What do they have in common? Suspension of reality . . .
First, a fabulous exhibit of at the Musee de Luxembourg… The Tudor Dynasty, with its five monarchs, from Henri VII, who crowned himself in 1485, to Elizabeth I the last rulingTudor from 1558 to 1603, changed their world during their reigns. Change began with Henri VII’s defeat of Richard III thus ending the 30 year War of the Roses and finished with the Virgin Queen Elizabeth I restoring the Church of England and creating a powerful navy to set the scene for world future colonization.
The lives of these legendary figures became the stuff of literature, theater and art. In this exhibition, their power is put on display. The details of the paintings is amazing.
In between the first and the last, Henri VIII who, according to the French ambassador at the time was “…so covetous that all the riches in the world would not satisfy him.” ; the short reigns of young Edward VI who died at 15; and the “diplomatic pawn” Queen Mary I who restored Catholicism as the first woman to govern England.
The Tudors were of another world, another planet. Maybe because we have never been ruled by such an ostentatious lot, I could almost not even believe 16th century reality was accurately portrayed in the Tudor exhibit. Over the top! And really beautiful . . .
Also of another world, Diego Stirman provided us with a different kind of break from reality. Set in a tiny theater in Belleville, Stirman enchanted his audience of children and adults with the antics of his marionettes.
We forgot about our hard backless benches, forgot that we were listening to French with a crazy Spanish accent and simply engaged with the suspension of reality. It was wonderful.