Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Childe Hassam Visits Paris - Red Shoes, Green Shoes

Seeing the ballet shoes in yesterday's post inspired me to find this image of Childe Hassam's wife, Maude Hassam, having a petit dejeuner in the Hôtel de l'Empire, a moderately-priced thirty-room hotel in Paris, France. Centrally located in Paris it catered to an American clientele. Hassam was on his fourth trip to Europe; it had begun in June 1910. He and Maude had travelled through England, the Netherlands and on into Belgium before arriving in Paris by the second week in July. The city, the artist wrote to his friend J. Alden Weir, was "a huge Coney Island-noisy, dirty." Cleanliness aside, the Hassams' room seems quite lovely. We see the blue-white patterns of the interior of the bed, the red tones of the outer canopy and the vivid green-orange texture of the room's wallpaper. Looking in the mirror on the left, it does seem the room is not too very large. Their night clothes are on the chair in the foreground. Black dress shoes are at the foot of the bed. And for me the most memorable item -- red slippers. Click those slipper/shoes and get transported back to New York.

Admittedly these green pumps are part of the 21st century but they and their owner who was sitting in Manhattan's Bryant Park would have likely drawn the attention of Childe Hassam.

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