Europe 2018 - Part Three

Our first day trip was to LUXEMBOURG for the streeta(rt)nimation festival - "arts de la rue." Not buskers, mostly, but street performers; performance art.

Fabulous Fish

Jonn Happi
The Grannies

That's about all there was in Luxembourg of interest to us.

Then to DINANT, birthplace of Adolf Sax, inventor of the Saxophone.  Oh, there were plenty of saxes, but not much else:

In CHARLEROI, we went to the Palais des Beaux Arts. Both an art museum and a concert hall, it seems to be more of the later than the former. Above the entry to the concert hall is a set/series of small sculptures that may be by Ossip Zadkine.

Inside is an interesting collection of paintings:

Hiercheuse descendant à la fosse by Constantin Meunier
L'Annonciation by Paul Delvaux, 1955
Masques by James Ensor, c 1876
 Portrait de jeune nord-africaine by Jean-Francois Portaels, 1874
Les rivageuses a Dampremy by Georges Brasseur, c 1923-26

But it was the examples by René Magritte that stood out:

Baigneusse by René Magritte, 1925
L'empire de la relexion by René Magritte, 1938
La liberte de l'esprit by René Magritte
 A mon poete wallon by René Magritte, 1919
 Portrait of Pierre Bourgeois by René Magritte, 1920

Here are a few more pics from Charleroi:

Au Pigeon Soldat by Alphonse Darville, 1951
Lucky Luke
Notre Dame Cafe murals by Boulmant and Bousin, 1953
 Queen Astrid by Victor Demanet, 1935

We did some hiking through the beautiful Belgian countryside while looking for sculptures which were part of Les Sentiers d'Art. Begun two years ago with a 38 km route featuring fifteen artworks that adopted natural materials, mostly site-oriented in the western part of the district called "Condroz-Famenne."  This year they added 44 km and ten more works and are planning more for 2019. We did not hike the whole route, but were able to see almost all of them by parking our car nearby and hoofing it to the sculptures' sites.

Nids by Valerie and Thierry Teneul, 2018
L'Artbri Cubique by Isabelle Aubry and Pierre Guilloteau, 2018
Bourgeons by Jonathan Bernard, 2018
 Into the Open by Roger Rigorth, 2018

DURBUY claims to be the "Smallest City in the World" but I seriously doubt it, as there were so many stone buildings filled with restaurants and shops.

There was also the Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain de Durbuy which was small and had only one show featuring two locally-connected artists.

 Reine de la nuit by Gilbert Laloux, 2014
 La Chaise Dieu by Marcel Lucas, 2005

LIÉGE is an interesting city. Split by the River Meuse, it is the birthplace of Charlemagne, the Boulette (a large meatball featuring Sirop de Liège), and a superior waffle to the Brussels-style.

We began in what was supposed to be a sculpture park (musée de plein air), but discovered that they only had three pieces.  We could only find two.

L'angle vert by Freddy Wybanx, 1967
 La Joie de Vivre by Rik Woulters

Beautiful work around the city:

La Boverie is a modern art museum located on the southern end of the island in the middle of the Meuse. It began as a modern art museum which merged with the fine art museum which then merged with the local museum, all the while occupying the building at the tip of the island which was originally the fine arts building for the 1905 International Exposition.

Guadeloupe by Auguste Mambour, 1924
La Parisienne japonaise by Alfred Stevens, c 1872-74
 Femme au corset rouge by Adren de Witte, 1880
Tete de jeune femme by André Derain, 1934.
Tête de femme by Maurice Marinot, 1905
L'univers interdit by René Magritte, 1943.
L'homme de la rue by Paul Delvaux, 1940
La Violoniste by Kees van Dongen, c 1920
Portrait de jeune fille by Marie Laurencin, 1924
 Le Dejeuner by Jules Pascin, 1923
L'incantation by Félicien Rops, c 1878

There was also a show of work by Fernand Flausch:

Clic Clic by Fernand Flausch, 2012
T'es qui toi by Fernand Flausch, 2012
 Le Repos by Fernand Flausch, 2009
Here are scenes from around the city:

train station by Santiago Calatrava

In other non-Art related adventures, we spent a day at the 35th Journée des Confréries at the Maredsous Abbaye near DENEE, northwest of Dinant. There were nearly a hundred gastronomic brotherhoods each offering its typical specialty based on ancestral recipes and local products. And the Abbaye is no longer an abbey, but home of Maredsous brewery.

Looks like there is an artisan confrérie.

We happened upon one of these gatherings years ago in Bidart, just outside Biarritz, France, though it was much smaller. This was much different. Unlike our previous encounter that was exclusively speeches and marching into the church, here we found tent after tent of food and drink being offered by the various confréries - brotherhoods with common interests in some kind of food or drink, such as beer or cheese or escargot.

Returned to Liège for Fetons le 15 Aout. What began as a celebration honoring Mary's Ascension is mostly about drinking "peket," the local firewater made from juniper berries, like gin.

There were some nice "géants" in the parade - a cross between a giant puppet and a float with men inside. Here are some shots from the day:

Les Sangliers d'Arlon

After eating our Boulette and frites, we had time to find other things around town:

Tchantches by J. Zomers, 1986

Another day we visited NAMUR and, after taking pictures of Bayard and the Four Sons of Aymon by Oliver Strebelle (1957) which overlooks the Meuse and the statue of the Namur Stilt Jousters by Guy Leclercq (1999), we stopped in at the Musée de Félicien Rops (1833-98).

We found two floors and several rooms of Rops paintings, drawings, photos, etc. Seemed pretty well done. Plenty of skeletons and other horrid things. Plenty of near-porn. Even a few landscapes. Old Félicien was a fairly strange guy.
 La Dame au pantin by Félicien Rops
Dimanche a Bougival ou Dernier emoi by Félicien Rops, 1876
La Chronique by Félicien Rops, 1872
 Le Sphinx by Félicien Rops, 1879
from a series of sketches of honest, working people by Félicien Rops, 1878-81
Les Gaillardes d'arriere by Félicien Rops
 La Dame aux bulles ou La Femme aux ballons by Félicien Rops
Pornocrates by Félicien Rops, 1896

They say Namurians are so slow, they have to cage a snail so that it doesn't get away.

Djospeh and Françwès by Suzanne Godard, 2000

Time to move on, so here are some final shots from eastern Belgium:

Dolmen de Wéris
Fresh bread

We liked our little stone house in Arbre, we had to go back.  That, and it was almost time for La Ducasse in Ath.  On the way we visited NIVELLES.  Here is what we saw:

by Jean Delcourt, 2008
Djan-Djan, from 1400 C.E.
 sans titre by Pierre Caille

Ath is known as the "City of Géants," and La Ducasse is why.  This holiday dates to the 14th century and celebrates the victory of David over Goliath, yet everyone cheers when Goliath gets married and kisses his mate.  After he is defeated.  There is even one night where they burn Goliath's underwear. 

On Thursday there was the archery competition overseen by the giant Archer.

In case you were wondering, they shoot rubber-tipped arrows into a cage containing feathers that they can knock down.  Much safer. Then there was the big parade on Sunday:

Goliath and his bride.

Sharing a kiss.
Bayard carrying the four sons of Aymon.

 Parting shots:

And so we say "au revoir" to Wallonia and Belgium

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