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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Montpellier

I Continue From Here 

Backpacking France & Spain: Day 12 (17-Dec-2017)

Les impressionistes

This day was dedicated to explore Montpellier. Since I had stepped out early, I picked a small café at Place de la Comédie and enjoyed a cup of tea and croissant. I decided to start a sketch based on the citadel of Carcassonne that I had visited the previous day. 




The city was slowly waking up. It is interesting to notice that I did not even know what day it was. It was a Sunday after all and things of course seemed very lazy out there. 





I walked to Notre Dame des tables de Montpellier. The church was getting ready for the Sunday mass. 



I then made my way to the Musée Fabre. I was totally impressed by this art museum. They have some amazing collection. From Romanticism to Realism and Neoclassicism and of course a good collection of Modern art. I was particularly impressed by their impressionist paintings. There was also a painting by Monet in the room. I could spend hours here watching the master pieces. There was a small collection of contemporary art that had fewer admirers. I know that every art movement was rejected when it was first introduced. So it was the case with Impressionism which was widely rejected by the viewers when it was first exhibited by Monet and his colleagues. However, the difference is that while the other movements of modern art were presenting a new perspective they also maintained a visual appeal. Some contemporary art to me are not even visually attractive. I feel that a visual appeal should be the first  step. The concept and idea of course will follow. Anyways, I guess time would only decide the fate of contemporary art. 







Art is found everywhere in France. For example on the exterior of this building. Art indeed is an integral part of this country and its culture. 


I walked to Porte du Peyrou and to the place royale du Peyrou where a market selling antique items was set. At a food truck, I had veg burger for lunch.









It is interesting to see street musicians perform at the plazas. I am always astonished by the amount of talent that exists in this part of the world. 




While walking past the shops, I came across a small souvenir shop. The shopkeeper was a middle aged Iranian man. He was quiet impressed by my French and asked more about me. Upon learning that I was traveling here, he insisted that I speak more in French so that I could improve further my knowledge of the language. He told me that he had come here 35 years ago for education and later found it difficult to find a job so, he setup this shop. "Voila mon histoire", "So that is my story", he said summarising his entire life in few sentences. He asked me if I would like to share a cup of coffee with him. I agreed and he walked up the attic to prepare some coffee for us. It was a kind gesture. I chatted with him for a while before leaving the shop. Of course, I did buy some fridge magnets from there. 


I returned to the hostel and worked some more on the sketch. I also prepared some ready to eat flavoured rice for Valério and me. 





Vélario is also practicing calligraphy and he showed me some of his work. (In the above picture, you can see some drawn by him on the table) He has created his own font. I showed him some of my paintings and he liked my starry nights series. He noticed that I had developed a style for myself while he was still in search of one. It was interesting to see different sides of this talented man. He got some wine. I was not in the mood but tasted a little to give him company. My cold was getting bad and I still felt sick. A long day of journey awaited me.

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