These are the olive trees found in Renoir’s garden at Les Collettes in Cagnes sur Mer near Nice in France. The estate, with its picturesque farmhouse, its groves of olive and orange trees, and the views it afforded of the hilly countryside, provided the artist with inspiration for his later landscapes. This image has been softened and looks quite painterly when printed on a textured watercolour paper.
The Gare du Nord is the busiest railway station in Europe handling around 190 million passengers per year. It handles trains to Northern France, as well as to various international destinations such as Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The station complex was designed by French architect Jacques Hittorff and built between 1861 and 1864. It is situated in the 10th arrondissement of Paris.
The front façade of the Gare du Nord in Paris is adorned with a number of impressive sculptures, twenty in all. Eight of these crown the cornice line and represent international places (Paris is placed in the centre), and twelve further sculptures represent northern French cities, aligned on the lower façade.
I have a number of shots taken in and around the Gare du Nord in Paris. I quite like images as the light goes down and the buildings are illuminated by artifical light.
The Bibliothèque nationale de France is the National Library of France, located in Paris on the banks of the Seine. It is intended to be the repository of all that is published in France. First announced on Bastille Day, 1988 by President François Mitterrand, it was finally opened on 15th December 1996 after huge cost overruns and technical difficulties related to its high-rise design.
The Musée d’Orsay is one of my favourite museums in Paris. It is housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, an impressive Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1915, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It is probably best known for its extensive collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces (the largest in the world) by such painters such as Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh
Lyon has an old town and the patterns and colours of the pantiled roofs make an interesting composition. The scene is almost timeless – only the modern Velux windows suggest that this is modern times.
A summer’s evening in Lyon. I saw these three men and liked their arrangement and the pastel colours of the buildings behind them. I wanted something more in the picture and so I waited. Then suddenly one of them produced a piece of paper and handed it the other. That was the moment to take the shot. I don’t know what the paper was, maybe it was a contract. It could be anything in fact but The Contract sounded fitting for a title.