Revelations, a creative crafts fair

a porcelain ring in which you grow what you like (Esprit Porcelaine in Limoges)

A porcelain ring in which you grow what you like (Esprit Porcelaine in Limoges, 65€)

There are few things more exciting than walking into Grand Palais at ten A.M. and seeing a whole range of 300 maitres d’art. And I was surprised at the number of craftsmen I discovered within two hours. This new art fair « Revelations », started two years ago by Henri Jobbé-Duval, was incredibly successful this year and here are the marvels I found.Read More

Young talents at Publicis

Christophe Ono-di-biot announces the winner with Anne de la Baume, who runs the Fondaiton Bleustein Blanchet and Academician Erik Orsenna, member of the jury

Christophe Ono-di-biot announces the winner of the literary Prize with Anne de la Baume, who runs the Fondation Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet and Erik Orsenna, member of the jury

There are a few magical hidden places in Paris and the terrace on top of the Publicis building, on place de l’Etoile, is one of them. Each year in September, a poetry and a literary prize are given to a young writer by the Fondation pour la Vocation Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet and a relaxed and yet delicious lunch follows on the sunny terrace overlooking Paris and La Défense. This year, Martin Wable, 23, won the poetry prize for “Géopoésie” and Miguel Bonnefoy, 29 for his first novel « Le Voyage d’Octavio » which we had already reviewed here last March.Read More

Anne and Patrick Poirier, the dark visionaries

Anne et Patrick Poirier en vacances cet été, photo Pierre-Antoine Champenois

Anne and Patrick Poirier on holiday this summer, photo Pierre-Antoine Champenois

The first time I was confronted to Anne and Patrick Poirier’s Mediterranean ruins, was at the French consulate in New York in 1978. André Gadaud, the then French Consul General, had commissioned from Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, a fabulous  porcelain centerpiece  “Ruines d’Egypte”, which represented Greek  columns heightened with gold. I have since seen it again and felt the same emotion at MUCEM, the Marseille museum, which focuses on the Méditerrannée. The new show at Galerie Mitterrand in Paris is called « Mesopotamia » and tracks back to the 1960’s, the couple’s passion for archeology and Greek temples. Fifty years later and just after the destruction of the temple of Palmyre, they appear as dark prophets.

Selinunte, Agosto 1973, photograph enhanced with painting

“Selinunte, Agosto 1973”, photograph enhanced with paint

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François 1er comes to Chantilly


This tapestry after Jules Romain, “La Bataille de Zama”, (detail) 1544, came from Madrid. Its seize and quality are striking.

What better way to celebrate your 21st birthday than to win a battle which will make you famous for the rest of your life ? This is what François 1er, brand new king of France, did on September 13 th and 14 th (his birthday was on the 12th) 1515, in Marignano, near Milan. This is the only date that all French school children remember and we are celebrating this year its  500 th anniversary. Thanks to the Venitians, France was victorious against the Pope and his Swiss army. With 16 000 deaths over a two day battle, François 1er regained the Duchy of Milano and Lombardy.

Olivier de Rohan admires the Portrait of François 1er by CLouet lent by the Louvre

Olivier de Rohan admires the Portrait of “François 1er en tenue d’apparat” by Clouet, 1527, lent by the Louvre

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Stained-glass windows as contemporary art


25 - Bensaken & Duchemin - Varennes Jarcy

Carole Benzaken/Ateliers Duchemin, Church of St Sulpice in Varennes-Jarcy, 1997-2000. © Photo Harry Bréjat

Second world war had one positive effect on French art : most stained-glass windows in French cathedrals were destroyed and thus as early as 1957, new windows were commissioned from famous French artists. Chagall, Bissière, Villon, Alberola, Rouan, Soulages, Garouste… all worked to restore or create over 2 000 new churches.

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“Dheepan” does not let us down

Jacques Audiard and part of the cast at the Cannes Film festival

Jacques Audiard and part of the cast at the Cannes Film festival

When I read that « Dheepan », a film with unknown Sri Lankan actors, had won the Palme d’Or in Cannes last May, I must admit I had some doubts. This year’s jury probably wanted to be politically correct again ! But my incontrollable curiosity led me to the cinema, on opening day in Paris and I was happily surprised. The film is brilliant, very strong, although a bit too violent for my taste, and mostly, its characters are very moving and remained on my mind for weeks.

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Louvre Lens, three years later


Designed by the Japanese firm SANAA, Louvre Lens opened in December 2012

Descente de Croix, Paris

Descente de Croix, is part of the exhibition d’Or et d’Ivoire

When in December 2012, the Louvre museum opened a satellite in Lens, a mine workers town, 90 mns North of Paris, the International community raved about the SANAA flat silver building. In the snow and with grey skies, the effect was fabulous and mysterious. Inside, the Grande Galerie -which shows over 120 meters, works ranging from the Egyptians to 19 th century French painters such as Ingres- gives a wonderful vision of history of Art. It is as easy to visit as an upscale supermarket and children have fun with their parents.Read More

Cap Ferret launches the “Rentrée Littéraire”

Cap Ferret, a very long peninsula south of Bordeaux, has become the it place for summer

Eating foie gras and swimming in huge waves on Ocean beach at Cap Ferret, a trendy summer resort an hour south of Bordeaux, is wonderful enough but when you do it at the end of the summer, in the company of such brilliant writers as Alain Mabanckou, Brigitte Giraud and Philippe Trétiack, it is much more fun.

At Alice, good wines are sold along literary finds

At Alice bookstore, good wines are sold along literary finds

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