“Hauteville House”, Victor Hugo’s magical retreat in Guernsey

Victor Hugo was the greatest French writer, dramaturge and poet of the 19 th century, he was a talented drawer and apparently a dedicated decorator. At least in the only house that he ever owned, Hauteville House on the British island of Guernsey, where he wrote “Les Misérables”, and many more plays and novels, between 1856 and 1870 when he … Read More

New York Splendor behind closed doors

Have you ever walked on Park Avenue or by the Dakota apartment building on Central Park West and wondered what the interiors of these prestigious buildings looked like? Well if you have, you will get the answer in Wendy Moonan’s beautiful book, “New York Splendor“. Her book signing party last week in Paris at Jean Marie Rossi’s “Aveline” antiques store, … Read More

Leonardo da Vinci, five hundred years later in the Loire valley

1519 is the year when Leonardo da Vinci died on May 2, at château du Clos Lucé near Amboise. He had been called to the court of France at 65 and had brought paintings, writings, drawings and projects for new inventions. It is the year when Château de Chambord was built and the year Catherine de Medicis was born in … Read More

Jean-Jacques Lequeu, a doomed XVIII th century architect

Petit Palais has accustomed us to big surprises but this new show of drawings by Jean-Jacques Lequeu is so astonishing that it almost eclipses the main show of Khnopff on the first floor. 150 drawings chosen among the 800 that he bequeathed to the Bibliothèque Royale just before his death in 1826, are exhibited here with a variety of themes. … Read More

Opéra Garnier revisited inch by inch

5 January 1875, marks the inaugural Gala for the Paris Opera created by Charles Garnier. Napoléon III has been deposed. The show on stage is very “pale”, all eyes are directed on King Alfonso XII of Spain, the Lord Mayor of London and the President of the French Republic, Patrice de Mac Mahon. The building was the real hero of … Read More

Marigny, a new restaurant on the Champs Elysées

Théâtre Marigny has just reopened after five years of rejuvenation by his new operator, Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière and two architect-decorators, Jean-Michel Wilmotte for the public spaces and  François Joseph Graf for the “Costes” restaurant. It is a huge aesthetical success, since modernity mixes with the 19 th century style of the theatre founded by Jacques Offenbach, in 1855. Ushers … Read More

KraK des chevaliers and Palmyre, Syria is celebrated everywhere

Three exhibitions track the disappearing treasures of the Orient and recreate them with digital tools.  The emotion is total at seeing Palmyre, Alep, Mossoul live again despite the war. A new technic forced by circumstances and developed by Iconem, projects images on huge screens at Institut du Monde Arabe. At Cité de l’architecture, the large fortress of Krak is described … Read More

Tutto Ponti, a design giant rediscovered at MAD

Visiting “Tutto Ponti” the retrospective dedicated to Italian designer and architect Gio Ponti (1891-1979), was a true discovery and a wonderful immersion in 20 th century design. Musée des Arts Décoratifs, now called MAD, has gone a long way to give to the ” Italian Le Corbusier” enough space and luxury. Maybe too much? But you can visit the show … Read More