Paris in July, at the last moment: Manet and Modern Beauty at The Art Institute of Chicago

On this, the last day of July, my mother, niece and I went to Chicago to see the Manet exhibit at the Art Institute. It was a truly spectacular day to be in the city as you can see from these pictures of Millennium Park:


But, the Manet exhibit was really special. Combined with the gorgeous paintings were artifacts from the fashion of his time, such as these:


And there were drawings and handwriting on notes and envelopes which charmed me:


This is a picture of his watercolor set, a tin box with two brushes and dried watercolor pans:


And here are some of my favorite paintings:


(The audio said that this picture above depicts “the loneliness of urban modernity”.)




The plaque by this last painting struck me as being quite lovely. It says this:

Mandarins appear frequently in Manet’s final works. According to Antonin Proust, the collector who bought the picture sent Manet a crate of mandarins from Marseille as a kind of gentlemanly exchange. Manet reportedly told Proust, “When I go out, I take lots of mandarins. I fill my pockets with them and give them to the local children who come begging. They’d probably prefer money, but I prefer to give them a share in something I enjoy. The pleasure of this world! Well they’re made of things that mean little to some people but a lot to others.”

In the nick of time, I have an entry for Tamara’s Paris in July event . There were no books for me, after all, but the art of Edouard Manet, combined with this gorgeous day in Chicago, were more than enough celebration for me.



Paris in July 2019

Mels Paris in July 2019

Behold the button for Paris in July, hosted by Tamara, which was created by Mel U. Marc Chagall is reason alone to participate in this event honoring all things French.

Tamara encourages us to cook French cuisine, watch French films, read French books, and I will listen to French jazz which I especially love on Spotify.

As for the literature…it is time to turn to my Penguin Little Black Classics:


Femme Fatale by Guy de Maupassant

A Simple Heart by Gustave Flaubert

The Atheist’s Heart by Honoré de Balzac

These are short little books, and should take me through July quite nicely, along with Stu who is hosting Spanish Lit Month for which I will be reading One Hundred Years of Solitude with him and others.

Do join us, in one event or both. Summer is made so lovely by these events I look forward to all year.