Saturday, February 26, 2011

Through These Portals Pass

Doorways seem to be a big favorite for travel photographers.  Is it the visuals themselves or the imaginings of what's happening within that most enchants?  My guess it's probably a little of both.  Since so many other people are busy sharing their doorway pics, and because it's hard to capture a door in Paris without the image of a parked car directly in front of it, I've shied away from taking too many myself.  And as much as I liked this doorway with its spectacular caryatids (somewhat spoiled by their no parking signs), I realize now that it's a bit crooked.

No matter.  There's something that makes this doorway, somewhere on an obscure street in the 16th arrondissement, noteworthy.  Take a look at what's been carved directly over the door itself:

The inscription reads:

Lasse des vains espoirs et des bruits de la terreHeureuse d'oublier, l'une a fermé les yeux....
A son premier matin, sans effroi du mystère,
L'autre aspire à la vie en souriant au cieux !

Translated, we learn that this means:

Tired of false hopes and the sounds of the earth
Happy to forget, one has closed its eyes.
On his first morning without fear of mystery,
The other aspires to life, smiling in heaven!

A little sleuthing determined that the architect of this residence was Paul Sédille best known for his work on the Printemps department store.  As for the author of the verse or its significance at this location, I haven't got a clue.

1 comment:

Starman said...

It doesn't matter that your photo is a little off balance (most of mine come out that way), the doorways in Europe are so fancy and intricate, they demand to be photographed.

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