France 2014 - Calais
We went to the Calais Musee des Beaux Arts to see the Rodin exhibit. The curator at the Musee des Beaux Arts apparently loves visual puns: it's been a long time since I've laughed that hard at any museum or art gallery. Bombs on skateboard wheels. 100 picture frames with the pictures all removed and neatly stacked - and then all the frames are lined up and attached to the wall ... with the backs facing outward. And on and on, it was fun. The Rodin stuff was mostly related to the Burghers of Calais, most notably to me the first two maquettes/models. I pointed out that, because the first one had a rather grand, white, two layer rectangular plinth ... it pretty much looked like the wedding cake from hell.
Our next stop was The Burghers of Calais, which stands in front of city hall. I've seen the full sculpture at least twice (London, a couple times, and Tokyo(!)), but it was a pleasure to see it in Calais where the story, the history, originated. It's a very powerful story: a city under siege, the wealthy burghers of the city walking to their deaths in rags - trading their lives for the city. Ultimately their lives were spared by the pleas of the besieging king's young wife, but that doesn't take away from their bravery. It's one of my favourite sculptures.