If you take a road trip on Highway 1 along the coast of California during the holidays, you may want to stop in the Carmel shops when you go to the Central Coast . The holiday season in Carmel has Paris as a theme. One of the many art galleries near Mission and 6th Street is showing some original Impressionist paintings from Paris. One painting that I took some pictures of is by Luigi Loir. On closer inspection, I saw that Luigi Loir was also in the military as a National Guard soldier in Paris during the Siege of 1870-1871. His painting is huge at approximately 5 ft. high and 8 feet long; maybe bigger. You can sit on some antique furniture beneath the painting upholstered in fine silks and brocades.
Some biographical notes about Luigi Loir (1845-1916)
An artist of undeniable ability and powers of observation, Luigi Loir would become one of the foremost painters of views of Paris. His early popularity was gained with his commissions to paint murals and ceilings, including many at the Chateaux du Diable in 1866, a year after he debuted at the Paris Salon to high acclaim. His early studies were with Jean Amable Amedee Pastelot, focused on mural work, with blended landscapes and fauna.
His presentations often found humans as the forward subject matter, but with great panoramic distances following long throughways carrying as far as one could see in real life. Nice architectural details come forth in many works, and always the individual approach to his sense of light that makes the radiant skies of France come to cool life. He was among the very first artists to glamorize the urban lifestyle of the late 19th Century.
Loir’s primary patrons proved to be the museums of France and the City of Paris. Through a direct military assignment in 1870, he created visual images of the battles, but also of the many faces of the people of Paris, which earned him the designation as the official painter of the Boulevards. Twenty-eight years later he would earn the country’s Legion of Honor award for his lifetime of dedication and outstanding art.
The weather in December and January in Carmel is cool, but still sunny, so walking through the quaint streets and window shopping are pleasant to experience. Carmel is a “dog friendly” place, and most shop keepers put water dishes out for the many strollers that walk their exotic breeds of dogs. From miniature Poodles to large Afghan Hounds, you will find people showing off their dogs that they have so much pride in.
If you are looking for authentic French cooking, there is no shortage of French restaurants in Carmel. If you are a collector of authentic and expensive art, then Carmel is the place for you.
Most of the homes in Carmel are works of art as well. The masonry and other kinds of Old World architecture can be found on every small winding street as you make your way down to partake in the gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean at Carmel beach.
You will not want to leave the place without a special signature bag from one of the unique shops, which are works of art in their own right. You may feel as if you are in Paris during another time without having to purchase a passport and plane ticket.
So enjoy the same quaintness and artistic uniqueness of Paris in winter without the cold weather. It's no small wonder that real estate in Carmel is out of this world.
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