Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Aix, Art and Architecture

Today we revisited familiar places but with more attention paid to the architecture, monuments, and purpose.  Place d'Albertas is a small square encircled by baroque architecture. The Place is named for the Albertas family who owned one of the mansions and built the square echoing the Place de la Concorde in Paris.   There is a painter who sits and works there most days.  He was surrounded today by visitors watching him work and checking out his works for sale.  The square is quite well known in photographs.
Corn Exchange Pediment

In the Place Hotel de Ville is a fountain built by the sculptor Chastel for whom I'm thinking the Rue Chastel where I got my hair cut was named.  Also in the square is the Corn Exchange whose frontage is crowned with an allegorical pediment by the same Chastel.  It is a high relieve representing the sources of farming and prosperity in Provence: the Rhone and the Durance.  Most interesting aspect of the pediment is the languorous leg of one figure that hangs over the entablature in compete dimensions.

Wayne in the Palais de Archbishop

At the Place des Martyrs de la Resistance, the Palais de Archbishop hosts an opera festival every July for a full month in an outdoor courtyard.  The courtyard has been transformed into a performance area with stadium seating and an open stage.  The costumes from previous years can be seen inside the Palais.  Also in the Palais are tapestries including a group illustrating the novel Don Quixote.  These were found in the Palais, rolled and hidden during the French Revolution.  The French Archbishop once lived in the Palais until the early 1900s when the French government made a complete separation of church and state.

We ended our sunny beautiful day sitting outside at a cafe on Cours Mirabeau.  Pictures at flickr.