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Can you help identify location of my paris painting?

Can you help identify location of my paris painting?

Apr 14th, 2008, 06:50 AM
  #1  
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Can you help identify location of my paris painting?

My grandmother has had a painting of Paris hanging on her wall my entire life. It was painted by a close artist friend. I don't know the exact date, but I am guessing it was done sometime in the 1960s. The painting is one of the things that put Paris in my mind as a magical, fantastic place, and it really did inspire me to visit one day.

That time is finally here! My husband and I leave next month for our first Paris trip, and I'd love to find the location of the painting. My grandmother has had some very serious health problems recently, and I want to try and find the spot to take my own photo so she can see it for herself. She was never much of a traveler and certainly will not have any travel opportunities any longer, but I know she'd love the opportunity to experience the real life version of her special painting.

I can obviously identify Notre Dame, but I'm not sure from what vantage point this was painted. My grandmother's friend always told her it was a "famous" location for painting Paris, but since I've never been there I don't know where it is!

I took several photos of the painting, including a couple close ups, which you can see here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/?saved=1

Any Paris travelers have any ideas?
msinformation is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 07:01 AM
  #2  
 
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No idea what the name of the street is, but the building flying the French flag would be the Palais de Justice.
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Apr 14th, 2008, 07:01 AM
  #3  
ira
 
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Hi Ms,

It is a painting of Notre Dame, seen (sort of) from the Quai des Grand Augustins.

ira is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 07:29 AM
  #4  
 
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Judging by the photos on www.pagesjaunes.fr, there might have been a bit of artistic licence in the painting of the frontages on to the Quai (or things have changed over the years), but if you were to start walking away from Notre Dame towards Pont Neuf (and look backwards every now and again), you might find the spot.
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Apr 14th, 2008, 07:50 AM
  #5  
 
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The building flying the flag would not be the Palais de Justice because the painting is taken from the west and the Palais de Justice is facing the west facade of Notre Dame, hence it would be in front rather than in the back as in the painting. But I think that the artist took liberties with perspective and the location of buildings. It could also be meant to be the Hotel Dieu hospital.
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Apr 14th, 2008, 08:09 AM
  #6  
tod
 
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I love you grandmothers painting! It reminds me of the painting/drawing style of Lowry - I have a lovely framed print which he painted in 1935.
My guess is the painting of Notre Dame is from a little closer than Quai des Grands Augustins. I reckon the artist was sitting at the Place Du Petit Pont - juncture of Rue Saint Jacques and Quai De Montebello.

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Apr 14th, 2008, 11:09 AM
  #7  
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I'm taking note of all your ideas! I wouldn't be surprised if the painter took artistic license. Hopefully I can at least get the right street or group of streets to compare!

Anyone else have another vote?
msinformation is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 11:24 AM
  #8  
 
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I'd have to agree with Ira, quai des Grands Augustine or maybe even a bit further along at Quai St Michel. The only building I can think of that close-by that might be flying the French flag would be Hotel Dieu
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Apr 14th, 2008, 12:21 PM
  #9  
ira
 
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Hi M,

I think that you should be aware that you have a painting, not a photograph.

I don't think that there is anyplace where you would see that exact view.

ira is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 02:48 PM
  #10  
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Thanks, I suspected as much Ira. My grandmother's friend told her he painted it while in Paris and that it was an exact likeness, but that story has probably lost some accuracy in the intervening years!

I will walk around the areas suggested and see if anything jumps out. If I could even get the same kind of angle of Notre Dame for a photo, it would probably look neat next to the painting.

Thanks everyone.
msinformation is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 02:54 PM
  #11  
 
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And the Quiai des G.A. gets my vote too. Glad that you have a field trip planned to 're-create' the scene and bring back some momento for grandma.
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Apr 14th, 2008, 03:36 PM
  #12  
 
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I have a water color from the same angle.

Start at Quai des Grands Augustins and keep going along Quai Saint Michel and Quai Montebello.

I think this must be closer to Notre Dame, beyond Pont Neuf, because there are no bridges visible in the painting. The corner may be at rue du Petit-Pont.

Charming painting!
djkbooks is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 04:43 PM
  #13  
 
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The building flying the flag is the "prefecture de police", the headquarters of Paris police, near Notre-Dame (though I don't remember having seen two flags flying on it, one at each extremity. But the position of the building is correct and it does fly a flag)

As other posters said, I suspect the view would be from "Place St-Michel", or possibly a little further along the Quai des Grand Augustins.
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Apr 14th, 2008, 04:53 PM
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If the building with the flag is in front, it is the Prefecture. If it is not in front, it is not.
Michael is online now  
Apr 14th, 2008, 06:29 PM
  #15  
 
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clairobscur, where have you been?? I have not seen you on Fodor's for a LONG TIME.

Thingorjus
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Apr 14th, 2008, 07:04 PM
  #16  
 
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msinformation,

What a beautiful post this is. I have no idea where the picture is, but I think your quest will be a great enhancement for your trip.

Paris is lovely. Enjoy every moment!
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Apr 15th, 2008, 08:17 AM
  #17  
tod
 
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msinformation - I am so intrigued by your painting I have asked my husband ( amateur photographer) to make a special pilgrimage to this "site" and try and re-create the setting! We will be in Paris during May - will post our findings!
Regards, Tod.
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Apr 15th, 2008, 08:53 AM
  #18  
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tod, we will be there in May too. Perhaps we will (literally) run into each as we all walk backwards along the Seine.

Once again, thank you to everyone for all your helpful insight. I will try and post what I find when I return!
msinformation is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 09:46 AM
  #19  
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I've been "exploring" via http://www.pagesjaunes.fr and I think you all are spot on about the location. If I had to guess based on the street view online, the painter sat at or just past the Pont Saint-Michel on the Quai Saint-Michel. That point would give you Notre Dame and that other building with the flags at just about the right angle. And if that's the case, the artist made Notre Dame very prominent in the pic and not in scale with the actual distances. (I didn't say he was a world famous painter, haha.)

What a big coincidence that our hotel is just a couple blocks from this spot! Thanks again everyone.
msinformation is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 11:28 AM
  #20  
 
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I expect an interesting "and finally" piece on French TV news about this strange new craze for visiting tourists to walk backwards along the Quai des Grands Augustins..
PatrickLondon is offline  

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