Maurice Rapin, rediscovered

Maurice Rapin, “L’Ecole du sourire”, (school of smile) 1977-78

Born in 1927 in his grandfather’s foundry in Paris, Maurice Rapin became a mathematician and a painter at the same time. He taught at a lycée in Versailles and came home to his studio nearby in Chaville. His artistic life was discreet and he always resented exhibiting his work. This is why seventeen years after his death, Sabine Bayasli, is partiuclarly proud to exhibit a collection of his works in her two galleries Detais of rue Notre Dame de Lorrette.Read More

Medieval glass at Musée de Cluny

The chess players from l’hôtel de la Bessée, Villefranche-sur-Saône, XVth century © RMN-Grand Palais (musée de Cluny–musée national du Moyen-Âge) / Jean-Gilles Berizzi

Musée de Cluny is such a discreet place that I had to rely on Australian friends to find out about one of the most magical exhibitions of the moment : ” Inventiveness in glass in the Middle Ages “. It covers all aspects of glass from stained windows in Saint Denis Cathedral to spectacles, house windows and drinking glasses. It shows what a science it is to make glass and no wonder Saint Gobain is the sponsor of the show.Read More

Boros, old fabrics from Japan turned into abstract art

This old Boro, made of mended cloth and stitches is an abstract work of art

It is an extraordinary space for art that Italian artist Beatrice Caracciolo has opened on rue Jules Chaplain, taking great care in the architecture of the gallery. In the heart of Montparnasse and next door to a lovely Arts et Essais cinema, she exhibits artists that she loves. A show of Boro fabrics from Japan has just opened and it promises to be one of the most beautiful exhibitions of the month.Read More

Peter Paul Rubens in majesty

Portrait of Eleonora de Gonzague, future Empress at 2, 1600-01, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

There is a true sense of excitement when one enters the first room of the magnificent Rubens exhibition at Palais du Luxembourg in which two paintings featuring Queen Marie de Medicis visiting Rubens’ studio and a large Gobelins tapestry are hanging : all are 19 th century works and they tell us how important the Flemish painter remained in art history two centuries after his death. Read More

Mariano Fortuny, remembered in great style

Mariano Fortuny, Portrait of Henriette Nigrin, (Mrs Fortuny), ca 1915, Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia

Fashion genius Mariano Fortuny was born in Granada in 1871, but adopted Venice as his home after a stint in Paris. The son of a famous Catalan painter, he invented new kinds of printed fabrics for dresses, took photographs, made oil portraits and is mostly famous for his Delphos gown which has inspired Issey Miyake. Palais Galliera is showing more than a hundred pieces created by this very special artist, with fabulous historical research done by curator Sophie Grossiord.

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Popular images from 1500 to 1840 at Documents 15

“Credit is dead, bad payors have killed it”, early 19 th century

It is a lovely little show that artist Erik Desmazières and Mireille Romand has organized at gallery Documents 15 to present a book of André and Marie Thérèse Jammes’ collection of popular papers. You might remember the fantastic sale of Jammes’ photographs in 2008 at Sotheby’s which has been since called “The sale of the century”. This erudite book seller, who still owns his father Paul Jammes’ antiquarian shop on rue Gozlin, has spent his life collecting “paper” in a very original way.Read More

Anders Zorn brings Swedish light to Petit Palais

“Our daily bread”, 1886, watercolor on paper, Zorn’s grandmother cooks potatoes for lunch

There is a specific charm to Northern painters and Anders Zorn, one of the most famous Swedish painters of the turn of the century (1860-1920), is no exception. Famous in America and in France at the time, he had totally disappeared from the Paris scene until Christophe Leribault resurrected him at Petit Palais. The exhibition which runs until December 17, is a moment of grace.Read More

“Miranda” by Purcell at Opéra Comique

The decor designed by Chloe Lamford is brilliant, photo Pierre Grosbois

I had sadly been to three funerals last week so I did not feel like sitting at yet another one at Opéra Comique, at the première of “Miranda”. The decor was fabulous and the voices singing Purcell could not have been more delightful, but facing a coffin and masked singers holding a gun for one hour and a half was beyond my patience.

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