I’m now nearing the end of my time in Paris, so I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on all the amazing trips I’ve been on while I’ve been living in France. All of the trips I’ve made, as part of the program and in my personal time, have been equally exciting and stimulating. Wherever I went, whether it was Brussels, Rome, or Vienna, there was never a shortage of culture, art, or history present in each city. I would have to say, though, that the city of Vienna has left the greatest impression on me, and it there that you can find what is most likely my favorite art gallery I’ve been to in all of Europe.
Inside the Belvedere museum in Vienna is a gallery devoted to many different eras of art, and therefore many different art movements, including surrealism, expressionism, and cubism. One of the painters featured in the gallery, Gustav Klimt, has become perhaps one of my favorite artists, although I must confess that my knowledge of art history and its many great artists is quite limited. It is in the section of the museum dedicated to his works that I saw for the first time his painting entitled “The Kiss.” It is a painting in the Art Nouveau style that depicts two figures cloaked in elaborate robes embracing and literally incorporates silver and gold leaf, which adds a vibrancy and brilliance to the painting that is simply stunning when seen in person.
The experience I had at the Belvedere palace in Vienna was not uncommon during my time in Europe. In Barcelona, for example, I visited Park Guell, a famous creation of Antoni Gaudi, and was amazed at the sight of the intricate and weird architecture of the structures in the park. Some of the structures there, like the bird nests, rise organically from the surrounding natural landscape and therefore seem as if they were creations of nature rather than man.
I must say that I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit so many different places and see such gorgeous and one-of-a-kind works of art first-hand. I realize now that four months is not enough time to explore the museums of Paris, let alone Europe. So, I can’t wait to return to Europe one day and see even more.
Bird nests in Park Guell