While in Paris a few months ago, my friend Tom took a wonderful photo inside La Conciergerie. I was so taken with the angle and the architecture, with the wonderful spiral staircase, that I decided to do a watercolor of it. (Thanks, Tom! *grin*) I lightened the photo quite a bit to get more detail, and then decided to do the painting in really riotous colors, in direct contrast to the noble stone in the original photo:
Oh, and in case you want to know a little more about La Conciergerie, here’s a nice chunk from the Wikipedia: “The Conciergerie (French: La Conciergerie) is a former prison in Paris, France, located on the west of the ÃŽle de la CitÃ©, near the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. It is part of the larger complex known as the Palais de Justice, which is still used for judicial purposes.
The Conciergerie was originally a part of the palace of King Philip IV (Philip the Fair) (1284-1314).The royal family abandoned the palace in 1358, moving across the river to the Louvre. In 1391 the building was converted for use as a prison. It became internationally infamous as the “antechamber to the guillotine” during the Reign of Terror, the bloodiest phase of the French Revolution. It housed the Revolutionary Tribunal as well as up to 1,200 male and female prisoners at a time. The most famous prisoners (and victims) included Queen Marie Antoinette, the poet AndrÃ© ChÃ©nier, Charlotte Corday, Madame du Barry and the Girondins, who were condemned by Georges Danton, who was in turn condemned by Robespierre, who was himself condemned and executed in a final bout of bloodletting.”