During our last stay in Paris, we visited the Marché aux Puces, Paris's most famous flea market located in the 18th arrondissement. There are 2,500 to 3,000 open stalls and shops selling everything from antiques to junk. It is a complex labyrinth between the stalls which ultimately leads you to a new discovery at each twist and turn. We spent hours just enjoying every single object that caught our eye, but nothing prepared us for the hidden treasure we came across among a grouping of framed drawings in an art dealer's stall. A sanguine chalk drawing study by Jules-Élie Delaunay not only caught our eyes, but it captured our hearts as well.
Jules-Élie Delaunay (1828-1891) was a French painter who studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Some of his commissioned works include the three panels of Apollo, Orpheus, and Amphion at the Paris Opera House. He was a very accomplished and talented artist which is evident in this exquisite study we happened upon on that very cold Saturday morning in November 2007. Although she has left her beloved Paris origin behind, she is now part of our family, and we lovingly gaze upon her ethereal beauty morning, noon and night.