Sorry to be late posting. I got carried away with gardening. It’s that time of year when if you miss a couple of weekends the jungle has returned and it’s too late to prune it back. This painting is by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and I haven’t got a clue what’s going on in it. […]
I am Paris. I starve. Gambetta save my children. We have eaten the horses and the dogs. Death to Bismarck. You will live forever with a place in my bosom, Place Gambetta.
The painting refers most probably to Gambetta leaving Paris in a balloon filled with coal gas from the Paris coal plant. Paris was under siege by the Prussians. He was going to rally the army outside of Paris. The painter frequently worked with allusions, allegory and metaphor. Found this out on Wikipedia and some French wiki sites regarding the war.
My sister lives just uphill from Place Gambetta in Paris.