Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Chez Casimir and the Church of Saint-Vincent du Paul

Our hostess recommended that we have late lunch or early dinner at Chez Cashimir, a wonderful restaurant in her neighborhood close to Church of Saint-Vincent du Paul. First we stopped at the Cafe for an early dinner and drinks. No one was there - we had the entire place to ourselves. We ordered the stuffed cabbage and white fish with mashed potatoes off the chalkboard menu that the waiter brought to our table. The food blew us away. Buttery, creamy fish and potatoes. Spicy cabbage. Best meal in Paris so far. After the dinner, we walked across the street to the church. Ghost town. No one was there. We wandered around the church admiring the artistry of the sculptures and the paintings.

"Above the portico (borrowed from those of Greek temples) is a pediment sculpted by Charles-François Lebœuf-Nanteuil on the subject of "The Apotheosis of Saint Vincent-de-Paul": the saint is glorified, surrounded by figures symbolising his saintly actions— a missionary, a galley slave, and some Daughters of Charity devoting themselves to children or to healing the sick. Inside, the painted frieze of 1848-53 around the nave (between the two levels of columns) is by Hippolyte Flandrin, and shows 160 male and female saints advancing towards the sanctuary. The decoration of the Lady Chapel, in the apse added later at the back, is by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1885-89). The Calvary shown on the main altar is by François Rude."**

I was particularly fascinated by the paintings of the male and female saints - such detail and color. This church was by far my favorite in Paris.