I strolled over the Ile St. Louis to the Arab Institute to see the Venise et l’Orient exhibit. I’ve been intrigued by the exotic and inviting poster that’s been on the metro and the streets of Paris in the last few months. I thought a Tuesday in January would be a good off day to go with no crowds. I was wrong - it was busy!
I charged past the huddled masses to view the exhibit in peace. The show is about the artistic and cultural exchanges of the Orient and Venice. It focuses on the fourteenth to seventeenth century with over 250 objects including ceramics, rugs, tapestries, paintings, and glasswork. I loved the rich oil portraits of the men in white turbans. Other highlights were 17th century round ornate sword shields made out of leather and wood embossed with gold, a bold and unusual bronze sculpture of called The Paupe de Bateau from 1238, and the intricate, gorgeous and rich tapestries. I was swept away by the romanticism of the period.
Afterwards I went up to the rooftop café and enjoyed a heaping steaming bowl of cous cous with meatballs, carrots, and turnips. It was a chilly, gray day and the cous cous warmed my cockles.
Venise et l'Orient Exhibit
L'Institut du Monde Arabe
Rue de Fosses Saint-Bernard, 75005
Metro: Cardinal Lemoine
Open 10AM- 6PM, Tuesday-Sunday
Admission: 10 euros
till Feb. 18