The Sinking House of Paris is, for me, one of three striking Parisian images that have entered, through reading and photography, my imagination.
We approached Montmartre with our eyes saturated with images of the Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur, of its ivory, gentle domes, of its unsullied, milky stone, miraculously whitened by time, not grayed.
We approached Montmartre expecting, and finding, a Parisian village within a metropolis city. Narrow, cobblestone streets steeping up. Tiny terraces with lilliputian coffee shops, surely painted by an artist, sprinkled left and right. Long stairways spilling into alleys, creating intimate squares.
Everything here is art.
But up must we hike. Past shielding trees, past chic homes, past quaint light-poles. Upward we put step after step. Has Picasso painted here? Are we literally stepping on Renoir’s footsteps? Degas? Utrillo? Always climbing.
She is waiting for us. The church. The view of Paris. And something else.
The sinking house of Paris.
Are the hills of Montmartre and the constant up-climb meant to prepare us, emotionally, for the spiritual beauty awaiting at the top?
It was Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, a 19th century Irish novelist, who wrote in one of her books: ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’.
But so it is true that beauty can be found everywhere, as long as we are prepared for it. To look for it. To see it.
The Sinking House of Paris can be spotted on your right hand side as you climb the final steps towards le Sacré-Cœur. You cannot miss its white and brick facade and rows of chimneys on the roof.
Happy to join Becky’s Square – Perspective blog feature 🙂
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