Header image by Natalie Rapoport. Antoni Gaudi. Sagrada Familia. Barcelona.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Small gifts.

As Holiday season approaches so the dilemma comes what may surprise your friends and loved ones?

Another decision to make what to give to teachers? How many mugs they can possibly collect? Gift cards and baskets are expensive in quantities needed. Greeting cards make to recycling been instantly.
People are buying the pre-written cards and just sign the names at the end. No, no for me.

This year I came up with not so original but at least a handmade idea to make desk top photo calendars.

Unmistakable glimpses of Paris (or other beautiful places) are commonly appealing and they aren't the stock images but my shots so the calendars will have a personal touch which is nice.

The calendars also available in 5"x 7"  here

I know, everyone has almost everything, whatever they don't  you usually can't afford too. But small gifts to show appreciation and for the joy of giving are irreplaceable.  What do you think?

* All images © Natalie Rapoport

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Rouen Cathedral

I can’t even tell how many happy hours I spent  in various museums near the Rouen Cathedral by Claude Monet. In National Gallery in Washington, in Musee d’Orsay, in  Paris Marmottan museum, in  Pushkin Fine Arts Museum in Moscow  when I was a teenager fascinated with his light and sun and shadows, pastel tones and vibrant morning splashes, fading sunset colors  and melting forms, anticipating, guessing, feeling, flying…

Monet loved to immerse himself in series of enamored subjects.  It could be  a Rouen Cathedral which was immortalized by the artist in 30 paintings , a tantalizing task to catch the ever-changing  daylight bit by bit. Or endless variations of water lilies in Giverny, from tiny sketches to huge canvases.
Therefore many renowned museums throughout the world can proudly exhibit in their collections one or more of his Cathedrals  painted in Rouen  in 1892-1894.
 Before France grew to love Impressionists  many of their masterpieces unaccepted by the contemporaries  were acquired by visionary collectors  in States and progressive connoisseurs in Russia at the dawn of 20th century and brought the artists success, fame and recognition.
 There’s no other building in the world which had the same honor of being painted so many times  by the Master. Even Notre Dame de Paris can’t compete. There are so many other beautiful cathedrals in France sort of very well known but kind of little bit put aside by the history and locations.
 This won’t be ever the fate of Rouen Cathedral the genuine masterpiece of gothic architecture.
Being the main Cathedral in the capital city of Normandy since the 12th century it had such a tumultuous history of construction and reconstructions, fires, destructions, looting, lightnings and burnings, devastating bombing during the WWII which caused unforgivable damages, relatively recent natural disaster and never stopped restoration since.
And it’s proud spire still points to the sky, beautiful rose windows grace the facades. Magnificent structure!

Always wanted to see it once for myself and last August we made a day trip from Paris.
I’ll show you the medieval and quiet city of Rouen in the next posts meanwhile enjoy the  architectural details and stone carving, masonry and grandeur of the Cathedral admired by Claude Monet 120 years ago.

Have a wonderful weekend my friends.
See you soon.

*All images (except C.Monet's paintings) copyright Natalie Rapoport