There is a lightness one feels when walking down the streets of Paris, an elevation of spirit that only this city can instill. But one also always senses the invisible darkness that weaves its way down every promenade and cobblestoned alley. A morbidness that belies the cerebral promise of its beauty. You can easily envision the great artists, writers, poets and hanger-ons of the 19th century chasing the green fairy (and their own demons) at a corner brasserie. And it's easy to imagine the desperation of a society starving for equity while the bourgeois eat gâteau.
The Musee d'Orsay had a spellbinding exhibit on all things umbra: "The Angel of the Odd: Dark Romanticism from Goya to Max Ernst" . Viewing the artwork displayed upclose, all massive canvas and vibrant palette, was one of the highlights of my trip. Below are some of my favourite pieces:
"Dante et Virgile aux Enfers", William Adolphe Bouguereau
"La Mort et la Fossoyeur", Carlos Schwabe
"Le Péché", Franz Von Stuck
"Crane aux Yeux Exorbites", Julien Duvocelle