Fontaine Carpeaux, Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris
This week’s foray into Postcard Friendship Friday brings us to this gift from my postcard friend Eddy, who runs the excellent blog D’hier à aujourd’hui (From Yesterday to Today), which compares postcard images of the France of yesteryear with modern views of the same sites. This card, along with another turn-of-the-century French card, arrived a few days ago, but you get to see only this one today; I will save the other for Bastille Day.
This postcard, postmarked 24 August 1905, shows the top of the Fontaine Carpeaux in Paris’s 6th District. The four maidens, created by sculptor Jean Baptiste Carpeaux, represent the “four parts of the world”: an African; an American Indian; an Asian; and a Caucasian. They are posed as if they are turning the celestial sphere, complete with the signs of the zodiac, around the Earth. Interestingly, the sphere was not created by Carpeaux, but by another sculptor, Pierre Legrain. The fountain’s pool, not pictured, contains sculptures of horses emerging from the water, which were created by yet another sculptor, Emmanuel Frémiet. But it is only Carpeaux’s name on the fountain.
The back of this card is even more fascinating:
The card is addressed to Monsieur et Madame Poulain (ancestors of Amelie, perhaps?) at 6 Rue de la Présentation in Paris, which is looking a little worse for wear today. The message is in an antique hand, and seems to be misspelled and ungrammatical here and there in a language that I don’t speak well, but I believe that it reads something like the following (please feel free to correct me):
All my regrets at not being here yesterday to thank you for your strong support. I charge this card with the deed and will meet both of you for dinner tomorrow night Friday without fail. I embrace you (both). Yvette.
I guess the modern equivalent is receiving an email that closes with the word “hugs.” There’s also a postscript in the upper left: “Alice wants(?) me to hug you for her.” Let us hope that Yvette kept her appointment, gave hugs all around, and didn’t have to send another apology.