|The palace from the gardens|
Ed found a great hotel for us just a block from the palace, Hotel Le Versailles. We’d heard horror stories about the crowds at Versailles, so we bought our tickets online and arrived early, about 8:20 AM, before the crowds. Even though we did run into a few tour groups it was still easy to navigate the property with our audio-guides. I should say that we visited on a Thursday. I understand that the palace is closed on Monday and is very busy on Tuesday (when many attractions in Paris are closed).
Versailles had similarities to Schonbrunn Palace which we also visited this summer. Both were originally hunting lodges, both were home to Marie Antoinette, the Austrian-born, French Queen. This palace and grounds are amazing and can easily involve an entire day of sight seeing, but rather than talk about the grandeur of Versailles, I want to tell you about the modern art exhibit that is currently on display.
In recent summers, different artists have been invited to exhibit in this most grand and palatial space. Some people complain about putting modern art in this setting, but as this year’s artist pointed out, when people lived in the palace, they invited the modern artists of their day to live there with them and display their work.
Other than our daughter’s paintings, I’m usually not a big fan of modern art. Lisa’s are special to me not only because she’s done them, but because I know the story behind them – her inspiration, the unusual materials used with the oils. These are also the things that made Portuguese artist, Joana Vasconcelos so special. Her enormous works have a touch of whimsey that remind us not to take ourselves, especially gender roles, too seriously.
|Marilyn – stilettos made from shinny pots and lids in the Hall of Mirrors|
|Coracao Independente Preto (& my handsome husband)- inspired by the heart pendant women in the north of Portugal wear on their wedding day representing wealth and purity, this giant pendant is made from plastic knives, forks and spoons.|
|Gardes – black marble lion sculptures covered in lacy, white crochet, reminds me of stary Marych|
|Lilicoptere – a Bell H-13 (the second one Ed flew) becomes Joana’s version of Marie Antoinette’s carriage|
Of course, I have to tell you about one of our meals too. Rilette, our new favorite, with toast.
|My goodness, there are a lot of glasses on that table.|
I also wanted to mention that we met an American woman who was traveling with her teenage son and a Polish woman from Poznan, who hadn’t been home in 11 years. I suspect the two women work together in the US. They were on our Wizz Air flights going to France and back to Poland. They were charming to visit with as we waited in line. I’m sad to say that their stay in France was not as enjoyable as ours. I hope they have better luck with their excursion to Berlin.