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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Fondation Bemberg, a hidden gem in Toulouse

The Renaissance Hotel d'Assézat houses the Bemberg collection

The Renaissance Hôtel d’Assézat houses the Bemberg collection

Georges Bemberg a Renaissance Man who died at 94

Georges Bemberg a Renaissance Man who died at 94

It is rare to fall in love so fast with an art collection as I have in Toulouse this week. I had wanted to visit Fondation Bemberg for a long time and four years after the death of its genius creator, Georges Bemberg, I was invited by its new president, Art historian and gallerist Guillermo de Osma, to tour this spectacular private collection with its director of 20 years, Philippe Cros, who is the collector’s living memory. And I was mesmerized.Read More

Jean Rochefort, in full form at 85

Sandrine Kiberlain and Jean Rochefort, a wininng team!

Sandrine Kiberlain and Jean Rochefort, a wininng team!

« Floride » is a strange title for a film on the topic of Alzheimer : in director Philippe Le Guay’s film, the word symbolizes the dream of a father to visit his daughter, who died eight years ago and lived in Miami. The story is charming, absurd, moving, funny and dark at the same time, but the main interest is Jean Rochefort, who at 85 manages to occupy the screen for 90 mns. And he is so attractive !

The fashion codes are fabulous

The fashion codes are fabulous

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