A romantic concert, a book signing and Monet’s Japanese etchings…What a week!

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Diane de Beauvau Craon signed more than two hundred books at Galignani’s

When you receive an invitation to a concert in a “Viennese salon 1820-1830”, you worry that it won’t be genuine. But when I arrived at Mairie du 9e arrondissement and sat facing a beautiful Rosenberger 1820 piano owned by the Roman pianist Luca Montebugnoli, I suddenly realized how romantic and charming the evening would be. What I could not guess beforehand is that Benjamin d’Anfray would overwhelm the audience with his “Aufforderung zum Tanze” by Carl Maria von Weber, that Edoardo Torbianelli would glitter in Schubert’s “Klavierstücke in e flat major” and that the three pianists would have a huge success in the “Fantaisie in F minor for four hands” by Schubert which they played alternatively. Read More

Couture photography, a Franco Greek wedding, golf and art in Provence

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Tunga, “Portals Psicopompos”, 2011 with the new Oscar Niemeyer building in the back with Château La Coste vineyards

I was lured to Provence by a series of beautiful events, Jean Luce Huré‘s exhibition of fashion photography in Bargemon and a glorious Greek orthodox wedding in Grimaud. Both were very successful and charming and there was much more to be expected. A great golf game at Beauvallon with the young pro Benjamin Reinarz and the visit of Château La Coste, the contemporary art and architecture park near Aix-en-Provence. Read More

Victor Prouvé, the father of… in Issy-les-Moulineaux

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Box, La Parure, 1894, with Camille Martin, Nancy, Musée de l’Ecole de Nancy

Most of us know Jean Prouvé‘s work as a furniture designer and an architect who revolutionized low income housing in France between the wars. This new exhibition at Musée de la Carte à Jouer (the museum of playing cards) in Issy-les-Moulineaux is about his father’s work, Victor Prouvé, 1858-1943, who started as Emile Gallé‘s accomplice in designing vases and became a successful public space decorator as a member of l’Ecole de Nancy, the movement which introduces art in the industrial process. He is the author of a large fresco in the staircase of Issy’s townhall called “La Vie”, life. All the preparatory drawings are shown here with book bindings and numerous Art Nouveau objects which throw a new light on this artist, whose reputation is slightly obscured by his son’s fame.Read More

Drawing Now, Paris Print Fair, Menart, we don’t have enough eyes to catch everything…

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Dany Leriche, Map of Cuba, 2020 at Galerie Polysémie, Marseille

While Drawing Now, the contemporary drawing fair, is always full of wonderful discoveries at Carreau du Temple, the new Paris Print Fair was also of high quality at Réfectoire du Couvent des Cordeliers but Menart (Middle East and North Africa Fair) was disappointing at Maison Cornette de Saint Cyr. It gave galleries from abroad and from the French provinces an opportunity to get noticed by the very International crowd of visitors. There is not one hotel room to be found in Paris at the moment…Read More

Salon du Dessin, MAD’s new Prud’hon, what a festival of great discoveries

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Lagneau, Old man with a fur hat, ca 1762, Didier Aaron

Salon du Dessin is always a glamorous gathering of American, British, German and Italian collectors who meet in the small space of La Bourse and gossip about the International Drawing market. I loved running into Hervé Aaron and Alan Salz who came from New York and were showing four gouaches of Pavillon de Bagatelle, by Louis Bélanger and Louis-Gabriel Moreau, probably ordered by Comte d’Artois in 1785. They also had a charming sanguine by Greuze, a chic Eugene Lami of the Rothschilds and the Pereire at a party and a quirky portrait of an old man by Lagneau… At Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Audrey Gay-Mazuel and Bénédicte Gady were showing exceptional new Prud’hon drawings, Musée du Grand Siècle run by Alexandre Gady (her husband) was exhibiting a choice of drawings from the Pierre Rosenberg collection of 3 502, bequeathed to the museum.  Read More

Jesper Christiansen at Maison du Danemark

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Op Alle De Ting, 2019-2020, Martin Hansen’s bicycle ride

Most Parisians only know Maison du Danemark at the top of the Champs Elysées for its fabulous restaurant where aquavit and “unilaterally cooke” salmon are the prime attraction. But if you go up to the second floor, you will find a pretty art gallery which regularly shows Danish artists. This time and until July 31, Jesper Christiansen exhibits his landscapes and interior scenes with all the mystery of the North. Northern light, northern flowers and trees and this made me want to travel to Seeland this summer. On the floor above are the New York Times offices.Read More

Chantilly and Compiègne, two reasons to drive north

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Model of a berline with suspensions as described by Garsault in his treaty of cars in 1756, ca 1760-1770, preempted by Château de Compiègne

Les Journées des Plantes de Chantilly were sunny and very relaxed this spring and a few new exhibitors attended, whom I loved. Prince Amin Aga Khan, the faithful garden lover, presented the Jurys and Alain Baraton, Head Gardner of Versailles, awarded the different prizes with a good sense of humor. Hélène Fustier who founded Les Journées des Plantes in Courson in 1982, was there talking to everyone and curator Mathieu Deldicque was preparing, at the Jeu de Paume, his exhibition of Dürer drawings and engravings which opens on June 4. Thirty minutes away at Château de Compiègne, curator Etienne Guibert was unveiling five years of new acquisitions which are both modest and extraordinary, and include Napoléon III’s yacht’s furniture and models of 18 th century carriages with suspension. It is fantastic to still discover affordable historical pieces of art at auction and in galleries.Read More

Guy Ladrière, a very special collector…

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Sardonyx cameo, The head of Medusa with wings in her hair and snakes at her neck, I-II nd century AD? found in the Tiber, Rome 1886

Guy Ladrière is an established antique dealer on quai Voltaire, facing the Louvre. He started his career with Charles Ratton (1895-1986), a specialist of primitive arts, who organized the major 1930 exhibition of African and Oceanic art at the Pigalle theatre. He learned from him the sense of aesthetics of objects. His passion for research and his fantastic eye have made him a great specialist of sculpture from Antiquity to 18 th  century. But last week, it is at Ecole des Arts Joailliers, the school founded by Van Cleef & Arpels, that he was presenting his intimate collection of sculpted stones, cameos and intaglios, which he has been identifying for almost fifty years. The show is curated by Philippe Malgouyres, from the Louvre, the very museum where he first became acquainted with medieval rings. He pursued his passion at the Cabinet des Médailles of the Bibliothèque Nationale where he trained to recognize the tiny works of art. From Alexander to Medusa, Augustus to Elizabeth I, there are many famous faces on these sculpted gems. But what is most striking is the precision of each portrait and the beauty of the stones. Read More