Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Paris, day 3

Today's programme was the Sainte Chapelle.
First, I arrived to the Ile de Cité and no-one was around but for a few people who were staying not with the bunch of art historians but on their own. I got a message that they went to St. Severin so I passed it on... after we were at the courtyard, having passed thru the frame, having our knives taken in custody...... The same complex of building hosts the Supreme court or something. So we found our way out and went for a coffee.
Sainte Chapelle disappointed me in away. All the walls were painted colourful in the 19th century, it blackened and now it looks simply awful. I have no idea what the 19th century people used but it looks like everything-proof paint particularly suitable for the walls of public toilets and similar instituions. Why the heck didn't they use the good old fresco techniques, I wonder. But, it has to be admitted that the whole place was colourful. And yeah, lots of glass and a high ceiling.
St Denis, the afternoon stop, was much nicer. It appeals somewhat more to my tastes, although the western facade is mostly Viollet-Le-Duc plus two milimetres of ugly black crust. There was an argument between the art historians going on, whether the French way of cleaning all the facades by sand is okay, because the buildings should be dirty and nowadays dirt is different from the medieval dirt and the sandstone turns gray, not yellowish... sigh. Life goes on, guys, have you ever heard?
Anyhow, St Denis is plainly nice.
More pics later. Need to sort them out.