The Story of Paris
by Thomas Okey
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of which some few possess artistic importance and many historical interest. We bestow what attention we may desire and pass direct to


devoted to seventeenth-century art. Chief among the painters who interpreted the refined sensuality and more pleasant vices of the age, yet not of them, was Antoine Watteau (1684-1721), the melancholy youth from French Flanders, who began by painting St. Nicholases at three francs a week and his board, but who soon invented a new manner and became famous as the Peintre des Scenes Galantes. These scenes of coquetry, frivolity and amorous dalliance, with their patched, powdered and scented ladies and gallants, toying with life in a land where, like that of the Lotus Eaters, it seems always afternoon, he clothes with a refined and delicate vesture of grace and fascination. He has a poetic touch for landscape and a tender, pathetic sense of the tears in mortal things which make him akin to Virgil in literature, for over the languorous and swooning air and sun-steeped glades the coming tempest lours. His success, as Walter Pater suggests, in painting these vain and perishable graces of the drawing-room and garden-comedy of life, with the delicate odour of decay which rises from the soil, was probably due to the fact that he despised them. The whole age of the Revolution lies between these irresponsible and gay courtiers in the scenes galantes of Watteau and the virile peasant scenes in the "epic of toil" painted by Millet. In this room hangs his Academy picture, the Embarkation for Cythera, 982, L. wall, its colour unhappily almost worn away by over cleaning. His pupils, Pater (1696-1736), and Lancret (1690-1743), imitated his style, but were unable to soar to the higher plane of their master's genius. The former is represented by a Fete Champetre, 689, R. wall: the latter by the Four Seasons, 462-465, R. wall; on the L. wall, 468, The Music Lesson, and 469, Innocence, both from the Palace of Fontainebleau. The Fete Galante dies with these artists whom we shall meet again better represented in the Salle La Caze. A famous contemporary of Pater and Lancret and first painter to the king was Charles Antoine Coypel (1694-1752), grandson of Noel Coypel (1629-1707), and son of Antoine (1661-1722), both of whom are represented in the Louvre (Rooms XIV.-XVI., 157-166, and 167-175), His Perseus and Andromeda, 180, hangs R. of the entrance of this room. Charles Andre Vanloo (1705-1765), known as Carle Vanloo, (whose grandfather, Jacob Vanloo, is represented by two pictures, 2451, 2452, hung among the Dutch artists in Rooms XXIV. and XXVI.), enjoyed a great vogue in his day. His facile drawing and riotous colour temporarily enriched the language with a new verb—to vanlooter. 899, on the L. wall, A Hunting Picnic, is an admirable specimen of his supple talent. The flaunting sensuality of Francois Boucher (1703-1770), and of Jean Honore Fragonnard (1732-1806), who lavished undoubted genius and ignoble industry in the service of the depraved boudoir tastes of the Pompadours and Du Barrys that ruled at Versailles, are seen here and in the Salle la Caze in all their eloquent vulgarity. That Boucher had in him the elements of a great painter may be inferred from the charming little sketch, 30, R. wall, Diana, and from the excellent interior, 50A, L. wall, Breakfast. His popular pastoral scenes, executed with amazing facility, with their beribboned shepherds and dainty shepherdesses, are exemplified in 32 and 33, R. wall, and 34 and 35, L. wall. Other works by this fluent servant of La Pompadour are 31, R. wall, Venus commanding Vulcan to forge arms for AEneas, and 36, L. wall, Vulcan presenting them to Venus. Boucher with all his faults was a grand decorative artist of extraordinary versatility, but the loose habits and careless methods of his later days are reflected in slovenly drawing and waning powers of invention. Reynolds, who visited him in Paris, noted the change, and describes how he found the artist at work on a large picture without studies or models of any kind, and on expressing his surprise, was told by Boucher that he did in earlier days use them, but had dispensed with them for many years. Fragonnard, who on his return from Rome, had set about some canvases in the grand traditional style of the earlier masters, of which an example may be seen in 290, R. wall, Coresus[218] and Callirrhoe, soon perceived that fame lay not in that direction, and devoted himself with exuberant talent and unconscionable facility to satisfy the frivolous tastes and refined animality of royal and courtly patrons. For it was a time when life was envisaged as a perpetual feast of enjoyment; a vision of roguish eyes and rouged and patched faces of sprightly beribboned and perfumed gallants, playing at shepherds and shepherdesses, of luxurious sensuality untrammelled by a Christianity minus the Ten Commandments, soon to be hustled away by the robust and democratic ideals of David. Another early work of Fragonnard in this room is 291, R. wall, The Music Lesson: some of his more characteristic productions we shall meet with in the Salle La Caze. A somewhat feeble protest against the prevailing vulgarity and debasement of contemporary art was made by Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin (1699-1779) and Jean Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805) in their rendering of scenes of domesticity and of the pathos of simple lives. Chardin is well seen in this room in his laborious studies of still life, 89 and 90, L. wall, diploma works, and in 91 and 92, same wall, The Industrious Mother, and Grace before Meat. The last, a delightful work, won for the artist Diderot's powerful advocacy, and made him the popular interpreter of bourgeois intimacies. Other patient studies of still life are: 95, 96, 101, and 102; and R. wall 94. On the same wall hang, 97, The Ape as Antiquary, and 99, The Housewife. If Chardin touches the border-line between sentiment and sentimentality, Greuze (end wall) in 369, Return of the Prodigal; 370, A Father's Crime; and 371, The Undutiful Son, certainly oversteps it. Each of these became the theme of extravagant eulogy and didactic preachments by Diderot, his literary protagonist, who hailed him as a French Hogarth making Virtue amiable and Vice odious. An even more equivocal note is struck (L. wall) in 372A, The Milkmaid; and 372, The Broken Pitcher, where as Gautier acutely remarks, the artist contrives to make Virtue exhale the same sensual delight as Vice had done, and to suggest that Innocence will fall an easy victim to temptation. Madame Du Barry was much attracted by the latter picture and possessed a replica of it. Other works and studies, R. wall, by the artist are in this room. 368, end wall, Severus Reproaching Caracalla, was painted as a diploma picture. But Greuze essayed here a flight beyond his powers: to his profound disgust the Academy refused to admit him as an historical, and classed him as a genre painter. No survey of eighteenth century French painting would be complete without some reference to Claude Joseph Vernet (1714-1789), the famous marine and landscape artist, whose paintings of the principal ports of France are hung in the Musee de la Marine on the second floor. Here we may distinguish among some score of his works: 921, The Bathers; 923, A Landscape; and 932, A Seascape: The Setting Sun, all on the L. wall.

[Footnote 218: Coresus, a priest of Bacchus at Calydon, whose love was scorned by the nymph Callirrhoe, called forth a pestilence on the land. The Calydonians, ordered by the oracle to sacrifice the nymph, led her to the altar. Coresus, forgetting his resentment, sacrificed himself instead of her, who, conscious of ingratitude, killed herself at a fountain.]

It will now be opportune to make our way to the La Caze collection. We pass out from the end of this room and descend the Escalier Daru to the first landing; then ascend L. of the Victory of Samothrace to the Rotonde, pass direct through the Salle des Bijoux, and turn L. through Room II. to


The La Caze collection. We note on the R. wall, an excellent Lenain, 548, A Peasant Meal, and some admirable portraits by Largilliere, 484-491, of which the last, Portrait of the Artist, his Wife and Daughter, is a masterly work. Among the fine portraits by Rigaud, 791-795, that of the Young Duke of Lesdiguieres, stands pre-eminent. We cross to the L. wall, where the rich collection of works by Watteau and his followers is placed: 983, Gilles, a scene from a Comedy, is one of Watteau's most precious pictures. Near it are: 984, The Disdainful; 986, Gathering in a Park. 985, Sly-Puss, a charming little picture, is followed by 988, 989, 990 and 992, four other studies. 991 is a carefully finished classical subject, Jupiter and Antiope. Near these are grouped: 470-473, four small works by Lancret, and 690-693, a like number of typical variations of the scene galante by Pater. We next note 659, a fine portrait group by Nattier: Mlle. de Lambec as Minerva, arming her brother the young Count of Brienne. To the same skilful portraitist are due: 660, a Knight of Malta; and 661, A Daughter of Louis XV. as a Vestal Virgin. By Boucher are: 48, R. of entrance, The Painter in his Studio, and R. wall, 47, The Three Graces; 46 and 49, L. wall, Venus and Vulcan, and Vulcan's Forge. Fragonnard is represented by some of his characteristic works executed with wonderful sleight of hand, 292-301. The prevailing taste of his patrons may be judged by 295, L. wall, a sketch of one of his most successful and oftenest repeated subjects. On this same wall are a varied series of Chardin's studies of still life; a poor replica, 93, of his Grace before Meat; 104, The Ape as Painter, and other similar homely subjects.

Here also are two historical revolutionary portraits by Greuze: 378, The Girondin, Gensonne, and 379, the Poet-Deputy, Fabre d'Eglantine. Among the later Venetians are some Tintorets, R. wall: 1468, Susannah; 1469, Virgin and Child, Saints and Donor; 1470, Portrait of Pietro Mocenigo. Spanish art is represented by a fine but unpleasing Ribera, 1725, Boy with a Club-foot, and to Velasquez are ascribed: 1735, The Infanta Maria Teresa, Queen of Louis XIV.; 1736, Unknown Portrait; 1733, L. of entrance, Philip IV. 1945 and 1946, R. wall, the Provost and Sheriffs, and Jean de Mesme, President of the Parlement of Paris, are excellent examples of Philippe de Champaigne's austere and honest art.

From the studios of Boucher and of Comte Joseph Marie Vien (1716-1809) there came towards the end of the eighteenth century the virile, revolutionary figure of Jacques Louis David (1748-1825), who burst like a thunderstorm on the corrupt artistic atmosphere of the age, sweetening and bracing French art for half a century. Shocked by the slovenly drawing and vulgarity of the fashionable masters, and nursed on Plutarch, he applied himself to the study of the antique with a determination to rejuvenate the painter's art and establish a school, drawing its inspiration from heroic Greece and Rome. The successive phases of this potent but rather theatrical genius may be well followed in the Louvre. Neglecting for the present his earlier and pre-revolutionary works, we retrace our steps through Room II. noting in passing, 143, The Funeral at Ornans (a remarkable, realistic painting by a later revolutionary, to whom we shall return) and enter


on the L. wall of which hangs 188, David's famous canvas: The Sabine Women, over which he brooded during his imprisonment in the Luxembourg after the Thermidorian reaction. David regarded this composition as the most successful expression of his theory of art. He studied whole libraries of antiquities and vainly imagined it to be the most "Greek" of all his works. Nothing, however, could be farther removed from the tranquil self-restraint and noble simplicity of Greek art than these self-conscious, histrionic groups of figures, without one touch of naturalness. The old preoccupation with classic models inherited from Poussin and the Roman school, still dominates even this revolutionary artist, who best displays his great genius when he forgets his theories and paints direct from life, as in 199, Mme. Recamier; and 198 (opposite wall), Pius VII. David's fierce Jacobinism (he had been a member of the terrible Committee of Public Safety) did not prevent him from worshipping the rising star of the First Consul, who, on assuming the Imperial crown, appointed him court painter and commissioned him to execute, 202A, Consecration of Napoleon I. at Notre Dame. In this grandiose historic scene, containing at least 150 portraits, the eye is at once drawn to the central actor who, having crowned himself, is placing a diadem on the kneeling Josephine's brow. The story runs, that David had originally drawn Pope Pius VII. with hands on knees. Bonaparte entering the studio, at once ordered the artist to represent the pontiff in the act of blessing, exclaiming: "I didn't bring him all this way to do nothing." For this picture and for the Distribution of the Eagles 180,000 francs were paid.

Among the painters of the new school was Pierre Prud'hon (1758-1823), whose fame was made by two pictures, 747 and 756, on opposite walls, first exhibited in 1808: Justice and Divine Wrath pursuing Crime; and the graceful but somewhat invertebrate, Rape of Psyche. 746, an Assumption, was executed for the Tuileries Chapel in 1819. Other works by this master, whose Correggiosity is evident, hang in the room. Two famous pupils of David were Francois Pascal Simon Gerard (1770-1837) and Antoine Jean Gros (1771-1835). By the former, known as the King of Painters and Painter of Kings, are: 328, Love and Psyche; and 332, a charming portrait of the painter Isabey and his daughter. By the latter, who owed the Imperial favour to the good graces of Josephine, are: 391, Bonaparte at Arcole; 392A, Lieut. Sarloveze, a typical Beau-Sabreur portrait; and 388, Bonaparte visiting victims of the Plague at Jaffa, a striking composition, which advanced the artist to the front rank of his profession. Gros was the parent of the grand battle-pictures of the future; the painter of the Napoleonic epos. Young artists were wont to attach a sprig of laurel to this work in which the first signs of the coming storm of Romanticism are discerned.

The real champion of the movement was, however, Jean Louis Andre Theodore Gericault (1791-1824), whose epoch-making picture, 338, The Raft of the Medusa, we now observe. This daring and passionate revolt from frigid classicism and preoccupation with a conventional antiquity was received but coldly by the professional critics on its appearance in 1819, though with enthusiasm by the people. Failing to find a buyer at Paris, its exhibition in England by a speculator, proved a financial success. 339-343, are military subjects of lesser range by this young innovator: 348, Epsom Races, was painted in England in 1821, three years before his premature death. To follow on with the French school we retrace our steps by the Rotonde and the Escalier Daru through Room XVI. to Room XV., L. of which, is the entrance to


We revert to David whose Oath of the Horatii, 189, exhibited in 1785; and The Lictors bearing to Brutus the Bodies of his Sons, 191, exhibited in the fateful year 1789, hang skied on the R. wall. These paintings, hailed with prodigious enthusiasm, revolutionised the fashions and tastes of the day and gave artistic expression to the coming political and social changes. 200A on the same wall, The Three Ladies of Ghent, was painted during the artist's exile in Belgium, for the old Terrorist was naturally not a persona grata to the restored Bourbons. Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1857), the most famous of David's pupils, two of whose works we have seen in Room V., was the bitterest opponent of the new Romantic school and steadfast champion of his master's artistic ideal. To him more than to any other teacher is due the tradition of clean, correct and comely drawing that characterises the French school. It is somewhat difficult perhaps for a foreigner, observing the paintings by Ingres in this room, fully to comprehend[219] the reverence in which he is held by his countrymen. More than once Professor Legros has described to the present writer the thrill of emotion that passed through him and his fellow-students when they saw the aged master enter the Ecole des Beaux Arts at Paris. If, however, the visitor will inspect the marvellous Ingres drawings in the Salle des Desseins (p. 394), he will appreciate his genius more adequately. The master's chief work in the present room is 417, R. wall, Apotheosis of Homer, a ceiling composition in which the arch-poet, laurel-crowned, has at his footstool seated figures symbolising the Iliad and the Odyssey, while the most famous poets and philosophers of the ages are grouped below him. The Odalisque, 422B, L. wall, is a characteristic nude, and a few other subject pictures will be noted. Among his portraits, 418, Cherubini; 428B, Bertier de Vaux, are generally regarded as masterpieces. Ingres despised colour, he never appealed to the emotions; his type of beauty is external and soulless, and he leaves the spectator cold.

[Footnote 219: Whistler, while disliking his art, was wont to wish he had been his pupil.]

Meanwhile the new Romantic school of brilliant colourists grew and flourished. Ary Scheffer, Delaroche, Delacroix, cradled in the storms of the revolutionary period, are all represented around us. The sentimental Ary Scheffer (1795-1858) is seen, L. wall, in 841, St. Augustine and St. Monica, an immensely popular but affected and feeble composition. Some portraits by this artist may be also found on the walls. Greater than he in breadth of composition, opulence of colour and artistic virtuosity, was Paul Delaroche, whose Death of Queen Elizabeth, 216, end wall, now asserts itself. His greatest work, however, and one which won him much fame, is his well-known Hemicycle in the Beaux Arts (p. 319). A twin spirit with Gericault was the impetuous Ferdinand Victor Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863), who is more fully hung in this collection. Of the brilliant compositions which with indefatigable industry he poured forth in the heyday of the movement, we may note some excellent examples: 212, L. wall, The Wreck of Don Juan; 211, L. wall, Jewish Wedding at Morocco; and, 213, Capture of Constantinople by the Venetians and Franks. Earlier works are, 207, R. of entrance, Virgil and Dante nearing the City of Dis, executed with feverish energy in a few weeks for the Salon of 1822; and 208, L. of entrance, The Massacre of Scio, a glowing canvas painted in 1834. Jean Hippolyte Flandrin (1809-1864), the Lesueur of the century, and like him uniting artistic genius and wide erudition with profound religious faith and true modesty, is represented most poorly of all; 284, Portrait of a Young Girl being the only example of this master's work here. Flandrin can only be truly appreciated in the church of St. Germain des Pres (p. 320). Before we turn to the Barbizon painters, we note Gros' fine composition, 389, L. wall, Napoleon at Eylau; and 390, R. wall, Francis I. and Charles V. visiting the Tombs at St. Denis.

With Theodore Rousseau (1812-1867), the all-father of the modern French landscape school, and chief of the little band of enthusiasts who grouped themselves about him at Barbizon, we touch the greatest artistic movement of the age. Jean Baptiste Camille Corot (1796-1875), the ever-young and gentle spirit, the tenderest emanation of the century; Jean Francois Millet (1814-1875), the inspired and cultured peasant, mightiest of them all, grand and solemn interpreter of the fundamental and tragic pathos of human toil, ever discerning God's image in the most bent and ill-shapen of his creatures; Constant Troyon (1810-1865), the grandest animal painter of his day; Narcisse Diaz de la Pena (1809-1876), once a poor errand lad with a maimed leg, painter of forest depths and of the rich hues of summer foliage; Charles Francois Daubigny (1817-1878), latest of the little band, faithful and tender student of nature, painter of the countryside, of the murmuring waters of the Seine and the Oise—these once despised and rejected of men have long won fame and appreciation. No princely patronage shone on them in their early struggles nor smoothed their path; they wrought out the beauty of their souls under the hard discipline of poverty in loving and awful communion with Nature. They have revealed to us new tones of colour in the air, in the forest and the plain, and a new sense of the pathos and beauty in simple lives and common things.

827, L. wall, is Rousseau's Forest at Fontainebleau, a fine effect of setting sun and loving representation of his favourite tree, the oak; 829 and 830, R. wall, are also by this master. On the same wall 643, Millet's Spring, whose coloration at first sight may seem forced and strange, is absolutely faithful to Nature, as the writer who once observed similar colour effects in the forest can testify. 644, The Gleaners, "the three fates of poverty," is, next to the Angelus, the most popular of Millet's works. Corot, the Theocritus of modern painting, is represented by 138, the lovely and poetical Morning, 141, Souvenir de Mortefontaine and 141 bis, Castelgandolfo. R. and L. are, 889 and 890, two grand and massive compositions by Troyon: Oxen going to the Plough; and, The Return to the Farm: landscapes that smell of the very earth, and rendered with a marvellous breadth of style and penetrating sympathy; 184, end wall, and 185, R. of entrance, Grape Harvest in Burgundy, and Spring, are by Daubigny.

One of the most aggressive, ebullient and individual of painters was Gustave Courbet (1819-1877), whose harshly realistic Funeral at Ornans we have seen in Room II. In 1855 Courbet, finding his works badly hung in the International Exhibition at Paris, erected a wooden shed near the entrance, where he exhibited thirty-eight of his large pictures, and defiantly painted outside in big letters—REALISM: G. COURBET. Strong of body and coarse in habit, this peintre-animal, as he was called, delighted to epater le bourgeois, and painted his studies of the nude with a brutal reality that stripped the female form of all the beauty and grace with which the superior ideality of man has invested it. This swashbuckler of realism, who despised the old masters, denounced imagination as humbug, and would have great men, railway stations, factories and mines painted as the verites vraies, the saints and miracles of the age, was, however, often better than his artistic creed, and is here represented by some pleasing Fontainebleau pictures: L. wall, 147, Deer in Covert; R. wall, 66, Source of the Puits Noir, and L., 147 bis, The Waves, a most powerful and original interpretation of the sombre majesty of the sea. For in truth the creed of Realism, whether in literature or in art, involves a fallacy, and the creations of the imaginative and idealistic faculty in man are as real as those which result from the faculty of seeing mean things meanly and coarse things coarsely. Courbet's violent revolutionary nature nearly cost him his life in 1848 and involved him in the Commune in 1871, during which he presided over the destruction of the Vendome Column (though he saved the Luxembourg and the Thiers' collection from the violence of the people). Poor Courbet, mulcted in enormous damages for his share in the overthrow of the Column, was ruined and died in exile. A more potent revolutionist, the arch-Impressionist Manet and founder of the school, has at length forced the portals of the Louvre and is represented by the celebrated Olympia, 204, around which so many fierce battles were waged in 1865.

We proceed to supplement this small collection of Barbizon pictures by a visit to the recently acquired (1903) Thomy-Thiery and Chauchard collections. Returning to the Salle La Caze by Room XVI., and the Escalier Daru, we issue from it, pass direct before us and continue through the rooms devoted to exhibits of furniture (in Hall II. is a superb specimen of cabinet-work—Louis XV.'s writing-table). Turning R., we then enter a series of Cabinets, containing an admirable and most important collection of drawings, beginning with the early Italian masters and following on chronologically to the later Italians and to the German, Netherland and French masters. If the visitor have leisure he will be repaid by returning at some convenient time to study these carefully. But even the most hurried traveller should not omit to glance through them, and more especially at the lovely Da Vincis in the second cabinet and the Ingres drawings further along. Arrived at the end, we shall find on our L. a wooden staircase, which we mount and reach


the Salle Francaise de 1830. Here are exhibited Delaroche's Princes in the Tower; Flandrin's Portrait of Mme. Vinet and some early works of the Barbizon school; Corot, 139, the Forum at Rome; 140, the Colosseum; 141F, The Belfry at Douai and others. Millet's sketch of the Church at Greville, 641, was found in his studio after his death; another study is 642, The Bathers; 644A, The Seamstress, 642A is a portrait of the artist's sister-in-law. By Rousseau are two small landscapes, 831 and 832; and The Landes, 830, a masterpiece. Diaz and Dupre are seen in a number of studies and paintings.


contains the Thomy-Thiery pictures, excellently hung and forming one of the most rich and precious collections in the Louvre. On the R. wall as we enter are a numerous series of genre paintings, happily conceived and wrought by Alexandre Gabriel Decamps (1803-1860). This room holds many excellent Rousseaus, among which are: 2896, Banks of the Loire; 2900, an excellent study of his favourite Oak Trees; 2901, The Pyrenees; 2903, Springtide. Millet is well represented by a priceless little collection: 2892, The Binders; 2890, The Rubbish-burners; 2893, The Winnower; 2894, A Motherly Precaution; 2895, The Wood Chopper. By Corot are shown no less than twelve examples: 2801-2812. All are most exquisitely poetical and delicate, but we may specially note: 2804, Shepherds' Dance at Sorrento; 2805, The Pollard Willows; 2806, Souvenir of Italy; 2807, The Pond; 2808, Entrance to a Village; 2810, View of Sin-le-Noble; 2811, Evening. A magnificent set of Troyons next claims our admiration, eleven in all, 2906-2916, of which: 2913, Girl with Turkeys; 2909, Morning; 2914, The Barrier; 2916, The Heights of Suresnes, are superlative. The ten Diaz pictures, 2854-2863, are of perhaps lesser interest, although they will all repay careful attention. Of Daubigny's intimate landscapes thirteen are offered to our appreciation, 2813-2825, among which: 2821, The Thames at Erith; 2822, The Mill at Gyliers; and 2824, Morning, are notable. By the melancholy and poetical Jules Dupre (1812-1889), whose landscapes oft breathe the tragic pathos of storm and desolation, and who is said to have broken into a passionate outburst of tears and sobs as he watched the magnificent spectacle of a nocturnal tempest, are twelve compositions, 2864-2875; and let us not omit some half-score Delacroix, 2843-2853, among which is a rare religious subject, 2849, Christ on the Cross. The glass cases in the centre of the room exhibit a numerous collection of bronzes by Barye, whom we have seen among the modern sculptors in Room VI.


is the Salle Francaise du Second Empire and contains Horace Vernet's well known, The Barriere de Clichy, Defence of Paris in 1814; and Ary Scheffer's, Death of Gericault. 2938 is the great caricaturist Daumier's portrait of Theodore Rousseau. Numerous examples of the myopic art of Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier (1815-1891) will attract attention in this Room. To reach the Chauchard collection, provisionally exhibited in the old Colonial office, we descend to the first floor, traverse the Grande Galerie and the new Rubens Room. This, prodigieux accroissement de richesses, as it is termed by the official catalogue, contains a large number of masterpieces by the Barbizon painters and raises the Louvre collections of that school to supreme importance. No less than eight Millet's are included, the most famous of which, if not the greatest, The Angelus, 102, is much faded, but always attracts a crowd of admirers. 103, Woman at the Well, is a scene at the artist's birthplace; 104, is one of the most inspired of the master's creations, The Shepherdess watching her Flock. 99, The Winnower; 105, Girl with a Distaff, and 106, The Sheep Fold—a lovely pastoral scene by night. Among the twenty-six Corots are many of his finest works; 6, Goatherd playing the Flute; 8, The Dance of the Nymphs; 15, Rest beneath the Willows; 16, The Ford; 20, Forest Glade: Souvenir of Ville Avray; 24, Dance of Shepherdesses; 27, The Mill of St. Nicholas-les-Arras. Some noble Rousseaus are included: 107, Avenue in the Forest of d'Isle-Adam; 108, Pond by the Wayside; 112, Road in the Forest of Fontainebleau. Troyon's score of canvases make a brave show: 127, The White Cow, painted in 1856, was a favourite of the artist who kept it by him until his death and bequeathed it to his mother. By Charles Jacque, the painter of sheep, three works are shown including 72, The Great Sheepfold. Daubigny, Descamps, Diaz and others of the school are well represented in the collection. Admirers of "the little master of little pictures" will find among the twenty-six Meissonier's, which the Chauchard bequest brings to the Louvre, two of the most famous of his works: 87, The Napoleonic picture, Campaign of France, 1814; and 80, Amateurs of Painting. All these examples of the most successful but least inspired of modern artists exemplify his patient, concentrated, meticulous style. By an ingenious fiction that the installation is only provisional, six characteristic Venetian pictures by the veteran, Ziem, have been retained in the collection.[220] 136, is, however, wrongly named, and should read Scene from the Giudecca.

[Footnote 220: Pictures by living artists are excluded from the Louvre.]

We have completed our rapid survey of the chief paintings in the Louvre, for the more recent developments of French art must be sought in the Luxembourg, where they are all too inadequately represented. The self-imposed limitations of this work will not carry us thither, but the most cursory visit to the Louvre would be incomplete without some notice of the collections of Persian and Egyptian art which we may conveniently glance at on our way as we leave. Descending to the first floor by the staircase up which we mounted, we turn obliquely to the R. and enter the E. gallery containing the Persian terra-cotta reliefs and other objects from the royal palace of Darius, and Artaxerxes,[221] his son, at Susa, including the marvellous coloured Frieze of the Archers; one of the colossal capitals (restored), that supported the roof of the Throne Room; a model of the same; and some fine terra-cotta reliefs of Lions and of winged Bulls.

[Footnote 221: The student of history will not need to be reminded that the famous retreat of the Ten Thousand, so dramatically described by Xenophon, was occasioned by the death in battle of their ally Cyrus, in his ill-omened attempt to dispossess his brother, Artaxerxes, of the crown of Persia.]

We pass on through the Mediaeval and Renaissance collections, turn an angle R., and enter the South Gallery, where some remarkable specimens of ancient art will be found among the Egyptian Antiquities. The painted statue (Hall III.) of the Seated Scribe is one of the most precious examples the world possesses of an art admirable in its naturalism and power of vivid portraiture, and the charming figure of a priestess, known as Dame Toui, exquisitely wrought in wood, is equally noteworthy. A superb example of a royal papyrus of the Book of the Dead will also invite attention. We pass on through a suite of beautifully decorated rooms filled with a choice collection of Etruscan and Greek Ceramic art, each of which offers a rich feast of beauty and historic interest.

At length we reach again the collection of paintings, Room III., whence we may pass through the Salle des Bijoux with a small exhibit of ancient jewellery, to the Rotonde, and turning L., enter the magnificent Galerie d'Apollon (the old Petite Galerie of Henry IV.), and examine the wealth of enamels; the exquisite productions of the goldsmith's art as applied to the sacred vessels of the church; precious stones; cameos; and such as remain of the old crown jewels. We may leave the palace by returning to the Rotonde; pass through the Salle La Caze and descend the Escalier Henry II. to the L., noting the caissons of its ceiling, decorated by Jean Goujon, and reach the Quadrangle under the Pavilion de l'Horloge, where we began our visit; or we pass from the Rotonde down the Escalier Daru to the exit in the Pavilion Denon, which gives on the Squares du Louvre. In the latter case it will be of some interest before leaving to pass for a moment by the exit and along the Galerie Mollien, where on the R. among the models of Roman masterpieces executed for Francis I., under Primaticcio's supervision, will be found one of the Laocoon, which shows its condition before Bernini's bungling restoration had deformed the group. To the unsated sightseer there yet remain the rich and comprehensive collections of Egyptian and Asiatic antiquities on the ground floor of the E. wing entered on either side of the E. portal.


The Ville (S. of the Rue St. Antoine)—The Hotel de Ville[222]—St. Gervais—Hotel Beauvais—Hotel of the Provost of Paris—SS. Paul and Louis—Hotel de Mayenne—Site of the Bastille—Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal[223]—Hotel Fieubert—Hotel de Sens—Isle St. Louis.

[Footnote 222: Open, 2-4, by ticket obtained at the Secretary's office.]

[Footnote 223: Open, 10-4, daily, except Chief Festivals.]

We take the Metropolitain to the Hotel de Ville station and make our way to the Place de l'Hotel de Ville, formerly Place de Greve, a little W. of the station.

In 1141 a sloping bank of sand (greve), to the E. of the Rue St. Martin and facing the old port of the Nautae at St. Landry on the island of the Cite, was ceded by royal charter, to the burgesses of Paris for a payment of seventy livres. "It is void of houses," says the charter, "and is called the gravia, and is situated where the old market-place (vetus forum) existed." This was the origin of the famous Place de Greve,[224] where throbbed the very heart of civic, commercial and industrial Paris. On its eastern side stood the old Maison aux Piliers, a long, low building, whose upper floor was supported by columns. Here every revolutionary and democratic movement has been organised, from the days of Marcel to those of the Communes of 1789—when the last Provost of the Merchants met his death—and of 1871, when the fine old Renaissance Hotel de Ville was destroyed by fire. The place of sand was much smaller in olden times, and from 1310, when Philip the Fair burned three heretics, to September, 1822, when the last political offenders, the four serjeants of Rochelle, were executed, and to July 1830, when the last murderer was hung there, has soaked up the blood of many a famous enemy of State and Church and of innumerable notorious and obscure criminals, including the infamous Marquise de Brinvilliers, who was burned alive, and Cartouche, broken on the wheel. A permanent gibbet stood there and a market cross, and there during the English wars the infuriated Parisians tied the hands and feet of hundreds of English prisoners taken at Pontoise and flung them into the Seine. Every St. John's eve—the church and cloister of St. Jean stood behind the Hotel de Ville—a great bonfire was lighted in the Place de Greve, fireworks were let off, and a salvo of artillery celebrated the festival. When the relations between Crown and Commune were felicitous the king himself would take part in the fete and fire the pile with a torch of white wax decorated with crimson velvet. A royal supper and ball in the Grande Salle concluded the revels. Not infrequently the ashes at the stake where a poor wretch had met his doom had scarcely cooled before the joyous flames and fireworks of the Feu de St. Jean burst forth, and the very day after the execution of the Count of Bouteville the people were dancing round the fires of St. John. The present Hotel de Ville, by Ballu and Deperthes, completed in 1882,[225] is one of the finest modern edifices in Europe, and contains some of the most important productions of contemporary French painters and sculptors: Puvis de Chavannes, Carolus Duran, Benjamin Constant, Jean Paul Laurens, Carriere Dalou, Chapu and others.

[Footnote 224: The masons of Paris were wont to stand on the Place waiting to be hired, and sometimes contrived to exact higher wages. Hence the origin of the term faire greve (to go out on strike).]

[Footnote 225: Charles Normand, founder of the Societe des Amis des Monuments, appeals for information concerning the fate of the old inscription commemorating the laying of the foundation stone of the former Hotel de Ville in 1533. It is said to have been appropriated (se serait empare) by an Englishman in 1874.]

We pass to the E. of the Hotel, where stands the church of St. Gervais and St. Protais, whose facade by Solomon Debrosse (1617) "is regarded," says Felibien (1725), "as a masterpiece of art by the best architectural authorities" ("les plus intelligens en architecture"). The church, which has been several times rebuilt, occupies the site of the old sixth-century building, near which stood the elm tree where suitors waited for justice to be done by the early kings. "Attendre sous l'orme" ("To wait under the elm") is still a proverbial expression for waiting till Doomsday.

The lofty Gothic interior, dating from the late fifteenth century, is lighted by some sixteenth and seventeenth-century stained glass, and among the pictures that have escaped transportation to the Louvre may be noted a lunette over the clergy stalls R. of the nave, God the Father, by Perugino; and a remarkable tempera painting, The Passion, attributed to Duerer's pupil, Aldegraever, in the fifth chapel, L. aisle. The curious old panelled and painted little Chapelle Scarron (fourth to the L.) and the sixteenth-century carved choir stalls from the abbey church of Port Royal are of interest: the beautiful vaulting of the Lady Chapel is also noteworthy. Some good modern paintings may be seen (with difficulty) in the side chapels. The Rue Francois Miron leading E. from the Place St. Gervais was part of the Rue St. Antoine, before the cutting of the Rue de Rivoli, and the chief artery from the E. to the centre of Paris. On the R. of this street, No. 26, Rue Geoffrey l'Asnier, is the fine portal of the seventeenth-century Hotel de Chalons, where the whilom ambassador to England, Antoine de la Borderie, lived (1608). Yet further on in the Rue Francois Miron is the Rue de Jouy: at No. 7, is the charming Hotel d'Aumont by Hardouin Mansard. We continue our eastward way along the Rue Francois Miron and among other interesting houses note No. 68, the princely Hotel de Beauvais, erected 1660, for Anne of Austria's favourite femme de chambre, Catherine Henriette Belier, wife of Pierre Beauvais. The street facade has been much disfigured and the magnificent wrought-iron balcony, whence Anne, Mazarin and Turenne, together with the Queen of England, watched the solemn entry of Louis XIV. and his consort Maria Therese, has been destroyed: but the beautiful circular porch with its Doric columns and metopes and the stately courtyard where the architect, Jean Lepautre, has triumphed over the irregularity of the site and created a marvellous symmetry of form—all this still remains, together with the noble stairway on the L., decorated by the Flemish sculptor, Desjardins. In the house at the sign of the Falcon which formerly stood on this spot, Tasso in the splendour of his early years was lodged by his patron, the Cardinal d'Este, and composed the greater part of the Gerusalemme Liberata. The Rue Francois Miron is continued by the Rue St. Antoine: at No. 119, we enter the Passage Charlemagne and pass to the second courtyard where remains a goodly portion of the old Hotel of the Royal Provost of Paris,[226] given to Aubriot by Charles V. At No. 101 is the site of one of the gates of the Philip Augustus wall and at No. 99 stands the Jesuit Church of St. Paul and St. Louis, in the typical baroque style so familiar to visitors to Rome. The once lavishly decorated interior has suffered much from the Revolutionists. Germain Pilon's Virgin still remains in the chapel L. of the high altar, but the four angels in silver that sustained the hearts of Louis XIII. and XIV., and the noble bronze statues from the mausoleum of the Princes of Conde, admired by Bernini, are only a memory. At No. 65, a malodorous court leads to the old vaulted entrance to the charnel-houses of St. Paul, where Rabelais and the Man with the Iron Mask were buried;[227] and to the R. of this vault a narrow street leads to the Marche Ste. Catherine on the site of the canons' houses of the monastery of Ste. Catherine du Val des Ecoliers (p. 124). At the corner of the Rue du Petit Musc is the magnificent Hotel de Mayenne, begun by Du Cerceau for Diana of Poitiers and completed for the Duke of Mayenne, leader of the forces of the League: this too has a fine courtyard. The chamber in which the leaders of the League met and decided to assassinate Henry III. still exists. An inscription over No. 5 marks the site of the forecourt of the Bastille where the revolutionists penetrated on 14th July: on the pavement in front of No. 1 and across the end of the street and in front of No. 5 Place de la Bastille, round the opposite corner, lines of white stones mark part of the huge space on which the gloomy and sinister old fortress stood. We turn S.W. by the Boulevard Henry IV., past the imposing new barracks of the Garde Republicaine, and then L. by the Rue de Sully. At No. 3 we enter the Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal, one of the most important libraries of Paris, where an attendant will show Sully's private cabinet and antechamber, with the rich decorations as they were left by his successor, including a ceiling painted by Vouet. Many an intimate outpouring of the Victor of Ivry's domestic woes did Sully endure here—complaints of his ill-tempered Marie's scoldings, the contrast between his lawful wife's sour greetings and the endearing graces and merry, roguish charms of his mistresses; their quarrels and exactions. All of which the great minister would listen to reprovingly, and exhort his dejected royal master not to permit himself, who had vanquished the hosts of his enemies in battle, to be overcome by a woman's petulancy. To the S. of the library the Boulevard Morland marks the channel which separated the Isle de Louviers from the N. bank of the river. We return to the Boulevard Henry IV. and cross to the Quai des Celestins, where on our L. stands part of a tower of the Bastille, discovered in 1899 during the construction of the Metropolitan Railway and transferred here. At the corner of the Rue du Petit Musc opposite, is the fine Hotel Fieubert, erected by Hardouin Mansard (1671) on part of the site of the Royal Hotel St. Paul. The principal facade, 2 bis Quai des Celestins, has unhappily been irretrievably spoilt by subsequent additions. Continuing westward, we note No. 32, the site of the Tour Barbeau of the Philip Augustus wall. An inscription bids us remember that there stood the old Tennis Court of the Croix Noire, where Moliere's troupe of the Illustre Theatre performed in 1645. Turning R. up the Rue Falconnier, we come upon (L.) the grand old fifteenth-century palace of the archbishops of Sens (p. 114), now a glass merchant's warehouse. We regain the Place de l'Hotel de Ville by the Quai of the same name, or cross the Pont Marie, and stroll about the quiet streets of the Isle St. Louis (p. 214), and return by the Pont Louis Philippe at its western extremity.

[Footnote 226: All demolished (1911).]

[Footnote 227: Under process of demolition (1911).]


The Ville (N. of the Rue St. Antoine)—Tour St. Jacques—Rue St. Martin—St. Merri—Rue de Venise—Les Billettes—Hotels du Soubise,[228] de Hollande, de Rohan[229]—Musee Carnavalet[230]—Place Royale—Musee Victor Hugo[230]—Hotel de Sully.

[Footnote 228: Open Sundays, 12-3.]

[Footnote 229: Open Thursdays at 2 o'clock by a permit from the Director.]

[Footnote 230: Open daily (except Monday) 10-4 or 5 (1 fr.). Thursdays and Sundays free. Closed till 12.30 Tuesdays.]

Two parallel historic roads named of St. Martin and of St. Denis cut northwards through the mass of houses that now crowd the Marais: the latter, the Grande Chaussee de Monseigneur St. Denis, to the shrine of the martyred saint of Lutetia, the former, the great Roman Street which led to the provinces of the north.

We set forth northwards from the Place du Chatelet, at the foot of the Pont au Change, where stood the massive pile of the Grande Chatelet, originally built to defend the bridge from the Norman pirates as the Petit Chatelet was to defend the Petit Pont. It subsequently became the official seat and prison of the Provost of Paris, where he held his criminal court and organised the City Watch, and was demolished in 1802. Below this festered an irregular maze of slums, the aggregation of seven centuries, the most fetid, insanitary and criminal quarter of Paris, known as the Vallee de Misere, which only disappeared in 1855. On our R. soars the beautiful flamboyant Gothic tower, all that remains of the great church of St. Jacques de la Boucherie. This fine monument was saved by the good sense of the architect Giraud who, when the church was sold to the housebreakers during the Revolution, inserted a clause in the warrant exempting the tower from demolition. It was afterwards used as a lead foundry and twice narrowly escaped destruction by fire. Purchased by the Ville, it seemed safe at last, but again it was threatened in 1853 by the prolongation of the Rue de Rivoli: luckily, however, the new street just passed by on the north. The statue of Pascal under the vaulting reminds the traveller that the great thinker conducted some barometrical experiments on the summit, and the statues of the patron saints of craftsmen in the niches, that under its shadow the industrial arts were practised. We ascend the Rue St. Martin from the N.E. corner of the Square, and on our R. find the late Gothic church of St. Merri, built on the site of the seventh-century Chapel of St. Pierre, where Odo Falconarius, one of the defenders of Paris in the siege of 886, is known to have been buried. We enter for the sake of the beautiful sixteenth-century glass in the choir and a curious old painting of the same epoch in the first chapel beyond the entrance to the sacristy, Ste. Genevieve and her Flock, with a view of Paris in the background. We continue to ascend the street, noting No. 122, an old fountain and some reliefs, and soon reach, R. and L., the quaint and narrow mediaeval Rue de Venise, formerly the Ruelle des Usuriers, home of the Law speculators (p. 242). At No. 27, L. of the Rue St. Martin and corner of the Rue Quincampoix, is the old inn of the Epee de Bois (now a l'Arrivee de Venise), where Prince de Hoorn and two other nobles assassinated and robbed a banker in open day and were broken alive on the wheel in the Place de Greve. Mirabeau and L. Racine, with other wits are said to have met there and Mazarin granted letters patent to a company of dancing masters who taught there, under the direction of the Roi des Violins: from these modest beginnings grew the National Academy of Dancing. We return E. along the Rue de Venise and pass to its end; then cross obliquely to the R. and continue E., along the Rue Simon le Franc, traversing the Rue du Temple, to the Rue des Blancs Manteaux. This we follow still eastward to its intersection with Rue des Archives. Turning down this street to the R. we cross, and at Nos. 24 or 26 enter the fifteenth-century cloister (restored) of the monastery of the Billettes, founded at the end of the thirteenth century to commemorate the miracle of the Sacred Host, which had defied the efforts of Jonathan, the Jew to destroy it by steel, fire and boiling water. The chapel, built on the site of the Jew's house in 1294, was rebuilt in 1754, and is now a Protestant church. The miraculous Host was preserved as late as the early eighteenth century in St. Jean en Greve, and carried annually in procession on the octave of Corpus Christi. We return northwards along the Rue des Archives, and reach at the corner of the Rue des Francs Bourgeois the fine pseudo-classic Hotel de Soubise, now the National Archives, erected in 1704 for the Princesse de Soubise on the site of the old Hotel of the Constable of France, Olivier de Clisson, where Charles VI., after his terrible vengeance on the revolted burgesses, agreed to remit further punishment, and where the Duke of Clarence established himself at the time of the English occupation. It became later (1553) the fortress of the Guises and rivalled the Louvre in strength and splendour. The picturesque Gothic portal (restored) of the old Hotel de Clisson still exists higher up the Rue des Archives. The lavishly decorated Hotel de Soubise, entered from the Rue des Francs Bourgeois, in which are exhibited historical documents and other objects of profound interest, though bereft of much of its former splendour is well worth a visit. The sumptuous chambers contain much characteristic and well-preserved decorative work by Boucher, Natoire, Carle Vanloo and others.[231] Opposite the hotel and between Nos. 59 and 57 may be seen a portion of a tower, repaired in brick, of the old Philip Augustus wall, and in the courtyard of the Mont de Piete (No. 55) the line of the wall is traced: a nearer view of the tower may be obtained from the courtyard to the R.

[Footnote 231: At the north end of the Rue des Archives is the site, now a square and a market, of the grisly old fortress of the Knights Templars, whose walls and towers and round church were still standing a century ago. The enclosure was a famous place of refuge for insolvent debtors and political offenders, and sheltered Rousseau in 1765 when a lettre de cachet was issued for his arrest. In the gloomy keep, which was not destroyed until 1811, were imprisoned the royal family of France after the abandonment of the Tuileries on 10th August 1792. The old market of the Temple, the centre of the petites industries of Paris, has been recently demolished. West of this is the huge Museum of the Arts and Crafts (Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers), on the site of the abbatial buildings and lands of St. Martin of the Fields, still preserving in its structure the beautiful thirteenth-century church and refectory of the Abbey.]

We proceed eastward past the rebuilt church of the Blancs Manteaux and at the corner of the Rue Vieille du Temple find a charming Gothic tourelle (restored), all that remains of the mansion built in 1528 by Jean de la Balue. Descending the Rue Vieille du Temple to the R., we may examine (No. 47) the old Hotel de Hollande, erected in 1638, where the Dutch ambassadors resided; and ascending, at No. 87, we find the Hotel de Rohan (1712), home of the Cardinal de Rohan of diamond-necklace fame, now the Imprimerie Nationale. The Salon des Singes, charmingly decorated by Huet, and other interesting rooms are shown. The fine relief by Le Lorrain of the Horses of Apollo in a passage to the R. of the courtyard should by no means be missed. We return to the Rue des Francs Bourgeois, and at No. 38 find an inscription[232] over the entrance to a picturesque court which marks the place where the Duke of Orleans was assassinated by Jean Sans Peur (p. 132). Still proceeding E. we pass yet more interesting domestic architecture—No. 31, Hotel d'Albret, where goody Scarron used to visit Madame de Montespan and where she was appointed governess to the royal bastards; 25, Hotel de Lamoignon, once occupied by Diana of France, daughter of Henry II., and where Malesherbes was born.

[Footnote 232: Removed to give place to the name of a firm of wholesale chemists (1911).]

Nos. 14 and 16, corner of the Rue de Sevigne, is the Hotel de Carnavalet, a magnificent renaissance mansion, in raising which no less than four famous architects had part—Lescot, Bullant, Du Cerceau and the elder Mansard. For twenty years (1677-1697) it was the home of Madame Sevigne, queen of letter-writers. Her Carnavalette, as she delighted to call it, is now the civic museum of Paris. The beautiful reliefs over the entrance, including the two superb lions against a background of trophies, are by Goujon, as are also the satyrs' heads on the keystones of the arcades of the courtyard. The Four Seasons and some of the lateral figures that decorate the courtyard were designed by him. In the centre stands a bronze statue of Louis XIV as a Roman conqueror, by Coysevox, which once stood on the Place de Greve before the old Hotel de Ville. The museum, which contains a collection,[233] historic and prehistoric, relating to the city of Paris, is especially rich in objects, all carefully labelled, illustrating the great Revolution, and is of profound interest to students of that period: the second floor is devoted to the last siege of Paris. From the museum we fare yet further E. along the Rue des Francs Bourgeois to the Place Royale (now des Vosges), the site of the Palace of the Tournelles, once a favourite pleasure-house with a fair garden, of the kings of France, and where the Duke of Bedford lived during the English occupation, projecting to transform it into an English park for his exclusive use. There the ill-fated Henry II. lay eleven days in excruciating agony (p. 172), calling for his seule princesse, the beloved Diana, while Catherine, like a she-dragon, watched lest her rival entered. After his death the palace becoming hateful to Catherine, she had it demolished. It was subsequently used as a horse-market, and there the three minions of Henry III. began their bloody duel with the three bullies of the Duke of Guise at five in the morning of 27th April 1578, and fought on until every one was either slain or severely wounded.

[Footnote 233: Recently augmented.]

How different is the present aspect of this once courtly square! Here noble gentlemen in dazzling armour jousted, while from the windows of each of the thirty-five pavilions, gentle dames and demoiselles smiled gracious guerdon to their cavaliers. Around the bronze statue of Louis XIII., proudly erect on the noble horse cast by Daniello da Volterra, in the midst of the gardens, fine ladies were carried in their sedan-chairs and angry gallants fought out their quarrels. And now on this royal Place, the Perle du Marais, the scene of these brilliant revels, peaceful inhabitants of the east of Paris sun themselves and children play. Bronze horse and royal rider went to the melting pot of the Revolution to be forged into cannon that defeated and humbled the allied kings of Europe, and a feeble marble equestrian statue, erected under the Restoration, occupies its place.

We cross the Square obliquely and at No. 6, Victor Hugo's old house, find a delightful little museum of portraits, busts, casts, illustrations of his works in various mediums, and personal and intimate objects belonging to the poet. It was at this house that in 1847 the two greatest novelists of their age met. Dickens has described how he was welcomed with infinite courtesy and grace by Hugo, a noble, compact, closely-buttoned figure, with ample dark hair falling loosely over his clean-shaven face and with features never so keenly intellectual, and softened by a sweet gentility. We leave the Place by the S. exit, and entering the Rue St. Antoine turn R. to No. 62, where stands the Hotel de Sully, built by Du Cerceau in 1634. The stately but now rather grimy inner courtyard is little altered, but the fine facade has been disfigured by the erection of a mean building between the wings. We return from the Metropolitain station at the end of the Rue Francois Miron.


Rue St. Denis—Fontaine des Innocents—Tower of Jean sans Peur—Cour des Miracles—St. Eustache—The Halles—St. Germain l'Auxerrois.

From the Chatelet Station of the Metropolitain we strike northwards along the Rue St. Denis, passing R. and L. the Rue des Lombards, the Italian business quarter of old Paris, where Boccaccio, son of Boccassin, the money-changer, was born. We continue past the ill-omened Rue de la Ferronnerie and soon reach the Square and Fontaine des Innocents. This charming renaissance fountain was transferred here in 1786 from the corner of the old Rues aux Fers (now the widened Rue Berger) and St. Denis, where it had been designed and decorated by Lescot and Goujon to celebrate the solemn entry of Henry II. in 1549. The beautiful old fountain has been considerably modified and somewhat debased. The longer side has been divided to make a third, and a new fourth side has been added by Pajou. The whole has been elevated much too high by the addition of the terrace steps, and an unsightly dome has been added. Five of the exquisite reliefs of the Naiads by Goujon still remain, and three have been added by Pajou. These latter may be distinguished by their higher relief and lack of refinement.

The site of the immense Necropolis of Les Innocents,[234] which for six centuries swallowed up half the dead of Paris, roughly corresponds to the parallelogram formed by the modern Rues Berger, St. Denis, Ferronnerie and de la Lingerie, and one of the old vaulted charnel-houses may still be seen at the ground floor of No. 7 Rue des Innocents. The huge piles of human remains and skulls that grinned from under the gable roof of the gallery painted with the Dance of Death were, in 1786, carted away to the catacombs under Paris, formed by the old Gallo-Roman quarrymen as they quarried the stone used to rebuild Lutetia. For centuries this enclosure was the refuge of vagabonds and scamps of all kinds, a receptacle for garbage, the haunt of stray cats and dogs, whose howlings by night made sleep impossible to nervous folk; and the lugubrious clocheteur, or crier of the dead, with lantern and bell, his tunic figured with skull and cross-bones, bleating forth:—

"Reveillez-vous gens qui dormez, Priez Dieu pour les trepassez."

was no soothing lullaby.

[Footnote 234: According to Sir Thomas Browne, bodies soon consumed there. "Tis all one to lie in St. Innocents' churchyard as in the sands of Egypt, ready to be anything in the ecstasy of being ever, and as content with six feet as the moles of Adrianus."

"Tabesne cadavera solvat An rogas haud refert."—LUCAN.]

A curious early fifteenth-century rhyme is associated with this charnel-house. One morning, two bourgeoises of Paris, the wife of Adam de la Gonesse and her niece, went abroad to have a little flutter and eat two sous' worth of tripe in a new inn. On their way they met Dame Tifaigne, the milliner, who recommended the tavern of the "Maillez," where the wine was excellent. Thither they went and fared not wisely but too well. When fifteen sous had already been spent, they determined to make a day of it, and ordered roast goose with hot cakes. After further drinking, gauffres, cheese, peeled almonds, pears, spices and walnuts were called for, and the feast ended in songs. When the bad quarter of an hour came, their sum of sous proving inadequate, they parted with some of their finery to meet the score, and at midnight left the inn dancing and singing—

"Amours au vireli m'en vois."

The streets of Paris, however, at midnight were unsafe even for sober ladies, and these soon fell among thieves, were stripped of the rest of their clothing, then taken up for dead by the watch and flung into the mortuary in the cemetery of the Innocents; but, to the terror of the gravedigger, were found lying outside the next morning, singing—

"Druin, Druin, ou es allez? Apporte trois harens salez Et un pot de vin du plus fort."

Pursuing our way N. by the Rue St. Denis we pass (R.) the restored fourteenth-century church of St. Leu and St. Gilles, and on our L. two old reliefs of St. Peter and St. Andrew embedded in the corner of a modern house at the corner of the Rue St. Denis and the Rue Etienne Marcel. Near by stood the Painters' Gate of the Philip Augustus wall. We turn L. by the latter street and soon sight on our R. the massive machicolated Tower of Jean sans Peur (p. 133). It was at the Hotel de Bourgogne that the Confreres de la Passion de Jesus Christ were performing in the sixteenth century, and where in 1548 they were forbidden by royal decree to play the mystery of the Passion any longer, and limited to profane, decent and lawful plays. From 1566-1576 the comediens of the Hotel de Bourgogne continued their performances, which at length became so gross that complaints were made of the blasphemes et impudicites enacted there, and that not a farce was played that was not orde, sale et vilaine. Repeated ordinances were levelled at the actors, aiming at the purification of the stage and preventing words of double entente. It was here, too, that the most exalted and noble masterpieces of Corneille and Racine—Le Cid, Andromaque and Phedre—were first enacted. We turn R. by the Rue Francaise, again R. by the Rue Tiquetonne, then L. by the curious Rue Dussoubs to the new Rue Reamur, where on the opposite side, to the L., is the narrow passage between Nos. 100 and 102 that leads to the once notorious Cour des Miracles, so vividly portrayed in Victor Hugo's Notre Dame. It was here that Jean Du Barry and his mistress, Jeanne Vaubernier, kept a gambling-hell. Jeanne, subsequently married to Jean's brother, was the daughter of a monk and formerly known as Mademoiselle Lange. She it was who became the famous Du Barry, mistress of Louis XV. Here also dwelt Hebert, editor of the foul Pere Duchesne. Both perished on the scaffold. We cross the Cour and leave by the Rue Damiette (L.), turn again L. and descend the Rue du Nil to the Rue des Petits Carreaux. This we follow to the L., and continue down it and the busy and picturesque Rue Montorgeuil, noting (L.) No. 78, the curious house at the sign of the Rocher de Cancale. 72-64 were part of the roomy sixteenth-century posting house of the Golden Compasses, and have quaint reliefs carved on their facades. We may enter at 64, the spacious old coaching yard, still used by market carts and waggons. The courtyard on the opposite side, No. 47, was the office of the old sedan-chair porters. We continue to descend, and at length sight the tall apse of the majestic church of St. Eustache, which towers over the Halles. Begun in 1532 by Pierre Lemercier, it was not completed until more than a century later by Jacques Lemercier, architect of the extended Louvre. We enter, by the side portal, the spacious, lofty and beautiful interior with its not unpleasing mingling of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. It was here that in 1587 a friar reciting the story of the execution of Mary Queen of Scots roused his hearers to such a tempest of passion that the whole congregation melted into a common paroxysm of tears. Here, too, on 4th April 1791 was celebrated, amid the gloom and sorrow of a whole people, the funeral of their "Sovereign-Man," Mirabeau. Not till five o'clock did the league-long procession reach the church in solemn silence, interrupted only by the sound of muffled drums and wailing music, "new clangour of trombones and metallic dirge-voice, amid the infinite hum of men." After the funeral oration a discharge of arms brought down some of the plaster from the vaultings of the church, and the body went—the first tenant—to the Pantheon of the heroes of the Fatherland. We leave by the west portal—a monstrous pseudo-classic pile, added 1775-1778. To our L. is the vast area once covered by a congeries of picturesque Halles and streets:—the Halle aux Draps; the Marche des Herborists, with their mysterious stores of simples and healing herbs and leeches; the potato and onion markets; the butter and cheese markets; the fish market; the queer old Rue de la Tonnellerie, under whose shabby porticoes, sellers of rags, old clothes, iron and furniture, crowded against the bread market; the Marche des Prouvaires, beloved of thrifty housewives—all swallowed up by the vast modern structure of iron and glass, known as Les Halles. The Halle au Ble, or corn market, last to disappear, was built on the site of the Hotel de la Reine which Catherine de' Medici had erected when frightened from the Tuileries by her astrologer Ruggieri. The site is now occupied by the Bourse de Commerce, but one curious decorated and channelled column, which conceals a stairway used by Catherine and her Italian familiar when they ascended to the roof to consult the stars, has been preserved.

The Rue Pirouette N. of the Halles reminds us that there, until the reign of Louis XVI., stood the royal pillory, a tall octagonal tower of two floors. The unhappy wretches condemned to exposure there were placed with head and hands protruding through holes in a revolving wheel, and were left for three hours on three market days, to the gibes and missiles of the populace. There, too, was a place of execution for state offenders, the Constable of Clisson in 1344 and le pauvre Jacques (p. 147) in 1477 having perished on this spot.

From the Place St. Eustache we cross (L.) to the Rue Vauvilliers, formerly the Rue du Four St. Honore, the west side of which still retains much of its old aspect, and many of the shops, their old signs: Au Chou Vert; Le Panier Fleuri, etc. Descending this street southwards, a turn (R.) up the Rue de Vannes will bring us to the Ruggieri column, transformed (1812) into a fountain, as the inscription tells. Resuming our way down the Rue Vauvilliers we turn R. by the Rue St. Honore and opposite, at the corner of the Rue de l'Arbre Sec, find the old fountain of the Croix du Trahoir, erected in the reign of Francois I. and rebuilt by Soufflot in 1775. Here tradition places the cruel death of Queen Brunehaut (p. 29). Descending this street to the Rue de Rivoli, we note, No. 144, to the L. an inscription marking the site of the Hotel de Montbazon where Coligny was assassinated. We cross to the Rue Perrault and soon reach the church of St. Germain l'Auxerrois from whose tower rang the signal for the St. Bartholomew butchery. The porch was added in 1431 for the convenience of distinguished worshippers; for it was the parish church of the Chateau of the Louvre and consequently the royal chapel. The saints and martyrs on the portail and porch are therefore closely associated with the history of Paris: opposite to us extends Perrault's famous E. facade of the Louvre.


Palais Royal—Theatre Francais—Gardens and Cafes of the Palais Royal—Palais Mazarin (Bibliotheque Nationale)[235]—St. Roch—Vendome Column—Tuileries Gardens—Place de la Concorde—Champs Elysees.

[Footnote 235: Open Tuesdays and Fridays, 10 to 4.]

From the Palais Royal Station of the Metropolitain we issue before the great palace begun by Richelieu (p. 212). To our L. stands the Theatre Francais, occupied by the Comedie Francaise since 1799, on the site of the old Varietes Amusantes or Palais Varietes built in 1787, a little to the W. of Richelieu's Theatre of the Palais Cardinal. This latter was the scene of Moliere's triumphs and of his piteous death, and the original home of the French Opera whose position is indicated by an inscription at the corner of the Rues de Valois and St. Honore. It was at the Theatre des Varietes, when the staid old Comedie Francaise was rent by rival factions that Chenier's patriotic tragedy, Charles IX., was performed on 4th November 1789, and the pit acclaimed Talma with frantic applause as he created the role of Charles IX., and the days of St. Bartholomew were acted on the stage. The bishops tried to stop the performances, and priests refused absolution to those of their penitents who went to see them. The Royalists among the Comedians replied at the Nation (the Odeon) by playing a royalist repertory, Cinna and Athalie, amid shouts from the pit for William Tell and the Death of Caesar, and the stage became an arena where political factions strove for mastery. Men went to the theatre armed as to a battle. Every couplet fired the passions of the audience, the boxes crying, "Vive le Roi!" to be answered by the hoarse voices of the pit, "Vive la nation!" Shouts were raised for the busts of Voltaire and of Brutus: they were brought from the foyer and placed on the stage. The very kings of shreds and patches on the boards came to blows and the Roman toga concealed a poignard. For a time "idolatry" triumphed at the Nation, but Talma and the patriots at length won. A reconciliation was effected, and at a performance of the Taking of the Bastille, on 8th January 1791, Talma addressed the audience, saying that they had composed their differences. Naudet, the Royalist champion, was recalcitrant, and amid furious shouts from the pit, "On your knees, citizen!" at length gave way, embraced Talma with ill-grace, and on the ensuing nights the Revolutionary repertory, The Conquest of Liberty, Rome Saved, and Brutus, held the boards.

In the stormy year of 1830, when the July Revolution made an end for ever of the Bourbon cause in Paris, the Comedie Francaise again became a scene of fierce strife. Hernani, a drama in verse, had been accepted from the pen of Victor Hugo, the brilliant and exuberant master of the new Romantic school of poets who had determined to emancipate themselves from the traditions, long since hardened into dogmas, of the great dramatists of the siecle de Louis Quatorze. On the night of the first performance each side—Romanticists and Classicists—had packed the theatre with partisans. The air was charged with feeling; the curtain rose, but less than two lines were uttered before the pent-up passions of the audience burst forth:—

DONA JOSEFA—"Serait-ce deja lui? C'est bien a l'escalier Derobe—"

The last word had not passed the actress' lips when a howl of execration rose from the devotees of Racine, outraged by the author's heresy in permitting an adjective to stray into the second line of verse. The Romanticists, led by Theophile Gautier, answered in withering blasphemies; the Classicists began to

"... prove their doctrine orthodox By apostolic blows and knocks,"

and the pit became a pandemonium of warring factions. Night after night the literary sects renewed their fights, and the representations, as Hugo said, resembled battles rather than performances. The year 1830 was the '93 of the classic drama, but the passions it evoked have long since been calmed and Hernani and Le Roi s'Amuse, the latter suppressed by Louis Philippe after its first appearance, have taken their places in the classic repertory of the Francais beside the tragedies of Corneille and Racine.

At No. 161 Rue St. Honore, now Cafe de la Regence, beloved of chess players, is the site of the Porte St. Honore of the Charles V. wall before which Joan of Arc was wounded at the Siege of Paris in 1429. The old chess-players' temple where Diderot loved to watch the matches; where the author of Gil Blas beheld in a vast and brilliantly lighted salon, a score of silent and grave pousseurs de bois (wood-shovers) surrounded by crowds of spectators amid a silence so profound that the movement of the pieces alone could be heard; where Voltaire and D' Alembert were often seen; where Jean Jacques Rousseau, dressed as an Armenian, drew such crowds that the proprietor was forced to seek police protection; where Robespierre loved to play a cautious game and the young and impecunious Napoleon Bonaparte, an impatient player and bad loser, waited on fortune; where strangers from all corners of the earth congregated as in an arena where victory was esteemed final and complete; where Poles, Turks, Moors and Hindoos in their picturesque garbs made a scene unparalleled even at the Rialto of Venice; where on Sunday afternoons a seat was worth a monarch's ransom—this classic Cafe de la Regence which, until 1852, stood on the Place du Palais Royal, no longer exists.

We enter the gardens of the Palais by the colonnade to the R. of the Theatre Francais and pass N. along the W. colonnade. On this side was situated the famous Cafe de Foy (p. 261), founded in 1700, whose proprietor was in early days alone permitted to place chairs and tables on the terrace. There, in the afternoon, would sit the finely apparelled sons of Mars, and other gay dogs of the period, with their scented perukes, amber vinaigrettes, silver-hilted swords and gold-headed canes quizzing the passers-by. In summer evenings, after the conclusion of the opera at 8-30, the bonne compagnie in full dress would stroll under the great overarching trees of the grande allee, or sit at the cafes listening to open-air performers, sometimes revelling in the moonlight as late as the small hours of the morning.

It was from one of the tables of the Cafe Foy that Camille Desmoulins sounded the war-cry of the Revolution. Every day a special courier from Versailles brought the bulletins of the National Assembly, which were read publicly amid clamorous interjections. Spies found their office a perilous one, for, if discovered, they were ducked in the basins of the fountains, and when feeling grew more bitter, risked meeting a violent death. Later the Cafe Foy made a complete volte-face, raised its ices to twenty sous and grew Royalist in tone. Its frequenters came armed with sword-sticks and loaded canes, raised their hats when the king's name was uttered, and one evil day planted a gallows outside the cafe, painted with the national colours. The excited patriots stormed the house, expelled the Royalists and disinfected the salon with gin. Next day the Royalists returned in force and cleansed the air with incense: after many fatalities the cafe was closed for some days and the triumph of the Jacobins at length made any suspicion of Royalism too perilous. During the occupation of Paris by the allies many a fatal duel between the foreign officers and the Imperialists was initiated there.

The extremer section of the Revolutionists frequented the Cafe Corazza, still extant on this side of the garden, which soon became a minor Jacobin's, where, after the club was closed, the excited orators continued their discussions: Chabot, Collot d'Herbois and other Terrorists met there. The Cafe Valois was patronised by the Feuillants, and so excited the ire of the Federes, who met at the Caveau, that one day they issued forth, assailed their opponents' stronghold and burned the copies of the Journal de Paris found there.

In the earlier days of the Revolution when its leaders looked for sympathy to England, "a brave and generous nation, whose name alone like that of Rome evokes ideas of Liberty," the people during an exhibition of anti-monarchical feeling went about destroying the insignia of royalty. On coming in the Palais Royal to the sign of the English king's head over a restaurant, an orator mounted a chair in the gardens, and informed them that it was the head of a good king, ruling over a free nation: it was spared, amid shouts of "Vive la Liberte." Later, at the Cafe des Milles Colonnes, the handsome Madame Romain, La Belle Limonadiere, sat majestically on a real throne used by a king whom Napoleon had overthrown.

We leave the gardens by the issue in the middle of the N. colonnade, mount the steps and at the corner of the Rue Vivienne and the Rue des Petits Champs opposite, come upon the Palais Mazarin (p. 222), now the Bibliotheque Nationale, with a fine facade on each street. In the Rue Vivienne stood also the princely Hotel Colbert, of which only the name remains—the Passage Colbert. We turn W. along the Rue des Petits Champs and skirt the W. walls of the modernised palace northwards along the Rue de Richelieu to the main Cour d'Honneur, opposite the Square Louvois. Hence we may enter some rooms, which contain a magnificent and matchless collection of printed books, bindings and illuminated MSS. The second of the two halls where these treasures are exposed, the Galerie Mazarin, is a part of the old palace and retains its fine frescoed ceiling. As we retrace our steps down the Rue Richelieu we may enter, on our L. the equally rich and sumptuous museum of coins, medals, antiques, intaglios, gems, etc. Having regained the Rue des Petits Champs, we resume our westward way, noting at No. 45, corner of the Rue St. Anne, the fine double facade of the Hotel erected by Lulli and bearing the great musician's coat-of-arms, a design of trumpets, lyres and cymbals, and soon cross the Avenue de l'Opera to the Rue St. Roch on our L. This we descend to the church of the same name, with old houses still nestling against it, famous for Bonaparte's whiffs of grape-shot that scattered the Royalist insurrectionary forces stationed there on 5th October 1795. We descend to the Rue de Rivoli. To our L., at the Place des Pyramids, a statue of Joan of Arc recalls her ill-advised attack on Paris, and to our R., on the railings of the Tuileries Garden opposite No. 230, Rue de Rivoli, is the inscription marking the site of the Salle du Manege (p. 271). Northward hence extend Napoleon's Rues de Castiglione and de la Paix, the Regent Street of Paris, divided by the Place Vendome, which was intended by its creator, Louvois, to be the most spacious in the city. A monumental parallelogram of public offices was designed to enclose the Place, but Versailles engulfed the king's resources and the ambitious scheme was whittled down, the area much reduced, and the site and foundations of the new buildings were handed over to the Ville. What the Allies failed to do in 1814 the Commune succeeded in doing in 1871, and the boastful Column of Vendome, a pitiful plagiarism of Trajan's Column at Rome, was laid in the dust, only however to be raised again by the Third Republic in 1875. We enter the Tuileries Gardens crossing the Terrace of the Feuillants, all that is left of the famous monastery and grounds where Lafayette's club of constitutional reformers met. The beautiful gardens remain much as Le Notre designed them for Louis XIV: every spring the orange trees, some of them dating back it is said to the time of Francis I., are brought forth from the orangery to adorn the central avenue, and the gardens become vocal with many voices of children at their games—French children with their gentle humour and sweet refined play. R. and L. of the central avenue we find the two marble exhedrae, erected in 1793 for the elders who presided over the floral celebrations of the month of Germinal by the children of the Republic.

Of the gorgeous palace of the Tuileries at the E. end of the gardens, with its inharmonious but picturesque facade stretching across the western limit of the Louvre from the Pavilion de Flore to the Pavilion de Marsan, not one stone is left on another. We remember it after its fiery purgation by the Commune in 1871, a gaunt shell blackened and ruined, fitting emblem of the wreck which the enthroned wantonness and corruption of the Second Empire had made of France.

We fare again westward along the gardens and emerge into the Place de la Concorde by the gate adorned with Coysevox' statues, Fame and Mercury on Winged Horses, facing, on the opposite side of the vast area, Guillaume Coustou's Horse Tamers from Marly.

The Place, formerly of Louis XV., with its setting of pavilions adorned with groups of statuary representing the chief cities of France, was created by Gabriel in 1763-1772 on the site of a dreary, marshy waste used as a depot for marble. It was adorned in 1763 with an equestrian statue of Louis XV., by Pigalle, elevated on a pedestal which was decorated at the corners by statues of the cardinal virtues. Mordant couplets, two of which we transcribe, affixed on the base, soon expressed the judgment of the Parisians:—

"Grotesque monument! Infame piedestal! Les vertus sont a pied, le vice est a cheval."

"Il est ici comme a Versailles, Toujours sans coeur et sans entrailles."

After the fall of the monarchy the Place was known as the Place de la Revolution, and in 1792, Louis XV. with the other royal simulacra in bronze having been forged into the cannon that thundered against the allied kings of Europe, a plaster statue of Liberty was erected, at whose side the guillotine mowed down king and queen, revolutionist and aristocrat in one bloody harvest of death, ensanguining the very figure of the goddess herself, who looked on with cold and impassive mien. She too fell, and in her place stood a fascis of eighty-three spears, symbolising the unity of the eighty-three departments of France. In 1795 the Directory changed the name to Place de la Concorde, and again in 1799 a seated statue of Liberty holding a globe was set up. In the hollow sphere a pair of wild doves built their nest—a futile augury, for in 1801 Liberty II. was broken in pieces, and the model for a tall granite column erected in its place by Napoleon I. One year passed and this too disappeared. After the Restoration, among the other inanities came, in 1816, a second statue of Louis XV., and the Place resumed its original name. Ten years later an expiatory monument to Louis XVI. was begun, only to be swept away with other Bourbon lumber by the July Revolution of 1830. At length the famous obelisk from Luxor, after many vicissitudes, was elevated in 1836 where it now stands.

The Place as we behold it dates from 1854, when the deep fosses which surrounded it in Louis XV.'s time, and which were responsible for the terrible disaster that attended the wedding festivities of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette, were filled up, and other improvements and embellishments effected. The vast space and magnificent vistas enjoyed from this square are among the finest urban spectacles in Europe. To the north, on either side of the broad Rue Royale which opens to the Madeleine, stand Gabriel's fine edifices (now the Ministry of Marine and the Cercle de la Rue Royale), designed to accommodate foreign ambassadors. To the south is the Palais Bourbon, now the Chamber of Deputies; to the east are the gardens of the Tuileries, and to the west is the stately Grande Avenue of the Champs Elysees rising to the colossal Arch of Triumph crowning the eminence of the Place de l'Etoile. As our eyes travel along the famous avenue, memories of the military glories and of the threefold humiliation of Imperial France crowd upon us. For down its ample way there marched in 1814 and 1815 two hostile and conquering armies to occupy Paris, and in 1871 the immense vault of the Arc de Triomphe, an arch of greater magnitude than any raised to Roman Caesars, echoed to the shouts of another exultant foreign host, mocking as they strode beneath it at the names of German defeats inscribed on its stones. And on the very Place de la Concorde, German hussars waltzed in pairs to the brazen music of a Uhlan band, while a line of French sentries across the entrance to the Tuileries gardens gazed sullenly on. To this day the mourning statue of Strassbourg with her sable drapery and immortelles, still keeps alive the bitter memory of her loss.

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