Fernand Khnopff, old and new dreams from Belgium

A giant reproduction of the portrait of Marguerite Khnopff (the artist’s sister), 1887,  welcomes the visitor, photo Eric Turmel

I did not quite understand why I had left the “Khnopff, Maître de l’énigme” exhibition at Petit Palais slightly sad and depressed? So I went back thinking that maybe, that morning, I was tired and unfocused. And what I found on my second visit of this mysterious turn-of-the century Belgian painter, is that the lighting of the exhibition and the often white walls are just too cold. Of course it could have been intentional to reproduce the cold light of the north but I think it gives a dark ambiance to melancholic paintings which are nevertheless exceptional.Read More

Alberto Giacometti is surprising at Musée Maillol

Composition (dite Cubiste I, Couple) ca 1926-27, Fondation Giacometti

When I went to Musée Maillol, to see the Giacometti show, I thought I would know every single statue and be slightly bored. Well not at all, because the first two rooms have such wonderful early sculptures that it is worth going just for them and the very last painted plaster which is huge and very surprising. The few Rodin groups are of course overwhelmingly beautiful.Read More

Happy New Year 2019!

Happy New Year from the French Riviera

As we are celebrating the fourth anniversary of Parisdiarybylaure, I would like to thank you all for your support and enthusiasm. The City of Light is still very much alive and so many cultural events are planned for 2019 that you should all join us in the celebrations! The only dark cloud  is the no deal Brexit which I very much hope will not affect in any way our close and dear friendship with the Brits.Read More

350 years of the Paris Opera

Two students from Ecole de danse photographed by Francette Levieux

The Paris Opera is celebrating its 350 th anniversary this year and Henri Loyrette, former President of Orsay and of the Louvre, is in charge. Founded by Louis XIV and directed by Lully, the Académie Royale de Musique created on June 28, 1669, was meant to entertain and charm the public. It was the first permanent opera house of the time. Last night, the inaugural Gala was the place to be on December 31. The house was packed and champagne was served at intermission with microscopic blinis prepared by Dalloyau. Japanese ladies were wearing their kimonos and many little girls were there for the first time.Read More

My most clever Christmas present

The Pearl mirror is also a phone charger

I had not received such a clever present for a long time and of course it came from my precious nephew Alex! This pretty make up mirror lights up with a led light and acts as a charger for your iPhone or any other telephone. How many times have you arrived near a house and the address was in your dead phone? Well this will not happen anymore since the Pearl make up mirror also acts as a charger.Read More

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

Château de Chambord in the snow

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 Florence. Five hundred years later, the whole region of Centre-Pays de la Loire is celebrating, through over five hundred events, the height of the Renaissance under King François I. A press conference at Quai d’Orsay was presided by the minister of Foreign affairs Jean Yves Le Drian in order to give this celebration all the pomp of the Republic. Read More

At Musée Cognacq Jay, 18 th century excellence

Nicolas Raguenet, La joute des Mariners entre le pont Notre Dame et le Pont au Change, 1756

The corporation of ” Marchand Mercier” was created in 1137 in Paris with five other associations which  represented the industrial aristocracy of the city. They were allowed to import, collect, design, and sell luxury furniture or objects made in France by an International array of artists. The shops were located mostly around the Place des Victoires, the Palais Royal and on bridges on the Seine. The ads were painted by François Boucher and Jean-Antoine Watteau. A charming exhibition of 18 th century treasures is at Musée Cognacq-Jay on rue Elzévir until January 27. Read More