C'est si bon!

Bonjour à tous! Je suis Vanessa, étudiante de 20 ans en France pour le moment. Je viens de Pékin, mais j'étudie à la fac à Chicago.

Hello! My name is Vanessa, a 20-year-old student in France for the moment. I come from Beijing, but I go to college in Chicago.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Art intern perks: a night of crystal

Bonjour à tous!

So last week, my boss casually passed me an invitation - "It's to the private premiere of an exhibition on crystal at Petit Palais," she said, "I can't go that night, so there, if you want it."

I honestly could not believe my ears. What! A private premier (vernissage)! At Petit Palais! On an exhibition about crystal!

And so quite obviously, there I was, at the front gates of the Petit Palais under the huge poster for the exhibition "Baccarat: la légende du cristal." Needless to say, I was positively floored by the exhibition. As I walked through the dimly lit exhibition hall, maneuvering my way through the shiny glass-cased displays of glittering crystal everything - from all kinds of flasks to perfume bottles to entire vanity tables made of crystal and gold - all my brain was capable of thinking was, "holy cow, how does something this magnificent exist on Earth!"

The dark exhibition halls made the crystals shine even brighter, stunning everyone, reflecting in all visitor's awed eyes. One of my favorite sections of the exhibition was a dining table decked out with crystal dinnerwares in the way the French royals used to take their meals. The most genius part was the mirrors placed at both ends of the table, turning the average-sized table into an endless banquet. The crystals glowed so much I was scared that they were going to set themselves on fire. Staring at this extravagant fare, I almost heard the lighthearted laughs from hundreds of years ago, the leftover scent of the women's perfume, the men's talks about hunting and politics, and the whispers of royal gossip among soft clinking of crystal champagne flasks.

The climax, however, was well tucked away in an obscure room near the exit of the exhibition. I almost missed it - if that was the case, I would have only had more or less half the marvel I actually had. 

The room is very dark, almost pitch black, save for the brief moments each of the handful of chandeliers lights up. They are such breathtaking objects that I wouldn't be surprised if someone told me that they had souls in that moment. The room was moving, to say the least. It was simply too beautiful to be real. The reflective floor made me feel like I was floating somewhere midair, and all around me was magic. In the almost sacred silence, all I could see and feel is the light, the heat, the shine, the dying down of the everything, and the rebirth of another round of light, heat... If I held my breath, I could almost hear the sound of the light coming and going, illuminating every tiny piece of exquisite crystal. 

To everyone who is currently in Paris or coming to Paris this winter, I recommend this exhibition with all my heart. It is truly a work of genius, a sight of pure wonder. As I'm typing, I can feel my heart swell with that awe again.

Vanessa :]

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