Art / English / Travel

Paris as a poem in paintings

If Paris was a poem, then Edouard Léon Cortès (1882–1969) was the poet. Born from a Spanish father and French mother, he started to paint early, thought by his father Antonio. Cortès sr was a court artist from Seville, Spain who had settled in France since 1855.

Starting from 1900es until his death in 1969 Cortès painted the streets and monuments of Paris. This delivered him the title Parisian poet of painting. Cortès’ style is post-impressionism. Unlike Gustave Caillebotte who painted Paris as cityscape from the upper class,  Cortès’ painting series of Paris show fairly details of the streets and monumental buildings with common people in it. Cortès captured all four seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter) with their characteristical colours in anytime of the day; dawn, dusk, daylight or evening in his works. The results are amazing. Those who have been to Paris might recognize the streets or the buildings.

I chose some to display on this post. Here are my picks. First come two series of paintings taken from the same angle in various seasons.

Street: Rue Royale Madeleine with the Madeleine church at the background.

Edouard Cortes

Street: Place de l’Opéra, monument: Opéra Garnier or Palais Garnier. In this building Edgar Degas hang around regularly to capture the ballerinas in his masterpieces.

And here come the various city landmarks.

Street: Place de la Concorde, monument the Obelisk of Luxor. From afar, left of the obelisk, the Madeleine church from the first painting in this post, is clearly visible.

Street: Avenue des Champs-Élysées Paris’ most famous boulevard, monument: The Arc de Triomphe.

This is a closer look of the Arc de Triomphe at dusk in autumn.

Monument: La basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre (The Sacré-Cœur Basilica) on top of Montmartre hill.

Street: Quay Saint Michel with its bouquinistes (sellers of antique books), monument: La cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris.

Monument: Jardin des Tuileries (Tuileries Garden) with Louvre Museum on the background.

Aside from the cityscapes of Paris, Cortès painted another sceneries as well. His landscapes of Brittany and Normandy are as stunning as the Paris series. I will present them in another art post.

Sources: All paintings are taken from WikiArt

24 thoughts on “Paris as a poem in paintings

  1. How lovely, I’ve never heard of him so love this post! Every time I go to Paris, one of my favourite things to do is to watch artists pain in Montmartre, wish I could paint the amazing city like them!

  2. Saya jadi penasaran, Mbak. Kalau semisal di luar negeri, ketika kita ke museum, kita bolehkah memfoto karya2 seninya (seperti lukisan dan patung/ukiran)?

    • Beberapa museum mengijinkan pengunjungnya memotret koleksi, ada juga beberapa yang melarang. Yang pasti selfie stick dilarang karena bahaya, misalnya ngga sengaja bisa merusak koleksi.

      • Soal tongsis alias selfie stick, Mbak Loraine udah dengar belum kabar di Indonesia sini?

        Perihal kebun bunga Amarilis (entah bener apa nggak nulisnya) atau bunga bakung oranye di Gunungkidul, Jogja, yang jadi rusak gara2 dijadikan tempat selfie anak2 muda.😦

        Mental orang kita masih payah….

        • Iya, rame kan itu beberapa hari lalu. Bukan hanya orang Indonesia sih, sayangnya banyak turis Asia begini. Pernah denger turis Cina memahat namanya di Piramid Luxor di Mesir?

        • Wah syukurlah, saya lega begitu mendengar tidak hanya orang kita yang demikian….
          Saya belom pernah denger kasus yang itu Mbak. Turis Tiongkok memahat namanya di batu piramid? Wah…. nekad sekali. Untuk apa coba meninggalkan jejaknya di sana. “Chow Yun Fat was here!”. Hehe😀😀

          Lalu itu bagaimana kelanjutannya Mbak? Apakah ditangkap dan dihukum?

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