Texas architect Frank Welch has left us

Dallas architect Frank Welch in 2003

The Dean of Texas architecture, Frank Welch, has died at 90 last Friday, June 23. He was the author of two books, « On becoming an architect » that he published two years ago, and another on « Philip Johnson in Texas » in 2000, whom he admired. I will remember him as a true Gentleman who loved Paris and France, good life and his two daughters, Liz and Woo. He was surrounded by affectionate admirers till the end of his life. He will be missed.Read More

Olga Klokhlova, Mrs Picasso

Olga Pensive, hiver 1923, Pastel and pencil on paper, Musée National Picasso, Paris

Olga Khokhlova met Pablo Picasso in Rome in 1917 when she was dancing for Serge de Diaghilev in the “Ballets Russes” and he had been asked by Jean Cocteau to paint the decors for « Parade » on Erik Satie’s music and Leonie Massine’s choreography. They were married a year later with Max Jacob, Guillaume Apollinaire and Jean Cocteau as best men. At the same time her aristocratic family was the victim of Lenin’s revolution in St Petersburg. The exhibition at Musée Picasso in Paris is gripping and drama is around every corner.Read More

Le Lude, a modern days fairy tale castle and now a book!

At Le Lude, garden and castle form one splendid world since Barbara de Nicolaÿ took over Photo Eric Sander/l’Esprit d’un château:Le Lude/Flammarion

When I was a little girl, my mother used to drive me to the « Sons et lumière » of Château du Lude, a fairy tale castle in the Sarthe, between le Mans and Tours. We always stopped at Malicorne, a faïence manufacture where we watched artists paint tea cups and plates by hand. At the time, Pia d’Orléans Bragance, Comtesse de Nicolaÿ, had to deal alone with a huge castle after the premature death of her husband. The villagers offered to help her create a historical show and that was what Le Lude was known for.Read More

Troyes a city to (re)discover

Maurice Marinot, Intérieur, 1906, Donation Pierre et Denise Lévy

The medieval city of Troyes, in Champagne, is conveniently located on the A5 motorway that takes you from Calais to Provence or from Belgium to Burgundy. It has therefore found a new touristic role in recent years under the impulse of its handsome mayor François Baroin. I have to admit I went there recently for the first time and was mesmerized. With three major museums and four oustanding churches, it is an attractive stop over. AND on top of it, the food is fabulous with a specialty of Andouillette.Read More

52, a number to remember

Rhubarbe confite/compoté, financier, glace café

Thank God for my nieces who introduce me to their young world ! After tasting three different expensive, pretentious and bad restaurants recently, I had the most delicious lunch at « 52 », a new spot on Faubourg Saint Denis which replaced a butcher shop. The owner Charles Compagnon, is himself worth the visit: he lives upstairs above the restaurant with his German wife and children.

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Peter the Great at Versailles and more goodies

The Grand Trianon hosts the Peter the Great exhibition in the park of Versailles

The Grand Trianon at Versailles was used by General de Gaulle for state visits and it was one of Emmanuel Macron’s great « coup » to invite Vladimir Putin there, for the inauguration of « Peter the Great, a tsar in France », an exhibition conceived with St Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum, to celebrate one of history’s greatest monarchs’ visit to France, 300 years ago.Read More

Paul Cézanne in 60 portraits at Orsay

Portrait of the artist after a photography, ca 1885, Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art

Among the thousand works painted by the Impressionist Paul Cézanne before he died at 67, there are only 200 portraits, all devoted to his close relatives and many self portraits. So the exhibition on the fifth floor of Musée d’Orsay is interesting because it lets us into the initmacy of his private life.Read More