Shchukin, a voracious collector

parisdiaArt, Happy moments6 Comments

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This week, I exceptionally asked Celestine Bohlen,  New York Times foreign correspondent and columnist, specialized in Russia, to write a portrait of this amazing Russian collector. And this is what she generously shared with us:

“At the end of the 19th century, Sergei Shchukin, heir to a Russian textile fortune, began to collect French art, hesitantly at first and later with astonishing boldness. The hugely popular exhibit, “Icons of Modern Art” now on display at the Louis Vuitton Foundation at the Bois de Boulogne, is an homage to his vision and his guts.Read More

Guendalina Litta, a good fairy for your parties

parisdiaBooks, Happy moments1 Comment

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A table for two hundred and fifty guests on the Riviera

How does one entertain in style? The regretted Pierre Celeyron  was a genius at giving you personalized decors for your balls, weddings and birthday parties. He used to work with three good fairies, Isabelle Baer, Fabienne de Sèze and Guendalina Litta. Two of them have kept going, organizing week long events like  Vanisha Mittal’s Indian wedding in Versailles and Vaux le Vicomte (Fabienne), and Guendalina Litta has just published a book in english, of photographs of her events: a great work in which you can pinch ideas, colors, natural and artificial decors based n sumptuous flower arrangements.  Read More

Bouchardon, a long forgotten sculptor, at the Louvre

parisdiaArt3 Comments

Bouchardon, Seasons represented by children's games, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Bouchardon, “Seasons” represented by children’s games, Metropolitan Museum of Art

You probably never knew (and nor did I) that Edme Bouchardon (1698-1762), was the author of Louis XV th statue on place de la Concorde (torn down at the Revolution and later replaced by the obélisque) and of the Fontaine de Grenelle, which was commissioned to celebrate the arrival of water in the Faubourg Saint Germain in 1739. It still proudly sits near Fondation Maillol by boulevard Raspail. The Louvre is organising a large retrospective of his work with the Getty museum, which owns many drawings and sculptures of the master.Read More

Vivienne Westwood in Paris… at last

parisdiaFashion1 Comment

Foto Ugo Camera

The Fall Winter Vivienne Westwood show: a little craziness in our grey skies, embroidered Officer cotton jacket, cotton top and asymmetrical silk embroidered skirt, photo Ugo Camera

We have been waiting for her for forty years and she has settled in Paris at last. After Paul Smith who is one of my favorite eccentric English designer, Vivienne Westwood, queen of the 70’s London style, asked architect Philippe Jolivald, and designer Simona Franci to create a decor of resin, stainless steel and plated wood. It is  warm and fun at the same time and a perfect frame fro her provocative and militant outfits.Read More

Happy Halloween!

parisdiaHappy moments1 Comment

Halloween decoration on Mission Ridge Road, Santa Barbara

A pretty spider, a Halloween decoration on Mission Ridge Road, Santa Barbara, CA, photo Guy de Gramont

Halloween (All hallow’s eve)  has not really reached Paris yet, as far as decorations go, but there were many parties going on all around the country this week end. We tend to visit cemeteries and cover our tombs with chrysanteums. I can’t resist sending you some of the pictures  I received from the States.Read More

350 birds painted on china at Musée Camondo

parisdiaArt, Auction, furniture2 Comments

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The cabinet des porcelaines shows 350 pieces of bird painted XVIIth century Sèvres china

Ornithology became a science during Louis XVI’s reign and Buffon’s “Histoire Naturelle”  is one of the leading scientific tools when you come to study birds. An extraordinary exhibition is taking place at Comte Moïse de Camondo’s house, in parc Monceau with 350 pieces of china, patiently collected in 1898, exhibited together with painted etchings by François-Nicolas Martinet, Henry-François Vincent and Massy,  formerly used by ateliers de Sèvres for the manufacturing of china. Read More

Claude Perdriel, a very serious lover… of life

parisdiaBooks1 Comment

Claude Perdriel loved to go sailing in Saint Tropez and Majorca

Claude Perdriel, a French Gatsby? as Franz- Olivier Giesbert nicknamed him

« Why would you want to write about Claude Perdriel ? », asked famous writer and journalist Jean Daniel, « because his life is a novel » replied biographer Marie- Dominique Lelièvre. And this is exactly what I felt like while reading this fun and lively biography of one of France’s most brilliant contemporary press entrepreneur.Read More

The artwork of the week

parisdiaArt2 Comments

Ann Hirsch and Jeremy Angier, orange foam swimmers, are floating in the Fort Point Channel, near South Station, in Boston. Photo Brigid Williams

Ann Hirsch and Jeremy Angier’s  “Safety orange  swimmers” are floating in the Fort Point Channel, near South Station,  Boston. Photo Brigid Williams

I was sent this picture from Boston and was so struck by its dramatic beauty that I had to share it with you. At a  time when Eritreans and Libyans are dying in masses near Sicily, this work of art reminds us all of the Middle East trauma. Made of polyurethane, the 22 swimmers represent the 21 million refugees in eh world todayRead More