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Paris: Pickin Bones and the Thrill of the Hunt

Call me macabre but I find beauty in creepy things, I look for the art in science, and I am fascinated with the natural world. As you’ve seen in past blog posts, I spend some time sketching at the Natural History Museum in New York City and the Bronx Zoo. I grew up loving animals, while observing the cycle of life on the farm and during hunts with my father and Grandfather. Needless to say, I’m not too frightened by bones. On my list of things to see in Paris, of course, was the Catacombs.

Catacombs

It must have been on everyone else’s list too, because it was a two and half hour wait in line overlooking traffic. An artist is never bored however, to pass the time I sketched the lion sculpture in the square near by.

Catacombes lion

Catacombs TKT and Street Art copy

One hundred and thirty steps down we went…

130 steps down to the Catacombs Paris

Cold and creepy…

Paris Catacombs
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 As in…”Slaughter House 5“?…. no this is older than that, fool!

Paris Catacombs

Are they cemented together? No, that one moved when I touched it. Ahhhh, I touched it!

Paris Catacombs

Feeling as though this journey is possibly too long, a sketch is in order.

Catacombs skull Paris

 Ok, time to get out of here, only 83 steps to go up and out.

Paris Catacombs

Back to the land of the living; another sort of thing on my list of places to see in Paris was Deyrolle. Located somewhat near the Musee de Orsay, it’s a cabinet of curiosities full of taxidermy and my very favorite; BUGS! As you know, I have my very own wall of natural history in the studio

Garrott Designs Studio

 After having been refused the purchase of a rather incredible specimen of a Goliath Beetle at a store that didn’t have a license to ship to the US, I was on a mission.

Natural Science Store Paris

Deyrolle is a gorgeous store full of specimens and stuffed exotic animals. A nature lovers museum of curious things.

Deyrolle Paris Window

Deyrolle Paris

Paris Vision

From birds to insects, artistic taxidermy to mummified heads. This place has everything along with books upon books of natural science study.

Bull with butterfly wings
Mummy
preservation process
insects

I did not however, find the Goliath Beetle in the exact way and size of the one I came to wish for. So here is a sketch of the Five honed Rhinoceros Beetle I bought in Japan 2002.

5 horn beetle

Next on our list of stops; a quirky and delightful Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (Museum of Hunting and Nature). The museum is housed in the Hotel de Gueneguad, a private mansion. It’s objects  feature from ancient to contemporary works together, a smashup quirkiness that I aspire to in my own living space.

Hunts Home Paris
museum of the hunt Paris

“WTF?!” the Owl Room

The Owl Room Paris

Don’t ask questions, just back out slowly…

Called ” The Night of Diana” by contemporary Belgian artist Jan Fabre it is covered completely in owl feathers.

Museum of the Hunt Paris

How about this stuffed animal in a jar? Or this cool “liquid metal inverted bust” sculpt. See the face? How very “Terminator 2” meets Beethoven.

Museum of teh Hunt Paris

 I grew up with some good bird dogs as companions so I have a special affection for the “Salon of the Dogs” room. Dogs are just so happy to be dogs, in the worst weather even, they are so eager to hunt up a good chase.

Museum of the Hunt Paris
Museum of the hunt Paris
Museum of the Hunt

 The museum is organized around three themes: weapons, trophies and taxidermied animals as well as artistic representations of wildlife such as paintings, and furniture. Many elements I would be so happy to own in my salon.

Museum of the Hunt
Museum of the hunt
Museum of the Hunt

 

Museum of the Hunt

…Not to mention some of the architectural embellishments, reminiscent of Gaudi, created specifically for this site.

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Though nature may be indifferent, and sometimes down right savage…

The Louvre

it is beautiful, noble and sublime…

Paris
Paris louvre

To have observed it as I have, to render it as I do and to have shared with family, friends and  artists, is a gift. Paris, for many reason, was a thrill to be on the hunt for art, fashion and the creative lifestyle; with friends of like mind. To pause and to sketch is to remember and to know.

Ox Paris