At Fleux, candles have a shape and happily no smell

parisdiaFashion, furniture, Happy moments, presents1 Comment

Sculptural candle which stands on its own

I was visiting the new exhibition “Surface Horizon with Jean Marie Appriou and Marguerite Humeau” at Lafayette Anticipations, the foundation built by Rem Koolhaas for the Houzé family in the Marais which has helped make the large block on rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie and rue du Plâtre, even more famous than before. And being totally disappointed by the show, I wandered around at Eataly, the famous Italian food shop and restaurant,  and at Fleux, a group of six shops with presents, furniture and magical candles. Not your typical scented candle which everyone brings for dinner when they have no imagination. No, a much better kind of candle: curbed, twisted, sculptural, they come from Sweden or Spain but also from France and they are totally uplifting.Read More

Vaux le Vicomte, Versailles, Paris, music at candlelight is everywhere.

parisdiaArt, flowers and gardens, Happy moments, Performing arts1 Comment

Grans salon of Vaux le Vicomte lit with candles

One of the advantages of the summer is that you can wander around castles near Paris and have dinner outside in grand decors. At Vaux le Vicomte, lights illuminate the park and there are fireworks organized every Saturday night until October 2. You can have dinner in the restaurant facing the castle and visit the grand salons painted by Charles Le Brun at candle light. In Versailles, “Les Grandes Eaux“, every Saturday night of the summer, are a show to be seen once in lifetime and classical concerts take place in different areas of the park and the castle. Read More

Uderzo had a life before Asterix

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Albert Uderzo,©-Editions-Albert-Rene

There is a great boom around “Asterix”, at the moment. New attractions and a new hotel at the theme park North of Paris, a new film of Asterix in China “l’Empire du Milieu”, directed by Guillaume Canet with Vincent Cassel and Marion Cotillard, to be launched in Spring 2022 and a beautiful exhibition at Musée Maillol, on  rue de Grenelle, around its creator Albert Uderzo (1927-2020). This is the first major show of his work, organized by Agence Artcurial culture with 300 drawings and it is curated by the artist’s daughter, Sylvie Uderzo.

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The origins of the world at Musée d’Orsay

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Filippo Palizzi, After the Flood [Dopo il diluvio], 1863 or 1867 museo di Capodimonte © Christie’s Images Ltd – Arthotek

Yes the painting by Courbet, “The origin of the world” (1866) is present in the exhibition but it is a much more intellectual and scientific theme which is explored here following Darwin’s “Origin of the Species”, than an erotic show… Inaugurated  in December 2020 when all the museums were asked to close, this last exhibition prepared by Laurence des Cars at Musée d’Orsay, “Les Origines du monde”, is fascinating but needs a little intellectual effort. The subtitle, “the Invention of nature in the 19 th century” is a vast program and I have to admit that most paintings were new to me and are a good mirror of the fascination of the world in the 19 th century. The show closes on July 18 so make sure not to miss it.Read More

In l’Isle Adam, Pierre Gatier unveils his prints!

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Revue Navale, 4 September 1911, in Toulon, ©Bibliothèqe de l’INHA-Collections Jacques Doucet

I had never heard of printer Pierre Gatier, 1878-1944, who concentrated on social life in Paris, elegant ladies of the turn of the century and boats. He made a name for himself with aquatint prints of the Belle Epoque. His first important collector was fashion designer Jacques Doucet whom he met in 1908, and who acquired 155 works of his. Doucet’s collection of 14 000 prints was bequeathed to INHA (Institut national d’histoire de l’art) who lent many pieces for the show. The little town of l’Isle-Adam is exhibiting 130 prints by this artist who lived there, in Seine et Oise, part of his later life. Visiting the Louis Senlecq museum was a good excuse to get out of Paris and drive to this elegant area which used to be the property of Prince de Bourbon Conti in 1746 and still is extremely pretty, with a beach on river l’Oise and many affluent houses. Photographer Jacques-Henri Lartigue lived there and gave his collection of paintings to the museum. The town is run, for the third generation, by a Prince Poniatowski. After Michel (the minister under Giscard d’Estaing) and Axel, now Sébastien (born 1979) since 2017. Read More

Rodin and Picasso probably never met but …

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Pablo Picasso, Le Baiser (The Kiss), Mougins, 26 October 1969, (C) RMN- Grand Palais / Adrien Didierjean, © Succession Picasso 2021

Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) probably never met or just briefly at the Bateau Lavoir in 1906, but two brilliant curators, Véronique Mattiussi at Musée Rodin and Virginie Perdrisot-Cassan at Musée Picasso, have decided to show them together with many common themes and shapes. The result is two beautiful shows which you should see in one go, if you have time. The climax of the day for me was the room at Musée Picasso called “biomorphism”, with figurative artworks whose form is inspired by life, illustrated by “The Swimmer”. “The Kiss”, “The Crying Woman”, a tapestry of “Guernica” and “The Gate of Hell” facing each other at Rodin, are also high points of the two shows. Read More

Magritte is not the same at l’Orangerie

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The First Day, 1943, Private collection © Photothèque R. Magritte / Adagp Images, Paris, 2021

I always think of René Magritte as the painter of night with the moon and strange shadows. At l’Orangerie this time, he is sunny and explodes with light. The reason is the theme of the exhibition “Magritte’s Renoir period, 1943-1947”, where he is inspired by the French Impressionist’s bright colors. Convinced that the defeat of the German troops at Stalingrad heralded the final defeat of Nazi Germany and the approaching end of the world conflict, Magritte saw himself as a prophet of happiness and of the return of peace. The 100 paintings and drawings shown here until July 19 are a true discovery. And some are quite naughty.

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Jean-Michel Bacquet has two loves, Flayosc and Montarnal

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Le Château de Selle, Winter afternoon, 2011-2020 (in Flayosc)

Born in 1956, Jean-Michel Bacquet has studied at Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and was a young laureate of the Prix du Dessin Pierre David-Weill at the Académie des Beaux Arts. He now lives between two beautiful and wild areas six hours apart, Flayosc near Draguignan, in Provence, and Montarnal near Conques, in Aveyron. He paints and draws and the show, “Seasons” at galerie Documents 15, is mostly concentrated on works on paper, in black and white and in color. And they are magical. It can take him 10 years to complete his paintings for which he likes to catch the right light. He has been compared to a monk for his patience and his spiritual strength.Read More