On the last day in Dijon, we were supposed to have a lecture about French institutions. That sounded fun… But, we did not end up having that lecture due to Janice’s (the professor/leader of the group) serendipity!
She had gone to the market in the morning before our group visit of the Musée des Beaux Arts (Museum of Fine Arts) – which by the way has some unique contemporary and modern art work as well as very famous works from the renaissance and earlier. While at the market, she petted a dog, and then an older man came and started talking to her.
He asked her if she was a photographer and whether or not she was in the middle of looking for things to take pictures of. She told him that in fact she was. He responded by saying he new of an artist studio (atelier) that might interest her. She told us she weighed the consequences and ultimately decided that it was not too risky to follow him.
Where she ended up was in an artist’s studio where a woman named Aude restores paintings. She fixes old works from the 17th and 18th centuries, and probably other things as well. Quite fascinating!
Well, because this happened, Janice asked Aude if we would be able to come back to see the studio.
So, thanks to luck – we got out of a lecture and got to meet a very intriguing woman and see her workspace and some old and hurt paintings.
Aude studied in both France and Italy and is apparently a well-known art restorer. She gets works from museums and she told us that most often the damage is holes in the canvas.
All in all, a great and truly unique experience!