Bonjour! This week’s carte postale features “La liseuse” (The Reader) by French painter, Jean-Jacques Henner (1829-1905).
Apart from the beautiful image of a woman reading in the nude, the model’s bright red hair caught my eye as I spotted the linen postcard at a local antique shop.
The caption on the back of the undated postcard seems to indicate that it was printed in 1981 or prior since the original painting was part of the Louvre’s collection from 1909-1981. Until 2016, the oil-on-canvas painting was at the Musée d’Orsay.
Speaking of Musée d’Orsay, its current director, Laurence des Cars was recently appointed as the new president-director of the Louvre beginning September 2021 — the first time it will be headed by a woman!
Over the years, I have accumulated hundreds of postcards from around the world, which I’ve either purchased from my local antique shops or received from thoughtful jet-setting family and friends who know I collect them. When I travel, I also like to send myself a carte postale just for fun!
I hope these postcards will make you want to revisit a favorite vacation spot or to embark on a journey to the destination of your dreams (when it’s safe to travel freely again, of course!)
Andif you’ve been to the Musée d’Orsay and/or the Louvre, tell me about your experience there – I’d love to hear from you.
Bonjour! This week’s carte postale features a watercolor rendering of the Pont Alexandre III in Paris.
During my first visit to Paris in the summer of 1995, I recall taking a break at a food stand located near the base of the Eiffel Tower. I ordered a saucisson-beurre baguette and an Orangina.
As I ate, I examined the handful of Paris postcards I had just bought from nearby vendors. The food stand owner noticed and asked me where I was from. “California,” I told him.
With raised eyebrows, he pointed to a Los Angeles postcard that was taped near the cash register. I shook my head and said, “I’m closer to San Francisco.” He then gave me his business card and asked me if I could send him a postcard from San Francisco.
A man after my own heart! As a fellow collector of postcards, I was naturally happy to oblige.
Shortly after New Year’s, I was pleasantly surprised to receive this beautiful postcard from him featuring the Pont Alexandre III and the Eiffel Tower. It was so thoughtful!
Pont Alexandre III
The bridge was built for the World Fair that was held in Paris in 1900
It was named after the Russian Tsar, Alexander III by the French government to celebrate Russian-French alliance
It connects Les Invalides on the Left Bank of the Seine River to the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais on the Right Bank
With its cherubs, winged horses, lamps, and pillars topped with gilded sculptures, the Pont Alexandre III is considered one of the most beautiful bridges in Paris