Author Archives: Parisian Fields

About Parisian Fields

Parisian Fields is the blog of two Toronto writers who love Paris. When we can't be there, we can write about it. We're interested in everything from its history and architecture to its graffiti and street furniture. We welcome comments, suggestions, corrections, and musings from all readers.

Pierre Lelong: The search for a 20th-century Post-Impressionist painter

“Is there a library or museum in Paris that will research a painting/artist for you? This is the painting Pop said he bought off a street artist in Paris in 1934 when he was at the Sorbonne. It’s oil on … Continue reading

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Paris Bridges: Mirrors of History

More than beautiful ornaments and a way to cross the Seine, Paris bridges are mirrors of history. They reflect impermanence, bad weather, political turbulence, and much more. The Pont au Change that exists today was built in 1858-1860. As the … Continue reading

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The first time I saw Paris

This blog is dedicated to the memory of my father, John Campsie, 9 April 1921 – 8 February 2014. He passed his love of travel on to me and encouraged me to learn French. The first time I saw Paris, … Continue reading

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Walls within walls

According to an old proverb, “Good fences make good neighbours.” It may or may not be true. But do good walls make good cities? Or, more simply, do walls help make cities? It seems that a wall built during the … Continue reading

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Pugin’s Picturesque Paris

For us, no trip to Paris is complete without time browsing through racks, boxes or bins of old engravings of Paris. We find them at antique fairs, flea markets, galleries, book stores and many other places. Quite a few were … Continue reading

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Lutetia, viewed by a 19th-century historian

I have a weakness – no, a fondness – no, a passion for old maps of Paris. On a visit a year or so ago, I bought three old maps from an antiquarian bookseller. During our annual New Year’s tidy-up, … Continue reading

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Hark the Herald

In casting about for a Christmassy theme for this week’s blog, I thought about angels. Angels have prominent roles in the Christmas story, and I had photographed lots of them in Paris, hadn’t I? Or had I? Well, yes and … Continue reading

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Remembering the Great Paris Flood of 1910

This blog is dedicated to my son Alex, his wife Dawn, and their two children who, on September 12, 2013, were evacuated from a home to which they can not return to escape the ravages of the Colorado flood. With … Continue reading

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A little mystery solved

Curiosity, plus an interest in Paris, has led us to many surprising finds and some unusual encounters. A recent purchase at the Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair is a case in point. It was a one-of-a-kind object: a handmade, illustrated, … Continue reading

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An artist finds life among the tombs

When I look at Pamela Williams’s photographs of sculptures, I feel I am seeing real people. This photo, which she calls “Glance,” was taken in 2010 in Passy Cemetery. It is so realistic, one almost does a double-take. The once-lustrous … Continue reading

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