Eiffel Tower

Capturing Paris


The beauty of Paris at sunset.

Thomas Kinkade’s Paris Eiffel Tower captures energy and life of the simple yet indescribable beauty of Paris at sunset.

This painting clearly shows a small section of Paris. There are boats sitting in the water, moving towards the bridge. Alongside the glistening body of water is a sidewalk leading into a small section of the town. The ground looks as it is had just rained. Some people are walking towards the cafes, while others are sitting over looking the water. The colors that are used in the painting create the lights that are lighting up the bridge and streets. Because it is sunset, the light from the sky is reflected on the water and streets in addition to the other lights from the town. All the light creates a distinct glow, showing off all the natural beauty that Paris holds.

In the distance is the Eiffel Tower sitting in the skyline, as well as many buildings. The Eiffel Tower sitting in the sky line stands out in the painting because of the soft pastel colors that are used to create the sky and sunset. The tower is above the body of water which is flowing towards the tower. The combination of the water, streets, cafes, and Eiffel Tower mixed with the sunset, all come together to create the beauty that Paris holds that can not be described in words.

Paris is one of the most traveled to cities in the world, which is why the artist wanted to capture energy in his painting. People are always talking, painting and learning about Paris. This painting looks at Paris in a different way than most other paintings that are created. Most artists’ focus on creating paintings of The Eiffel Tower and other famous landmarks in Paris, however; Kinkade went about it in a different way. He focused more of the mood and energy of Paris while adding in the element of The Eiffel Tower. He captured the indescribable beauty of the city by using the bright colors to add a warm feeling of excitement.

The painting takes Paris and emphasizes on its energy through the colors of paints. Bright lights and then sunset are captured with whites and yellows making elements in the painting pop and glisten off of other elements. The water, street, and cafes all pop out because they are bright compared to other parts of the painting such as the people. Because of the lights and darks, the mood is set and distinct elements in the painting become alive. Even by using lighter and more faded colors to capture The Eiffel Tower in the background it draws in the observer. Kinkade wanted to show the life and beauty that Paris offers through light.

Overall, the painting is a great example of the life and beauty that Paris as to offer. Paris is a city that must be seen to understand how beautiful and special it really is, though this picture does to a very good job of capturing its actual beauty and energy.

Kinkade, Thomas. Paris, Eiffel Tower. Digital image. Thomas Kinkade: Painter of the Light. Signature Gallery, n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2013. <http://www.thomaskinkadegallery.com/store/index.php/paris-eiffel-tower-1994.html&gt;

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A Parisian Circus: Romance Meets Modernity

Paris Through the Window, Chagall

Paris Through the Window, 1913. Oil on canvas, 53 9/16 × 55 7/8 in. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Marc Chagall’s Paris Through the Window depicts the duplicity of romance and modernity in Paris during the early 1900s.

This painting of 1913 Paris is described by Jennifer Blessing, a senior curator at the Guggenheim museum, as an ode to Orphic Cubism. It has several layers of images, colors, and objects of interest, lending to the complicated nature of the painting and the possible meanings behind it. In the foreground sits a chair with flowers, a windowpane and windowsill, a cat on the windowsill, and a two-faced man. The next layer holds (among other items) a man and woman floating towards each other, a parachuting man, the Eiffel Tower, and the cityscape. In the final layer lies a color-blocked sky, a technique that in fact exists in every aspect of the painting and increases its complexity and chaos.

The forms that immediately capture the eye include the two-faced man, the cat, the window, the Eiffel Tower, and the color-block scheme. Perhaps it is these items that Chagall wanted the viewer to notice first, as they all fit into an expected depiction of Paris yet surely hold a weight with the overall message of the piece. As soon you look past these items, however, the odd intricacies of the painting come to life—the parachuting man, the floating couple, the flowers, the trolley, and the cityscape. Although they are not as central to the picture as the bigger, more noticeable items, they nevertheless contribute to the overall sense of romance and modernity.

To initially understand this painting, one must recognize the point of view from which it was painted. The window suggests a subjective point of view, that Chagall himself is the source. From that one can deduce that the rest of the items serve as representations of his life and his view of Paris at this time. Blessing suggests that the two-faced man could be a manifestation of Chagall himself looking back at his native Russia as well as forward to his new home in Paris. With the blue face turned west, one could believe that he is looking at Paris with apprehension—possibly because of what he is seeing outside his window. This man could also represent the tension between and conjoining of romance and modernity in 1913 Paris.

The painting further suggests this duplicity with other items. The cat, for instance, has a human-like face, which could recall romantic loneliness and wonder as well as human encroachment on nature. The parachuting man can be contrasted with the couple floating over a cloud-like haze, as the first depicts the modern invention of flight while the other conveys a soft sense of romance often connected with Paris. The Eiffel Tower is a sincere tribute to modernity, and can be contrasted with the simple yet beautiful setting inside the window (which includes the flowers in the chair that occupy the same upright position as the Tower). Finally, the cityscape can be set against the color blocking of the entire piece, as both are geometrically defined. However, the first depicts a modern uprising while the latter suggests an easy, fun, romantic view of Paris.

Chagall uses color blocking and objects to draw the viewer’s attention to the duality of romance and modernity in 1900s Paris.

Chagall, Marc. Paris Through the Window. 1913. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Guggenheim. Web. 18 Sept. 2013.
Blessing, Jennifer. “Marc Chagall.” Guggenheim. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2013.

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A Parisian Circus: Romance Meets Modernity by Claire Fyvolent is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.