The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. ~Aristotle
Wow, today was a long day! We left early for our field trip and travelled to the Musee de Rodin, a famous sculptor who created the famous 'Thinker' statue that is so well known today. The statues themselves were really beautiful, it's amazing that someone could create such a perfect replica of the human body in stone. The expressiveness of it is what stuck with me the most, the faces and the bodies were so expressive. You could see the emotion that went with that particular statue, you could understand more then just a name or description, you could really feel the statue and understand what Rodin was trying to create.
The artwork was really beautiful and it would have been nice to be able to spend all day exploring and enjoying, though at the same time, it would have been nice to go through a little faster. I just want time to slow down so I can stay in one place for forever, but still be able to move on in the next second. I really do love all this art work and being able to explore and see art I have only read about before. It's just kind of surreal having my textbooks come to life in front of me in both sculptures, art and history. Paris is so rich in history, there is story everywhere, in every single road, something has happened in history. The same is true probably everywhere, even in the US, but just something about Paris makes it so easy to really feel the history all around me. It's really just amazing.
After the Rodin Museum, we bought sandwiches for lunch and camped out in a park for a lovely lunch and a discussion of philosophy. The weather here is really beautiful. It was a perfect day, blue skies, cool breeze, and a warm, not hot temperature. I really enjoyed lunch and our discussion about Rodin's work, it's something I would absolutely love to do when I get back home.
Then we headed for Les Invalides. This place was just amazing, knowing that it was built to house the soldiers left wounded really opened my eyes to the past, realizing that this was where these men who gave everything for their country were sent to live. It was better than being forced to bed in the streets but still, they were left alone, and unable to ever return to a normal life because of the war. It also totally changed my view of the French as warriors. No, I am not saying they have the best army in the world, but the French are proud and stubborn, even when conquered they continuously rebelled against the Germans, they made every effort to honor their soldiers, no matter if they were victorious or not. The French do not like war because of it's devastation, the French have still not recovered from all the men lost during the World Wars and do not want to sacrifice anymore men.
Napoleon's grave is really huge, like something from a movie, a giant casket surrounded by angels, a hand painted domed ceiling above and a hall of his prized possessions, including his horse, stuffed and preserved.
The hall of the resistance that stood up to Germany was really impressive, the Nazi's demolished France because there were no soldiers left after World War I, but the French still tried to resist and stand up for themselves. The memorials were really powerful reminders to me of the absolute horrors of war, and the pain that the people the Nazi's conquered were put through. It was an incredibly moving and powerful experience that I don't think I could ever fully describe.
We were short on time though, so we left after that exhibit. There was a lot more I would have liked to see, but it certainly was a very unique and a very eye-opening day. The timing though, was perfect, I will be leaving for Normandy first thing tomorrow morning so learning about the war will really help me see the great sacrifices made at Normandy to save the French.
Anyways, while at Normandy there is a good chance I will not have internet access, so I will be updating everything when I get back on Sunday evening. I hope I'll be able to find internet but if not, then I will update again as soon as I can! Miss you all more than words can say!!