Under the Stairs

The entrance to the opera house in Paris is grand, as is the entrance to most theaters, but that’s not our subject for today. When a person attends the opera in Paris he/she enters to an opulent view of majesty and culture. Art abounds at every turn. Craftsmanship and care is evident in the recesses of carvings, the folds in sculptured stone garments, and the expressions on faces frozen in time.

When we arrived at the opera house the main entrance was closed so we meandered our way around the back and gained access near the box office. After purchasing a ticket to tour the building (I should really say “a small part of the building”) we walked into the grand entrance room from a direction most people would never see, unless they were returning from the lavatory. Beneath the main staircase, hidden from attendees above, is the sculpture pictured below.

It makes me wonder why it’s there. The work is beautiful. It is an integral part of the underside of a staircase, and it is also a work of art. It doesn’t look as if the artist thought of his creation as a second rate work or figured only a few people would see it and he could do just an average job on it. It’s something we’ve lost over time, and I don’t know what to call it. Just because there’s no need to make something beautiful doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be. Maybe people are just too impatient, or maybe the investment of time and craftsmanship isn’t honored enough by the almighty dollar to make it worthwhile.

Maybe I’m over thinking it, but I’m so glad fate led us to see it. It made a difference in my life.

Nikon D800 Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 32mm f/3.5 ISO3200 1/80 sec

Two image vertical panorama