Sunday, September 22, 1889

Sunday Sept. 22nd.

This morning came the first rain we have had in Paris, so we studied and read aloud all the morning, concerning the old Masters and directly after breakfast (12 o’clock) we went to the Louvre to find what we had been studying about. We found the Rubens room and a series of magnificent pictures representing the marriage of Henry 1V with Mary DeMedici. They are about 30 feet high by 20 feet in width and 15 in number. The first one represents Angels suspended in mid air weaving the thread of Mary’s life; the second her birth and the third her education; fourth Henry’s first view of Mary’s picture, and the rapture and surprise in his face and attitude; fifth, marriage, sixth birth of Louis XV; seventh, Louis giving the crown to his mother; eighth her coronation; ninth, the tyranny of her reign, luxury of the nobles and misery of the people She stands colossal and imperious holding a rake; tenth, quarrel with her son and so on to the end when she and her son become reconciled. We hunted up all the Titians,Leonardo-de-Vinci’s, Raphael’s and Murillo’s. We admired especially two fine ones of the latter; the”Birth of the Virgin”and the”Conception of the Virgin.”

We spent all the afternoon until four o’clock when the uniformed men with cocked hats came through the rooms crying “Alle; Alle”, which means go out, and the thousands began pouring forth. The earth and sky were fresh from the rain, the sun shining, so we walk ed all the way through the garden of the Tuilleries. We sat down, and watched the fountains playing, and the trees and flowers, it seemed like heaven. What must it have been when the sovereigns of France wandered up and down where we were sitting. The lower part of the garden is noww given up for a public play ground, a mass of shade [Ed. Note: “shade” is added below “of”] with no grass, clear white gravelled earth, every now and then statues and fountains and filled with chairs in fron of a grand stand where a band was playing. Girls and boys were playing ball, nurses by the score with their babies and a kind of general resort for rich and poor alike. We walked through to the Place,del-Concord. An immense square in the center of which is “Cleopatra’s needle”, brought from Egypt and entirely covered with hyrogliphics. Twelve immense pieces of marble statuary on huge bases surround this place and the marble fountains. The Champs Elysee goes directly out from this to the Bois-de-Bologne. This evening we sang hymns from Moody and Sanky, the only American thing I have heard in Paris

[Here is a blog post analyzing the Medici Cycle, focusing on “The Presentation of Her Portrait to Henry IV,” which Addie discussed as well. Here is the Louvre‘s own English-language page on one of the paintings in the Medici Cycle, “The Apotheosis of Henri IV and the Proclamation of the Regency of Marie de Médicis.” The other sites note that the cycle actually consisted of 24 paintings, not 15 as Addie noted in her diary. The discrepancy may be because Addie seems to have been writing about the paintings in one specific room at the Louvre.]

[Three Egyptian obelisks all known colloquially as “Cleopatra’s needle” were re-erected in major ‘Western’ cities over the course of the the 19th century, one each in in Paris, London, and New York City. All three still stand today. The one in Paris, originally from Luxor in Egypt, was erected at Place de la Concorde in 1833 after being presented by viceroy of Egypt, Mehemet Ali, to King Louis-Philippe of France in 1829. The delay between gifting and placement of the obelisk now at Paris shows how expensive and difficult it was to move a huge granite obelisk at the time, though the London obelisk’s gap time was more marked, taking nearly 60 years to go from gifting to its new placement. An old engraving of the London Cleopatra’s needle can be seen at this blog post by the Bodleian Library, along with a 19th century song that may have been inspired by the London obelisk’s arrival. After several minutes of searching I was unable to successfully locate a definitively-19th-century photograph or postcard of the Paris obelisk, so I stopped looking for now.]

[Moody and Sankey (not “Sanky” as spelled by Addie) were an American duo who wrote and performed gospel hymns, touring around the United States and United Kingdom performing them. Sankey also wrote many hymns alone and with other collaborators and is estimated to have written approximately 1,200 songs total, many of them hymns. He had served in the U. S. Civil War, as had Addie’s husband. Moody and Sankey were at a revival meeting in Chicago when the Chicago Great Fire occurred in 1871, killing many of the people who were attending it, and Sankey is said to have watched the city burn down from a rowboat on the lake; this experience seems to have profoundly changed Sankey’s life. A biography of Sankey and links to some of his hymns (many including auto-playing music) can be found here. A video featuring Dave Willets’s portrayal of Sankey and a medley of some Moody and Sankey hymns is on YouTube.]

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