When I met Catherine I was walking toward the Luxembourg Gardens, getting away from diesel fumes on the busy quais along the Seine. I needed quiet, fresh air, and sprawling gardens with birds, men playing
Marie de’ Medici, married to French King Henry IV, was from Florence and did not feel at home in France. After her husband was assassinated (1610), she wanted to leave her residence at the Louvre and asked architect Salomon de Brosse to design and build this Florentine-style palace (like her childhood home), now home to the French Senate.
Henry IV's boot and spur on statue of him at Pont Neuf
She was an Italian woman adjusting to Parisian life, but apparently she influenced French culture, from fashion to food. Some say she is the mother of French cuisine!
One of the few surviving remnants of her commissions is the Fontaine de Médicis, in the photo below.
Currently in the still water of the Medici fountain, dusted with seeds floating down from the surrounding plane trees, there is a woman definitely out of her element. (No, I did not photoshop her in. I searched the Web for information about this sculpture
Sculpture in Medici fountain at Luxembourg Gardens
I think I love her. She is a woman learning to breathe in an element not her own. I have no problem breathing in Paris (until I get too many diesel fumes), but Marie did, many women must, and whoever this woman is, it seems that all she does is breathe.
Update: Thanks to ParisDailyPhoto, the artist's name is Lotta Hannerz, from Sweden.