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Picturing a World

The Pont des Arts

On her first full day in Paris, Jeanette enters her new life by crossing the Pont des Arts, the pedestrian bridge from the Left Bank to the Louvre. Béraud’s Windy Day illustrates the place; and from the first time I saw it, its tone of urbane self-awareness represented for me Jeanette's move into a bigger world. The self-possessed young woman in the foreground is certainly the very image of the chic Parisiénne that Jeanette would love to become. By its angle of view and the wide horizontal spread of pavement, moreover, the picture emphasizes the physical breadth of public spaces in Paris.

Béraud was a great illustrator of Paris life on the boulevards and in modish interiors. Jeanette and I may have been more observers than participants in that fashionable world, but we enjoyed the glimpses we caught. For an array of Béraud's paintings, click here.
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