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

parisdiaHistory10 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

Marie Antoinette at the Conciergerie, last chance…

parisdiaArt, History1 Comment

There is something positive about the transports strike in Paris, everyone is out walking and the streets are it is incredibly lively and fun to watch. I recently went to see the Marie Antoinette exhibition at the Conciergerie “Metamorphoses of an image” (until January 26), and walked on to have lunch at one of my favorite restaurants Le Hangar, across … Read More

Football as a political tool at IMA

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You all remember Invictus, the fabulous film directed by Clint Eastwood, which recounted  Nelson Mandela’s success when South Africa won the Rugby World cup in 1995. Sport changes men’s attitudes and this is what Rachid Mekhloufi, star footballer who played with AS St Etienne tried to prove in 1958. He and Mustapha Zitouni left a successful career in France to … Read More

“The art market under the Occupation” at Mémorial de la Shoah

parisdiaArt, Auction, History3 Comments

It is ironical that the remarkable exhibition on the collaboration between some French art experts and Nazi collectors “Le Marché de l’art sous l’occupation 1940-1944” opened the exact same day as the Bührle collection at Musée Maillol. German Swiss collector, Emil Bührle, typically profited from the extraordinary art market during the war at Hôtel Drouot and through private sales, and … Read More