Alicia Drake, the master painter of Parisian life

You know Alicia Drake‘s name from her masterful book “The Beautiful Fall“, published in 2006,  about the lives of Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld. It stirred so much interest from both sides of the Atlantic that she barely had time to deliver her fifth child in the middle of the turmoil of the French translation (Ed Stock). Alicia is … Read More

Bernard de Fallois has left us and he will be missed

The day after he died, his office was well organised with a new manuscript still unpacked, lying on his desk. Five « orphans », Christophe, Marie-Claire, Philippine, Tristan and Anne, his faithful collaborators, were meeting to discuss the future of the house which he had founded 30 years ago when he left Editions Julliard. Bernard de Fallois was one of the last … Read More

Marilyn Yalom, champion of the heart

When I met Marilyn Yalom, twenty years ago, she was just publishing “A History of the Breast”, which started in the Middle Ages and ended with Madonna. A historian, very francophile and a contributor to the center for women’s studies at Stanford University, Marilyn has steadily published eight major books on women and death. She is married to the great … Read More

Slobodan Despot becomes a literary Casanova

When I met Slobodan Despot a few months ago at editor Catherine Blanchard-Maneval’s house, I was immediately charmed by his frank manners and brilliant conversation. This young Swiss-Serb writer has published two books with Gallimard and was just awarded the Prix Casanova created by couturier Pierre Cardin for the best book written in French by a European.

Edgar Degas and Paul Valéry exchange letters at Orsay!

The friendship between painter Edgar Degas (1834-1917) and poet Paul Valéry (1871-1945) was also an extraordinary artistic collaboration and the new exhibition at Musée d’Orsay celebrating the hundredth anniversary of Degas’s death is a little treasure of refinement and erudition with many unknown drawings and letters. A peaceful pause and marvelous contrast from most blockbuster exhibitions.

Gérard Garouste, at last elected at the Académie des Beaux Arts

I woke up this morning and my best reward was to get a message from Erik Desmazières, our most brilliant French engraver and drawer who has a show at Galerie Dietesheim &Maffei in Neufchatel Switzerland (until January 28), announcing that the Académie des Beaux Arts had elected Gérard Garouste to the painting section. This is a long awaited honor for … Read More

“Entrée libre” at Bibliothèque historique de la Ville de Paris

Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris, is one of those rare and secret monuments in the Marais, where you can enter freely and consult magazines from a hundred years ago. And no one  in Paris is aware of it.  After two years of modernization, Emmanuelle Toulet, its director, was hosting three days of public visits and has decided to … Read More

Toulouse Lautrec, the young master of Montmartre

It was great fun on the train to Martigny, Switzerland,  to meet a « cousinade » of Turckheims, a famous Protestant family from Alsace. The 50 cousins were all meeting in Verbier for the first week end of snow of the season and had planned to visit the Toulouse Lautrec show at Fondation Pierre Gianadda as part of their reunion. For the … Read More