Facing darkness

In the wake of last night’s terrorist attack on Paris, I look back on my activities yesterday and I see things in a different light. For some people nothing will ever be the same and yet when I look outside everything seems so shockingly normal.


wpid-rps20151113_111905_326.jpgYesterday I saw the I love you wall in Montmartre, a work of art conceived by Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito. The wall, covering a surface area of 40m², is composed of 612 squares of enamelled lava, on which ‘I love you’ features 311 times in 250 languages. It is said that the splashes of red on the fresco represent parts of a broken heart, symbolizing the human race which has been torn apart and which the wall tries to bring back together. If only…

wpid-rps20151113_112147_647.jpgMusée de la vie Romantique is hosting a special exhibition called Violence and Fantasy from David to Delacroix. I thought what an extremely morbid topic for a ‘romantic’ setting? Though I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the portraits. Some are too macabre to show, but it was quite interesting to see. This is a mother hiding under a staircase, she is pursued by assailants during the Terror. History repeating itself.

What really touched me was this painting by Pierre Antoine Augustin Vafflard. It depicts a scene from Night Thoughts (1742-1745) by the poet Edward Young (1681-1765). Young twists the truth as he recounts the death of his step-daughter during a trip to France. Because she is a Protestant the Catholic cemetery is closed to her and he must bury his child’s body out in the countryside:

wpid-rps20151113_112020_136.jpgWith pious sacrilege, a grave I stole;

With impious piety, that grave I wronged;

Short in my duty; coward in my grief!

More like her murderer than friend, I crept,

With soft-suspended step, and, muffled deep

In midnight darkness, whisper’d my last sigh

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