Hyacinthe Rigaud in Versailles, don’t miss it!

parisdiaArt, History3 Comments

This is probably the most gorgeous exhibition of the moment: it has been “unopened” for four months and closes on June 13. So if you have time to go to Versailles, do not miss this show of 150 portraits (mostly men) by Louis XIV th’ painter Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659-1743). With a set designed by Pier Luigi Pizzi, it is the first retrospective … Read More

Napoléon in full majesty at la Villette

parisdiaArt, furniture, History3 Comments

With la Grande Halle de la Villette, a gigantic cultural space set in the former meat market, in the North of Paris, Emperor Napoléon has found a perfect celebration spot two hundred years after he died on the island of Sainte Hélène 2 600 kms west of Angola… The exhibition which is just opening there instead of at the Grand … Read More

Musée Carnavalet has great surprises after a four year renovation.

parisdiaarchitecture, Art, furniture, History, photography8 Comments

Musée Carnavalet has been closed for four years but it was worth waiting and spending 58 million € under the supervision of Chatillon architects. Nathalie Crinière was in charge of the museography. Valérie Guillaume, its director since 2013, introduced our visit with a very politically correct speech on the importance of caring to young visitors and on the increase of exhibition … Read More

Champagne sales have gone up on Saturday!

parisdiaHappy moments, History1 Comment

Is this a good sign for French American future trade relations? I have received so many messages from American friends drinking champagne on Saturday at 6 pm French time, that I hope wine will not be taxed anymore when entering the US. To celebrate the President Elect Joe Biden, my friends have all opened a bottle of Pol Roger, Veuve … Read More

In Compiègne, Eugénie is the topic of a new book and a costume show

parisdiaArt, flowers and gardens, furniture, History, photographyLeave a Comment

Château de Compiègne is a sleeping beauty which is slowly being awakened by the senior curator Rodolphe Rapetti and at the moment, a modest exhibition of costumes worn by Empress Eugénie, Napoléon III’s wife, is matched by a brilliant book written by Laure Chabanne with photographs by Gustave Le Gray, paintings and watercolors by Eugène Lami, and numerous artifacts which give … Read More

Who was Henri II? an ambitious warrior now at Vincennes.

parisdiaArt, History3 Comments

I had barely ever heard of our king Henri II (1519-1559), whose father François I and wife Catherine de Médicis, mistress Diane de Poitiers and cousin Henri IV, completely eclipsed him. He reigned for twelve years, ten of which were at war, trying to expand the Kingdom of France. And he should at least be remembered for taking back in 1558, … Read More

The Musée de la Poste is full of surprises!

parisdiaHappy moments, History1 Comment

If you arrive early for your train at Gare Montparnasse or if you have a half hour to spare upon arrival, cross the street and walk into the super modern Musée de la Poste. It is a curiosity in Montparnasse and there are some fun surprises. From the beginning of the telephone system which used to be part of the … Read More

Hélène Rodocanachi has left us in style

parisdiaHistory11 Comments

You might remember my mentioning Hélène Rodocanachi’s 105 th birthday in March, which she spent alone in a retirement home at the Trocadero during confinement, and again my lunch with her three weeks ago in Perros-Guirec, Brittany. She was in full intellectual form and only had some difficulties walking around the garden of her childhood house, Rochefontaine, bought by her … Read More