The lead exhibition at Fondation Custodia was advertised as “Studi & Schizzi”, Italian drawings from 1450 to 1700, and this is what Frits Lugt‘s exceptional collection is all about. Thousands of classical drawings collected until his death in Paris in July 1970. A group of exceptional drawings, which are now progressively put online for the researchers’ benefit and the first 600 pieces can already be consulted. I searched for Leonardo and found 15 drawings! But what took me by surprise this time, is the series of wood prints by Siemen Dijkstra, a 50 year old artist from the North of the Nederlands, who lives in the woods and creates the most singular drawings and large prints.Read More
British Ambassador Lord Llewellyn was on school vacation with his three young children but this did not deter Parisian book lovers to attend Hugo Vickers‘ conference and book signing at the beautiful residence once inhabited by Pauline Borghese. Former Ambassadress Lady Holmes, back in Paris, was in attendance and the tragic life of Gladys Deacon, duchess of Marlborough, was the focus of the evening. First published in 1979 by the young biographer who had visited Gladys 65 times at the St Andrews Hospital in Northampton, the book was completed and published again last January with a French translation coming out this week. “The Sphinx” is the extraordinary story of a young American heiress born in 1881 in a Paris hotel, who decided very young that she would become a duchess. She only managed this at the age of 40 when she moved into Bernheim Palace, after the 9 th Duke had divorced Consuelo Vanderbilt.
You might remember reading here two years ago about the delightful pizzeria “Marzo” on rue Paul Louis Courrier which was run by Pandora Pearson. It had a happy atmosphere, the food was excellent and one left the premises with a light heart. It still exists but Pandora has moved on, not too far, to rue de Lille where she took over, with her associate Jean Baptiste Varenne, the old La Calèche which definitely needed a clean up. The old beams have been painted white, the bar serves as a counter and the modern decoration with a soft lighting at night is cheerful. Read More
In the large Charlotte Perriand exhibition at Fondation Louis Vuitton, I spotted a few powerful photographs and my curiosity was aroused. So as soon as I heard of the new show at Institut de France, I rushed and was happy to visit the very elegant place with the curator Lélia Wanick Salgado and the architect’s daughter, Pernette Perriand-Barsac who worked with her mother until her death in 1999. The 48 photographs selected in the family archives by Lélia, are each individually interesting for their shape and their sharpness. She worked hard at restoring the negatives and used her experience with her husband Sebatião Salgado‘s numerous books an exhibitions, to create a gallery of exceptional prints by Dupon-Phidap.Read More
Since Daniel Marchesseau and his team composed of Catherine de Bourgoing and Jérôme Godeau left Musée de la Vie Romantique, George Sand’s charming house in the 9 th arrondissement has lost its soul and the exhibition “Hearts, from Romanticism to contemporary art” is not going to restore it. Opened on Valentine day, it tries very hard to inject some passion in the beautiful Ary Scheffer studio with 40 contemporary works which have nothing in common. Pierre et Gilles, Annette Messager, Jim Dine, Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Michel Othoniel are all very respectable artists but hanging their works in the middle of the 19 th century delightful museum does not make any sense. Read More
If like half of France, you are skiing in the Alps this week, and you encounter a foggy day, make sure to go and visit one of these four art exhibitions in Lausanne at Fondation de l’Hermitage and Musée de l’Elysée, at Fondation Gianadda in Martigny and at the Beyeler Foundation in Basel. Trains are fast and reliable and you can reach each town in less than an hour whether you are in Gstaad, Verbier or Zermatt! Swiss museums are exceptional and on the way you can stop in Lyon to catch the “Drapé” exhibition at Musée des Beaux Arts.Read More
For its 48 th edition, Prix de Lausanne was being held at the Stravinski Theatre in Montreux, which overlooks the Lac Léman, a few hundred meters from where Lord Byron sojourned. The three days I spent there seeing the 77 competitors dance for their life, were emotional and beautiful. The Prize funded in 1973, by Philippe and Elvire Braunschweig, to help young USSR dancers come and study in Europe, has become the springboard to an International career for Brazilians, Chinese, Japanese, New Zealanders, Portuguese, and more… Students from 25 nationalities this year, who are aged between 15 and 19. They are coached all week by the greatest ballet masters in the world and receive scholarships to study in the school of their choice. What an uplifting competition!Read More