Traveling with Art: Le Quai des Grands-Augustins, Paris

Le quai des Grands-Augustins is a wharf that sits on the left bank of the river Seine in Paris. Residents know the district in which it lies, the sixth arrondissement, for its bohemian and intellectual reputation as well as inclusion of some of the most famous monuments of Paris: the Jardins du Luxembourg and the Pont des Arts.

Along the bank, vendors set up covered stands full of postcards, art and books, ready for the tourists or locals to admire.

Is that five dollar postcard really worth it?

Is that five dollar postcard really worth it?

Excepting the usual Eiffel Tower key chains hanging by every stand, the products in the stands have more diversity and better quality than the touristy T-shirt and hat shops that take advantage of the centrally located Notre Dame cathedral.

What a treat to stroll along the sidewalk and admire the river and watch people’s eyes light up as they find that special something along the bank.

Dufza Full

This etching by the artist Dufza transports the viewers to a scene of people walking along the river bank, admiring the items or simply going about their day while the famous Notre Dame stands watch on the other side of the river. Judging by the fashions in the etching, the date is in the 1940s or early 50s.

What do you think these pedestrians are thinking about as they go about their day? Perhaps the man in the chair is a self-portrait of the artist himself, sketching the scene and taking in the grand Parisian view.