Sunday Supplement Valentine’s Special – Engaged in Paris
On Valentine’s Day we witnessed the momentous and happy event that was Normy and Normette’s engagement a-top the Eiffel Tower. The tower is, inevitably, a popular place for engagement, and there can be no surprises why – who could resist the views afforded by the tower, across the ultimate city of love, when choosing a place to pop the ultimate question? I myself got engaged in Paris, although our view was from the Butte in Montmartre – for that place means so much to me as an artist, but also afforded us a view of the Eiffel Tower itself, just as it started sparkling on the hour – that way we got the best of both worlds – what a moment it was!
It was in the place of my own engagement (although, significantly, I hadn’t actually popped the question at this time, although you can see that subconsciously, I was intending to) that I set this double portrait which I am featuring in today’s Sunday Supplement in honour of Valentine’s. Painted in 2009, the painting features two friends of mine, Charlotte and Ben, who themselves got engaged upon the Eiffel tower. When they approached me to do a portrait of them for the wedding itself, I couldn’t resist painting them surrounded by the city in which their engagement was sealed, but also in the romantically cobbled surroundings of Montmartre, along with the Tour Eiffel in the background. That way all the charm of Paris is captured, while the place of their engagement is given appropriate prominence in the scene.
The painting, albeit a commission, was a pleasure to create, not least because Paris has always been my spiritual home. The moment I first walked into the Place du Tertre in Montmartre, led their blindfolded by a teacher (on a school trip) who knew instinctively how much I would love it, my heart hit the floor and has remained firmly embedded in those charming cobbles ever since, surrounded by cafes, by artists and the sound of the accordion. It is for this reason that I feel compelled to visit Paris every year, in order to plug myself into my heart and my spiritual being, and likewise why I chose to stage my own engagement in this incredibly special place.
I leave you with the painting, and for those celebrating Valentine’s this weekend wish you a very special celebration.
© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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