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Picturing a World

Place du Carrousel

On their first visit to the Louvre, Jeanette and Effie enter the Place du Carrousel and see a wide cobbled plaza, birds, red trousers of Zouaves in the distance, the ruins of the burned-out Tuileries Palace, and the statue of Victory atop the triumphal Arc du Carrousel. It's all in this painting.

And notice where the light falls! Victory becomes an emblem in Jeanette's mind for her artistic ambitions, while echoes of the American Civil War and Franco-Prussian War (which led to the burning of the Tuileries palace) haunt the older characters.

Other details in the painting had meaning for me. The couple with a handcart came to symbolize working Paris to me. A dog on the loose was a motif that scarcely made it into the novel, but could have. And even though Cousin Effie would not be heavily veiled nor Jeanette dressed in chic black, I loved having the two ladies in the picture.

If you click on the painting, be sure to ask for a higher resolution at the WikiPaintings site. And please comment on any details you notice whether they are related to the novel or not.
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