Those Steps We Walked Together chapter 3


Lachaise Cemetery is located in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, in Little Paris.[1]

From Montparnasse, take line 12 to the Place de la Concorde, transfer to line 1, and arrive at the Louvre Museum station.

As students of art academies, Cheng Ke Song and Hugo aren’t unfamiliar with the Louvre. When the first-year preparatory class just started, the teacher of the outdoor sketching class brought them to the Louvre to do sketching.

But at that time they painted mostly the outer buildings of the Louvre and the sculptures placed in the museum, and they did not pay much attention to the steps.

The two of them walked up the exit steps to the ground. Cheng Kesong put his palms over his eyes to cover from the light, and looked up at the metal arches of the subway exit that had a distinctive French Art Nouveau style.

On the side of the dark green handrails, two uprights stretched upwards like flower branches. The column diverges from the middle, and the top end of the inner extension curl inward to form a rounded arc. Two flower buds are spit out to the center, and a thin beam forms an oval plaque. On the outer part, two tulip-like corollas are held up and down, and the stamens contain orange bulbs, were actually two street lamps.

The carved arches of the handrails are based on flowers and insects, and the smooth curves that meander around, like the entrance to a dream garden.

“These subway entrances were designed by Hector Guimard, and there are’nt many that are preserved in Paris.” Hugo said, “They have been included in the French historical monuments list and become a very representative landscape of Paris. . ”

“It is indeed beautiful, but it’s incompatible with our theme. “Cheng Kesong laughed.

Hugo shrugged: “Well, our focus is on the steps. Let’s go to the Louvre.”

It was June, and it was the season when tourists gradually begin to pour in.  The glass pyramid square of the Louvre is full of tourists. They gather in groups, or take pictures in two’s and three’s against the waterhole under the pyramid. Their heads moving, accompanied by the chattering voices, under the blue sky, white clouds and the warm sunshine, it seemed full of vitality.

Cheng Kesong followed Hugo through the crowds of tourists and finally walked into the entrance of the Louvre Hall.

The hall was also overcrowded, with extremely long queues at the ticket office. Fortunately, the two did not have to line up with the large number of tourists in the tour group. They followed the individual tourists’ line and quickly arrived in front of the ticket booth.

“Hello, we are students of the Academy of Fine Arts, and we need two tickets.”

Hugo said, handing in their student IDs.

In Paris, many museums and galleries are open to students for free, and the Louvre is one of them. Cheng Kesong and Hugo can exchange their student IDs for admission tickets, and they can enter the regular exhibition area with their drawing boards and paintbrushes to watch the exhibits at any time.

The regular exhibitions of the Louvre are distributed from the first basement floor to the third floor above the ground, and are divided into six exhibition areas. The space here is huge and there are many exhibits. If you want watch every piece of work carefully, you will probably not be able to finish it in a few years. In addition to regular exhibitions, there are sometimes time-limited loan exhibitions or private exhibit exhibitions in the Louvre, but these can only be seen when paid.

Cheng Ke Song and Hugo’s goal is the steps in the Louvre, the regular exhibition area is more than enough for them.

Hugo took the sketchbook out of his bag, looked at the crowd around him, and frowned slightly.

“We have to avoid these tourists.”

“Agree. Let’s not go to Venus and Mona Lisa.” Cheng Kesong said, “That’s the exhibit that everyone wants to see.”

Hugo nodded. : “Let’s find an atrium[1].”

[1]atrium: an open-roofed entrance hall or central court in an ancient Roman house.]

The roads in the Louvre are intricate, but the two of them have not come here too often, and they soon found an inaccessible atrium.

Entering from the arch, the first thing you see is the four huge sculptures standing here-the sculptures standing on the high stone platform are four horses of different shapes. Looking up from a low place, you can feel that the horses majesty.

“I remember this sculpture! That painting of yours has been posted in the corridor for two weeks… It’s this angle, is this where you painted it?”

Hugo looked excited and walked up the steps, looking up at the southeast corner of the horse sculpture.

There is no direct sunlight here, and the bluish sky falls from the ceiling and falls on Hugo’s delicate face. His pair of light brown eyes reflected the cold sky light at this time.

“If I remember correctly, it was at the corner of the steps above.” Cheng Kesong replied.

“I can always see your paintings posted in the corridor. You seem to be really omnipotent in this regard.” Hugo smiled and looked back at Cheng Kesong who was standing under the steps, with bright eyes.

Cheng Kesong blinked: “I also remember the whale skeleton you drew-it was the outdoor sketch of the Natural History Museum. The extra-wide space occupies the entire wall of the corridor.”

Hugo opened his eyes slightly: ” Do you know that I painted it? I didn’t sign the picture.”

“Using oil pastels is your strong point. I thought it was your painting, so I secretly looked at the name you signed on the back of the picture.” Cheng Kesong confessed honestly.

Hugo laughed a few times, and walked up the steps to the corner platform in the middle, and said: “The story of the steps here can be said like this. Two students who like to paint-maybe middle school students-they often come to the Louvre palace to paint sketches.”

“But they didn’t know each other, they just saw each other’s paintings in a school exhibition.” Cheng Kesong added.

“Aha, you want to play a continuation game of this story with me?”

“Why not? You continue.”

“Well, I will think about it.” Hugo lowered his head and pondered for a moment, “They like each other’s paintings, so when they came to the Louvre again and found the angle from which the other party had painted before , and used different techniques to draw the same painting.”

“These two paintings were once again exhibited at the same time.” Cheng Kesong spread his hands.

“You are so shrewd!” Hugo was dissatisfied.

Cheng Kesong raised his hand to surrender: “Okay, okay, it’s my turn next-two students once again came to the Louvre, and each selected a scene in the atrium to paint. One of them was sitting on the lower floor. On the steps, He painted a high-rise horse sculpture from the angle of looking up,and happened to see a person sitting on the high-level steps, who was also painting, so the student included the other person in his own picture…”

Hugo snapped his fingers immediately and laughed: “And the student sitting at a high place painting also painted the person sitting at a low place in his own painting!”

“These two paintings were once again exhibited at the same time.” Cheng Kesong spread out his hands in the same posture.

Hugo followed his example and spread his hands: “This is really a wonderful encounter.”

“The story is really good, but will there be such two steps?” Cheng Kesong laughed.

Hugo immediately reacted: “Let’s look for it! You go down, I will go up and look for it.”

The two reached a consensus and separated in the atrium looking for steps that fit the plot of the story.

In this atrium of the Louvre, a three-story platform is built with huge milky white stone bricks, and you can directly reach the cloister on the second floor of the building when you step up. Several sculptures and many decorative green plants are distributed among them. Although they are not comparable to the one-step scenes of Suzhou gardens, there are also many painting angles with generous composition and rich layers.

The atrium faces the entrance arch on the first floor, and in the center is a set of steps leading downward with only six treads. On both sides of the steps are square stone piers, and sculptures are placed on the stone dunes as usual.

Passing around the two sculptures on the left and right are the zigzag steps where Cheng Kesong and Hugo played the story solitaire just now, turning around and arriving at the central second floor platform.

There are many sculptures on the second floor platform, and on both sides of the platform are straight steps leading to the third floor.

At this time Cheng Ke Song had already descended to the first floor, standing on the edge of the low six steps, leaning on the stone pier where the sculpture was placed, and looking up. Thinking about hugo, who he no longer knew where he was.

Suddenly, his cell phone rang, showing an unfamiliar number.

Cheng Kesong answered the phone: “Hello?”

Hugo’s voice came out of the receiver: “Kesong? This is not good, I can’t see you, you have to come to the second floor platform!”

Cheng Kesong was surprised: “Why do you have my number?”

“I am the captain of our weekly challenge. I have all of you numbers here!” Hugo smiled.

Cheng Kesong climed to the second floor platform while listening to Hugo.

“Stop! Right there! Lift your head !” Cheng Kesong stopped at the turning point of the steps and raised his head to look at the third-story platform on the opposite side.

Hugo was standing on the top of the steps leading to the third-story platform, raising his arms high, waving at him.

“The angle is good, I am about to start drawing.” Cheng Kesong said to the hugo through the phone.

“No problem, I will draw one from here too.”

At the end of the call, the two took out the sketchbook tacitly and started drawing from this angle.

The stone fence above the three-story stairs was wide, and Hugo simply climbed up with the sketchpad, sat cross-legged on it, and spread out the drawing tools. What he captured was a row of sculptures on the second-floor platform near the steps, which happened to be able to capture Cheng Kesong at the entrance of the steps.

Cheng Ke Song sat down against the stone fence at the entrance of the steps, put his legs together leisurely, opened the watercolor box, dipped the paint with a pen wet with tap water, and began to lay the background. He chose several sculptures staggered with a row of green trees under the three steps. From this perspective, it looks like Hugo is sitting on the canopy of a tree.

The two are a little far apart, but they can see each other and knew that they will appear in each other’s paintings.

As they painted quietly, time flew by quickly. By the time the painting in Cheng Ke Song’s hand was completed, half an hour had passed. During that period, several tourists gathered around him to watch his paintings, but they were very polite and did not disturb him. They watched silently for a while, or left quietly, or leaving with a sentence “The painting is great”.

Cheng Ke Song stood up the sketchbook and gestured towards Hugo in the distance that he had finished drawing.

Hugo raised his hand and stretched out five fingers, which probably means that he still needs five more minutes.

Cheng Kesong showed a thumbs up to indicate that he understood , and then opened a new page and began to draw the dynamics of Hugo’s cross-legged painting.

This distance is too far, Cheng Kesong can only capture the figure of Hugo, but can’t see his facial features. But what Hugo looks like is clearly printed in Cheng Kesong’s mind. Even if he can’t see clearly, he can still draw him.

A few lines outline the thin shoulders and elbows of the older boy. The short-sleeved shirt looks a little empty on his body. The clothes on his chest sink slightly as he bends and, jamming at the waist, forming a slightly sharp angle, Folds. He tucked his slightly long curly hair behind his ear, and his slightly curly hair hanging down from the temples, fell loosely on his sturdy cheek. Although his head is hung low, half of the face is still visible due to the angle of the picture . The bridge of the nose is high, the eye sockets deep, the eyelashes , drooping, and he is staring intently at the sketchbook in front of him.  Cheng Kesong carefully painted Hugo’s facial features.

Since these details can no longer be discerned at this distance, he kept his head down, looking at the face of Hugo in his mind, filling in the blank part of the picture.

Just then a figure obscured the light above Cheng Kesong’s drawing paper.     “Huh? You only painted me? Where are the steps?” Hugo’s voice sounded over Cheng Kesong’s head.     Cheng Kesong immediately turned over the previous picture, covering up the sketch he was drawing.     He was a little embarrassed: “Ah, just… just draw anything.”     Hugo looked at Cheng Kesong and blinked.

“Where are your paintings?” Cheng Kesong asked.

“I think this angle is okay.” Hugo said as he handed the sketchbook in his hand to Cheng Kesong.

“Well, the composition is very good, it seems that this angle is feasible.”

“I also think this story is very good.” Hugo smiled, “I can tell them at a meeting later.”

Cheng Kesong nodded and handed back the sketchbook.

Hugo: “I just received a few text messages. Valentin and Léa said that they went to the Sacred Heart Church, and they had some gains. But Julia suggested that we act together tomorrow and go to the Opera. It is one of the most famous places in Paris. The big steps of the city that have appeared in many oil paintings.”

Cheng Kesong: “Ah, there, I know those steps.”

“The background of the opera house is also very suitable for storytelling. ” Hugo then, looking at the time, “It’s one o’clock, let’s have something to eat? There is a sandwich shop here.”

Cheng Ke Song readily agreed.

After a simple lunch, the two of them turned around in the corner of the Louvre exhibition hall, drew a few pictures of the steps in the stairwell, thinking about a few short stories about the Louvre, but felt that they were inferior to the atrium.

“Just by doing research, we have gained a lot. These story, sketches, and these photos can sort out a lot of things.” Hugo said, putting his sketchbook back in his bag, “Let’s go back, to the school, to discuss tomorrow’s itinerary with them.”

Cheng Ke Song also got up from the ground and patted the rubber crumbs on his pants.

“Ok, let’s go back.”

Those Steps We Walked Together

Those Steps We Walked Together

Score 8.8
Status: Completed Type: Author: Released: 2018 Native Language: Chinese
Cheng Kesong had an itch inside his heart since the first time he saw Hugo.He was helpless since that exotic boy was in a different class.Until one day, the school released a group challenge to separate classmates.Cheng Kesong looked at Hugo’s name on his team, excitement burning inside his heart.


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