Paris, Place du Panthéon, Color Images

December 23, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Central Domes of the Panthéon. The four pendentives are decorated with paintings by François Gérard depicting Glory, Death, The Nation, and Justice.
16 mm, 1/200 sec (HDR), f/5.6, ISO 400 (Sony a6500 with 16-50 kit lens)

We ended our 2019 trip to Spain and France with 3 nights in Paris which is not nearly enough time to spend there. But we recognized that going in and tried not to overplan our itinerary for the two full days we had in the city. The only definite spots on our list were Sainte-Chapelle and Versailles-and we had to add the Eiffel Tower at the last minute when our 9-year old daughter told us how she could not wait to see it while we were on the train to Paris!

On our first day of sight-seeing, we started the day at Sainte-Chapelle, then walked over to Notre Dame which unfortunately was closed after the fire. We had lunch in the Latin Quarter then decided to visit the Panthéon. I had never even heard of the building, but it was listed on our museum pass and was within walking distance, so off we went. It turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip for me, especially because we were not able to visit Notre Dame and I've always wanted to see the great cathedrals of Europe.

La Convention nationale by Sicard, ca. 1924, shows Marianne, the goddess of Liberty and symbol of the French Republic, surrounded by soldiers of 1st French Republic and other revolutionary parliamentarians. Apsidal chapel of the Panthéon.
23 mm, 1/160 sec (HDR), f/5.6, ISO 400 (Sony a6500 with 16-50 kit lens)

If you're not familiar with it, the Panthéon is a French national monument, "the temple of the French nation." It was commissioned by Louis XV as a suitable replacement for the crumbling Abbey of Saint Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris, but it was not completed until the eve of the French Revolution and so it became a temple for Great Men. Over the years, the building has alternated between religious and secular dedications, but since Victor Hugo was interred there after his death in 1885 it has been the resting place for many French notables including Voltaire, Marie Curie, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Alexandre Dumas, and René Descartes.


Front Facade of the Pantheon
4.44 mm (27mm equiv.), 1/2300 sec, f/1.8, ISO 57 (Google Pixel 3a Raw)

Aux Heros Morts Inconnus (To the Unknown Dead Heroes) by Louis-Henri Bouchard, South Transept of the Panthéon (The girl in this photo is my daughter.)
16 mm, 1/200 sec (HDR), f/5.6, ISO 400 (Sony a6500 with 16-50 kit lens)

I originally thought that I would edit most of the images from the Panthéon would be edited as black and whites, but as I began to work with them, I realized that the colors were incredible contrasted against the white stone of the structure. So I've decided to split the images and present them separately for color and black and white.

Christ Showing the Angel of France the Destiny of Her People, mosaic by Antoine-Auguste-Ernest Héberta under the vault of the apsidal chapel.
35 mm, 1/160 sec (HDR), f/5.6, ISO 400 (Sony a6500 with 16-50 kit lens)

The dome is actually three domes, fitting within each other. The first, lowest dome, has a coffered ceiling with rosettes, and is open in the center to reveal the second dome decorated with the fresco by Antoine Gros. The third dome is the exterior dome.

The Apotheosis of Saint Genevieve by Antoine Gros depicts Genevieve being conducted to heaven by angels, in the presence of great leaders of France, from Clovis I and Charlemagne to Napoleon and the Empress Josephine.
16 mm, 1/200 sec (HDR), f/5.6, ISO 400 (Sony a6500 with 16-50 kit lens)

The Panthéon was the original site of Foucault’s pendulum, a 67-meter (220 feet) pendulum suspended beneath the central dome, used by physicist Léon Foucault to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth in 1851. The pendulum on display is a copy of the original.


Replica of Foucault’s Pendulum
16 mm, 1/200 sec (HDR), f/5.6, ISO 400 (Sony a6500 with 16-50 kit lens)
 


Protection of Paris Under Siege by the Huns by Jean-Paul Laurens, one of the paintings depicting the life of St. Geneviève that cover the walls of the nave. (My wife and daughter are walking by in this photo.)
16 mm, 1/13 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 (Sony a6500 with 16-50 kit lens)

 


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