear to include these paintings in with the sculptures on my post concerning the Rodin museum, so I thought I would include them in a separate post. The painting above is by Edvard Munch, the Norwegian painter made famous by “The Scream”, seen to the right.

There is no evidence of Rodin and Edvard Munch (1863-1944), the most important Norwegian artist and etcher of his generation, ever having met. Yet the sculptor’s work greatly influenced the painter’s production, and today the Musée Rodin is still the only French museum to own a canvas by Munch.

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The Rodin Museum, Paris

The Rodin Museum, Paris
The Rodin Museum, Paris the thinker

The Rodin museum is not far from Les Invalides as you can see from this picture above of Rodin’s famous statue, Le Penseur, in among a jungle of roses and trimmed cedars.This is what really makes this museum special, there is an indoor section but much of the collection is set outdoors in a beautiful and serene setting.

The Musée Rodin in Paris, France, is a museum that was opened in 1919, dedicated to the works of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. It has two sites, at the Hôtel Biron and surrounding grounds in central Paris, and just outside Paris at Rodin’s old home, the Villa des Brillants at Meudon (Hauts-de-Seine). The collection includes 6,600 sculptures, 8,000 drawings, 8,000 old photographs and 7,000 objets d’art, and the museum receives 700,000 visitors annually.

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