Sunday, September 12, 2010

Versailles and Japanese Anime Art

A few disclaimers before we begin -

1.  I like art

2.  I visit art museums - on purpose and sometimes I drag my kids along

3.  I do enjoy some modern art - quirky, colorful, interesting stuff

Got it?  OK, let's go....

When one visits Versailles,  this is what one expects - crystal chandeliers, classical paintings, and alot of gold.  For most people this is a once in a lifetime visit to the palace of French royalty.

One does not go to Versailles to see Japanese anime art.

As I entered the state apartments, the king and queen's bedrooms and the hall of mirrors, that is precisely what I saw.  If the sculpture was on the smaller size and the room fairly large, one could avoid the clash of classical and modern.  In some cases though, the piece was large and the room small (for Versailles standards - no room is truly small) and the anime was unavoidable.  In a couple of cases it was impossible to view artwork original to the palace because it was obstructed by a large anime sculpture.

For a while I did my best to ignore the anime art (as it was not what I came to see) and photographed rooms and views of Versailles.  Upon arriving in the war room, I gave up. Not because the sculpture was large, but because it was so incongruous.  To give you an idea of scale, this chick is life sized.

The first photo was taken in the hall of mirrors.  This one was taken in the hall of mirrors as well.   It was sitting at one end of the hall.  For a more complete look at all the art being exhibited, you can click here.

If this had been an exhibit at an art museum, I would have probably gone and taken the kids.  The sculptures were interesting.  They were colorful and cute.  Some pieces looked like anime cartoon characters, some were mushrooms and some were abstract but all were interesting to look at.

This was not what I went to Versailles to see.  I'm pleased that in most cases I could ignore it.  The woman who organized our bus trip said that last time she was at Versailles, the hall of mirrors was filled with an art installation of shiny silver mylar balloons.  They could not be ignored.

I suppose this is a way of exposing people to many kinds of art. I guess if it must be done, I'd rather it be limited to one or two rooms instead, particularly for the majority of tourists who will see Versailles only once.

Perhaps you have other thoughts and opinions, I'm still sorting out how I feel about this and wondering what will be there when I visit with Allen and Kyra....

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