ancienne et moderne – acte 1

March 3, 2013

arch mus lapider nave

This is acte 1 of a double acte post.  At Le Musée Lapidaire where Medieval and Gallo-Roman sculptures of the Calvet Collection are housed, the experience is educational. The ecclesiastical building, a former Collège des Jésuites, sits on the main route into the historic centre of  Avignon. Visitors and locals stream passed to and from the stations probably unaware that a museum lies within. The building retains a confident aura although the use has changed into an environment for stone statues, friezes, funery urns and other ‘finds’ from earlier centuries. These are very beautiful in subject matter  – figures both human and animal – and in the craft of the execution.

arch mus lapider 1

arch mus lapider 2

arch mus lapider 9

arch mus lapidere 4

arch mus lapidere 5

The insect world and the botanic world are also treated with a sense of reverence as well as delight . . .

arch mus lapider. 7

arch mus lapider 8

arch mus lapider 3

arch mus lapider 11

arch mus lapider 6.

Pure compositions occur whether meant intentionally or just  in the accumulation of storage.

arch mus lapider 10

arch mus lapider composition

A short step across the street in Rue du Pourtail Bouquier, is another Jesuit building. Once a seminary, and then an officers’ hospital, and then a hospice, and now a hotel and restaurant with eye watering prices. Forgive the sarcasm . . . .

cloitre1

cloitre 2

. .  the mature trees and the surrounding built facades are one.

cloitre 3

As the sun swings round, a sense of theatricality and memory fills the courtyard. An art installation or is it merely items on their way somewhere? And old crafts, like the laying of pebbles, will never be the same again.

cloitre 4

composition

pebble finish

On to Rue Violette and the Collection Lambert . . .

lambert outside

facade 1

J’ai longtemps habité sous de vastes portiques
Que les soleils marins teignaient de mille feux,
Et que leurs grands piliers, droits et majestueux,
Rendaient pareils, le soir, aux grottes basaltiques.

Les houles, en roulant les images des cieux,
Mêlaient d’une façon solennelle et mystique
Les tout-puissants accords de leur riche musique
Aux couleurs du couchant reflété par mes yeux.

C’est là que j’ai vécu dans les voluptés calmes,
Au milieu de l’azur, des vagues, des splendeurs
Et des esclaves nus, tout imprégnés d’odeurs,

Qui me rafraîchissaient le front avec des palmes,
Et dont l’unique soin était d’approfondir
Le secret douloureux qui me faisait languir.  Charles Baudelaire  La Vie Antérieure

3 Responses to “ancienne et moderne – acte 1”


  1. […] And acte 11 of the double post. At the Collection Lambert in the  Hôtel de Caumont to see:’Oriental Mirages, Pomegranates and Prickly Pears. Mediterranean Comings and Goings’ […]

  2. Tom Says:

    Enjoy how they’ve let the Planes reach so high, and how you cropped them against the blue. I can imagine the fire of august photographed through these limbs, and the canopy above, and the shade it would offer below.


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