Monday, December 15, 2008

Couples in love in Paris

Champs Elysees and parks approaching the Louvre

Along the River Seine

Park on the hill as one approaches Sacre Coeur

St Maurice

Avignon's Papal Palace

Paris is obviously a wonderful setting for couples. For more than a century, photographers have been taking pictures which portray couples oblivious to the hundreds of people streaming by. Some of the most famous of those photos were of course staged, but anyone in central Paris soon discovers that staging is hardly necessary. I have wondered what it is about Paris that gives couples such a profound a sense of security and anonymity that they can be completely engrossed in each other while the citizens of one of the world's most busy cities scurry hither and yon. These scenes are so commonplace that Parisians, and eventually tourists, either hardly notice or do indeed notice--and smile, possibly being reminded of what it was like to be a student.

These pictures depict couples in love, yet they are at different stages in life or in their relationships: the younger couples generally appear to be discovering each other with an intensity that blocks out the rest of society, one couple could have been on a honeymoon, and the more mature couples seem to be satisfied by simply being together while reading, talking or watching their children.