Maison Parisienne is in full creativity mode

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Coralie Laverdet works on her paper sculpture Luna II, Tondo series © maison parisienne

Twelve years ago, Florence Guillier Bernard started Maison Parisienne, a “nomadic gallery” as she calls it, to promote young brilliant French craftsmen. She picks them, ceramists, embroiderers, wood carvers, glass blowers, copper sculptors, when they graduate from Ecole Boulle or when they receive a prize. She then works closely with them, for many years sometimes, and accompanies them all the way to entering museum collections.  Her “stable” is now quite fantastic and also includes Simone Pheulpin, a 79 year old lady from les Vosges, whom the French public discovered when she exhibited at Chapelle Expiatoire three years ago. She creates the most dreamy pleated cotton sculptures. This year, Maison Parisienne is showing its treasures in an apartment for sale, decorated by Olivia Stiegler on boulevard Malesherbes, but since lockdown, you cannot see them except here.Read More

Amaury d’Andigné, a clever artist who loves animals!

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Amaury d’Andigné with a large drawing in acrylic. The polo ball is interfered by a chicken

When I received Amaury d’Andigné‘s portfolio by email, I was intrigued. There is a nostalgia in his drawings of horses and dogs that reminded me of Xavier de Poret or Karl Reille’s talent for hunting scenes. Yet you could see he was of a younger generation and the sense of humor that is always present in his works, made me curious of seeing more. I set up an appointment to visit his studio in Neuilly and was charmed by his presentation. Trained at Penninghen art school (“I did not graduate because I started working in advertising before”) and art director for ten years at Saatchi Paris, Amaury decided to become a full time artist. He contributes to many sports publications and sells drawings on line.Read More

Champagne sales have gone up on Saturday!

parisdiaHappy moments, History1 Comment

The best news of the year came at tea time in France on Saturday November 7

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 Clicquot, Roederer or Moët and  we drank together at a 5 000 mile distance. The week has been marked by other pleasures like reading José Alvarez‘ new biography of Helmut Newton and his wife June, “Helmut and June” published by Grasset.Read More

Rattan is the new chic, by Lulu Lytle

parisdiaArt, furniture, Technique1 Comment

Contemporary design is used here by architect Eleonore Peduzzi Riva at Renaissance Villa Saluzzo Bombrini in Liguria, Italy, photo Carla de Benedetti

Rattan (rotin in French) has a double quality: it was always used in royal and grand colonial decors and is therefore very chic, and it is handmade by craftsmen of what the French call “Les Métiers d’Art”, so very much in fashion at the moment. It is therefore not a coïncidence if Lulu Lytle, author of the book published by Rizzoli, invited Prince Charles to visit the workshops in Leicestershire where her company, Soane Britain, has developed rattan weaving in Thurmaston. From Windsor castle in 1946 to Princesse Caroline of Monaco photographed by Slim Aarons in 1981, we can dream about new decors and lifestyles in this very clever album. Read More

Patrick Marnham uncovers WW2 secrets in “War in the shadows”

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Noor Inayat Khan, the bilingual Indian born radio agent who refused to go back to England and died at 28.

Patrick Marnham used to be the correspondent of the Independent in Paris in the 1980’s and he has since published many beautifully crafted biographies. Diego Rivera, Georges Simenon, Jean Moulin, Mary Wesley, each one is more clever and inspired than the other. His new book, which was just nominated as Book of the Year by the TLS, is “War in the Shadows” a historical search for what went wrong in the summer of 1943 when Jean Moulin was arrested and killed by Klaus Barbie and at the same time “Prosper”, the biggest SOE (special operations executive) network allied to the French Resistance in the Loire Valley, was dismantled.Read More

A rare Proust manuscript needs you to enter the BnF

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Marcel Proust with his brother Robert and their mother Jeanne Weil Proust, © BnF

Bibliothèque Nationale de France is in the process of acquiring a first edition of “Du côté de chez Swann” dedicated to his close friend Marie Scheikévitch. It needs  250 000 € which the annual gala was going to finance. Since it is cancelled, the National Library is appealing to the public. What makes this edition so special, besides the fact that it is the original print, one of twelve tirages de tête published by Grasset put paid for by the author, is the eight page long manuscript dedication which relates in detail the evolution of the characters in the future volumes of “La Prisonnière” and “Albertine Disparue”. Read More

To do and not to do

parisdiaArt, Performing arts1 Comment

The day confinement was declared this divine camellia flowered on my balcony

Confinement started in Paris last Friday and of course we are back to having to fill out forms every time we want to buy a baguette. So this week, we will not be able to attend the much anticipated Marc Riboud exhibition at Musée Guimet, which is completely installed and waiting for the public. The photographer, who spent much time in Asia, has given the whole of his 50 000 corpus of photographs to the French State and this exhibition, which will last until March 1, is a first selection of his work, made with Catherine Chaine Riboud, his wife. Here is one of his most witty shots, at the British Museum in London.Read More

Belgian gardens are celebrated by photographer César Garçon

parisdiaBooks, flowers and gardens2 Comments

Along the Meuse river, the Renaissance castle of Freÿr with its formal terraced gardens

Christmas time is coming up and with its usual beautiful picture books. This one “La Belgique des Jardins“, is the fruit of a collaboration between Donatienne de Séjournet, one of the best expert in gardens in Belgium and César Garçon who proved with his “Italian gardens” book (2015), that he knows garden architecture well.  Some are the classical ornaments of castles like Beloeil, Freÿr and Hex which can be visited, some are royal like the greenhouses of Laeken, others are arboretums like the famous Kalmthout created by Jelena de Belder or Wespelaar which belongs to Philippe de Spoelberch. The more recent one created by Erik Dhont, is owned by couturier Dries Van Noten and Patrick Vangheluwe, in Rigenhof near Antwerp.Read More