On a trip to Paris last summer, I found myself in the Musee de Cluny. Built on the foundations of Roman Baths, the Gothic and Renaissance influences were apparent in the intricate stonework, steeples and arches. As I walked into the courtyard entrance, I felt transported back into a different time, everything down to the ground I stood on was a relic of the past. One room I entered was completely covered in intricate stained glass. The natural light filtering in through the windows flooded the room with brilliant colors and as I looked up, I wondered how the artists had made so many tiny pieces of glass fit together into one.
The Musee de Cluny provided me with an incredible, though brief, look into the past. Art is a living piece of history that ultimately reminds us to remember our roots. And the Musee de Cluny was only a small part of the history and magic that seems to envelop all of Europe. One artist, Redditor shystone was able to capture this fleeting beauty by juxtaposing old paintings of the city of London with modern day images from Google Street View. Intermingled to become one image, they are absolutely breathtaking. Each example is filled with fascinating details from the past, showing how life changes even as the 18th century buildings remain the same. The old and the new seem to intertwine and complement each other, providing a meaningful perspective on then and now.
With the glowing hues and lovely scenes depicted in these 18th century paintings, it is easy to romanticize the past. Google Street View can hardly be compared to vibrant and moving pieces of such classic painters. However, these side by side comparisons are visual reminders of our evolution from century to century, they resound as hard proof that we are constantly changing and learning from the generations before us. As an artist and writer, I know history is a critical part of the creative process. The Musee de Cluny, along with all of these accomplished artists, has allowed me to see how history continues to influence and shape us even today.