Low Brow

After another morning of class and petit dejeuner at the same café with Vicky, we  get on a bus and drive to the Jacquemart Andre Paris Art Museum.  This is a mansion in the area of the Arc D’Triomphe that has been fully restored, furnished in part and upstairs houses an art collection.  Today the special exhibit features Rubens and Poussin.  There is a tour guide with us.  She is in fact an art history professor.  Tres knowledgeable and in her heavy but charming accented English begins telling us – even in the bus – of the history of all that we see. We arrive at the mansion.  We enter thru the typical non descript façade and step into a scene of beauty. 

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A large circular courtyard frames the mansion.  As we are looking around, our guide explains the history of construction and much of the family genealogy.  We step into the first room which is covered floor to ceiling with pictures.  This style, this painter, this era, the milk white skin, no detail is left untold.  We are in the room for about ten minutes and then proceed to the next room.  The process is repeated.  We move into the next room.

Half an hour has passed and I realize that we are not quite two thirds of the way done with just the bottom floor.  Our guide is so knowledgeable and pleasant and interesting.  But my skin is starting to crawl at the thought of being in this building for the next three hours.  Am I so terribly impatient that I cannot even appreciate the beauty and history of this place. I get a second opinion from Ed.  He doesn’t mind departing early.  One of our companions confirms I am not out of my mind, but she is going to stay.

I’m a bit torn.  I don’t want to be rude.  I don’t want to be disrespectful.   But staying is going to make me go nuts.  So we tell our hosts that we are going to go our separate ways…and escape.  We walk through the remaining downstairs rooms, go upstairs to the pictures – enjoy them without knowing anything about them and skip out of the place. What should we do now, what famous site should we see?  Why of course since we are so close, we go to the Louis Vitton store on the Champs Elysees.