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Haddon Hall - A Glorious Country Manor House

Visiting historic houses is one of my favorite things to do in England and Derbyshire is a county that  offers an  extraordinary triumvirate of sites; Hardwick's Elizabethan glamour, the palatial splendors of Chatsworth and Haddon Hall, described by Simon Jenkins as "the most perfect English house to survive from the Middle Ages."  The joy of a visit to Derbyshire is that in visiting all three you can see the English country house through a variety of lenses and periods. 
In his definitive tome, England's1000 Best Houses Jenkins goes on to say of Haddon, "It has none of Hardwick's promiscuity or Chatsworth's bombast. It has not changed because it never needed to change". 
Indeed the house has remains in the hands of the Manners family since 1563 and is currently occupied by the Duke of Rutland's brother and his family. As they say on the website it has avoided, " fire; warfare;  family misfortune and changing fashions" and as such provid…

The Wonderful Pompidou, Paris


I visited Paris for the first time in the early 1980s when I was thirteen. One of my abiding memories of the trip was a visit to the  Pompidou. Known locally as the Beaubourg (after the surrounding neighborhood) its  formal name is the Centre National Art et de Culture George Pompidou. I still remember standing in front of a Braque painting while someone pointed out various incongruous elements including a guitar. I was mesmerized by the building, the collection and what I had been introduced to.

So, here's an assortment of what struck my eye on a recent stroll through the Pompidou. All of these photos are taken from the fantastic permanent exhibit,  Modern Art 1905-1960 which you'll find  on the fourth floor. There's a short discussion of the new layout at Artdaily.com. I'll have to go back another time to get some pictures of the Contemporary Art exhibits on the third floor.

The 1918 work below, Explosion Lyrique No. 2 is by Alberto Magnelli.
I particularly love these two pieces in the second room of the exhibit.
There are a number of works by Picasso (see below) though the largest collection of his art can be seen at the Picasso Museum in the Marais; that is if they ever finish the renovation which seems to be going on and on.
The collection includes diverse portraits including the Harlequin above and many others including these below. 

La Muse, from 1935 - 


and later work such as Le Printemps 20/03/1956, below.


There is a variety of works by Matisse throughout the exhibit. I love the portrait below; the color, texture and forceful lines express such strength and confidence.

There are a large number of works by both Sonia and Robert Delaunay, including her 1914 Prismes Electriques below.
This 1912 work below is by Kupka it's entitled Compliment.
Throughout the exhibits there are wonderful pairings of sculpture, painting and film, as you can see with Giacometti's works below... 

Leger  is among  my favorites and  his work is wonderfully displayed in a room with  Brancusi's sculpture below.
There is an entire room of Rouaults (below) as well as a wonderful collection of Dubuffets which I've mentioned elsewhere.
The new layout includes thematic rooms including the one below on Biomorphism. The large piece on the wall is of course Matisse.
Balthus is always interesting and disturbing even when the naked female isn't a child.
I wasn't able to get a good photograph of the wall displaying items from Andre Breton's workshop but this is one of the most fascinating installations in the museum and speaks directly to the myriad of influences on an artist's work. Like the museum itself it's an important stop for anyone interested in the history of modern art. The triptych below is a great representation of the scale, force and energy of Francis Bacon's work.
I love discovering the work of artists I don't know. I particularly liked this 1939 painting, Au Cycliste by Jean Helion (below) which reminds me of the yellow Leger at the top of the post.
I hope you go and enjoy it all.

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