Victor Hugo, an erotic portrait

A superb portrait of Victor Hugo by Bonnat in his second floor apartment of Place des Vosges

A superb portrait of Victor Hugo by Léon Bonnat in his second floor apartment of Place des Vosges

We all know that Victor Hugo (1802-1885) is one of the greatest French writers and playwright, an ardent politician who had to go into exile to Guernesey after Napoléon III came to power in 1848. He was also a talented drawer and loved women. The exhibition in Hotel de Rohan-Guéménée, on place des Vosges where he lived for 16 years is great fun, very erotic and gives a good idea of the mid 19 th century artistic and intellectual connections. It could make for a good start of a romantic evening….

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THANK YOU!

Thank you to all of you who called, sent e mails and texted messages from Germany, Italy, Mexico, the USA, Great Britain, New Zealand and China. Each little message is like one of the thousand candles lit in the city of Paris on Saturday night, it is the proof that we still breathe,  think and fight.

Our heart goes to all the Foreign friends who wrote and called. Thank you and keep visiting Paris!

Our heart goes to all the foreign friends who wrote and called. Thank you and keep visiting Paris!

Famous French pianist and conductor Bruno Rigutto was saying on France Musique Radio Saturday morning, that only culture (and music especially) could save us from the savages who committed these crimes. Culture, the main focus of this blog and my passion.

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A pillow for foodies

The gigantic paté "Oreiller de la belle Aurore"

The gigantic paté “Oreiller de la belle Aurore” can be bought every last Saturday of the month

I was expecting to see a huge crust pyramide being brought on stage at Théâtre Edouard VII, and so I was slightly disappointed when I saw a very large pâté en croûte being carried in the adjacent restaurant. But my bad mood only lasted a few moments until I tried the « Oreiller de la Belle Aurore », a dish inspired to charcutier Gilles Verot by Jean Anthelme Brillat Savarin, the famous gastronome who had started as a lawyer and politician.

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Lucien Clergue honored at grand Palais

"Née de la vague" Camargue,1966,© Atelier Lucien Clergue

“Née de la vague” Camargue,1966,© Atelier Lucien Clergue

Jean Paul Cluzel, President of the Grand Palais, had asked Lucien Clergue to prepare a retrospective of his work, but he died prematurely. So François Hébel and Christian Lacroix, a team of Arles lovers, took over and prepared « Les Premiers albums », a limpid and striking show of the photographer’s early pictures documented thanks to contact sheets glued daily in his many photo albums. « This is a subjective exhibition and affectionate tribute to someone we loved » said Hébel, a former director of Rencontres d’Arles, while introducing the visit.

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Borders, invisible and deadly

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Cheik Ledy, Demandeurs d’asile, 1994

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Picasso’s naturalization was refused by the Vichy regime in 1940

« Frontières », the new exhibition at Musée de l’Histoire de l’immigration, is a fascinating travel through time and civilisations. Based on short films, photographs, sculptures (by Brancusi) and paintings, it attempts to describe the numerous ordeals that would-be immigrants endure. Very much in the actuality, this theme has been recurrent since the 19 th century and has inspired many artists. The show, curated by Catherine Wihtol de Wenden and Yvan Gastaut is captivating and takes a little attention to follow properly, but it is immensely rewarding.Read More

Mary de Rothschild, a generous Lady

Mary de Rothschild, born Chauvin du Treuil (1916-2013),was one of the most elegant ladies of the 20 th century

Mary de Rothschild, born Chauvin du Treuil (1916-2013), was one of the most elegant ladies of the 20 th century

She married Baron Alain de Rothschild very young, after a mutual coup de foudre, and spent the war in New York, while he was detained in a military camp in Zoest. Until 1945, she remained without news from him and this probably contributed to the life long passion the couple had for each other. The grace and kindness she incarnated were visible till her later years.Read More

Travelling through Italian gardens

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Cactuses welcome you at Castello San Giuliano, in Sicily near Catana. The marquess traveled to Brazil in the 50’s and brought back more tropical plants

« L’Italie des Jardins » is the beautiful result of three years of traveling and many thousand years of growing : César Garçon, a garden lover turned photographer, and Pierre de Filippis, who runs a travel agency specialized in European garden tours, united their talents and knowledge to sum up the most important gardens of Italy.Read More

Rodin, revisited in style

The new installation is all about light as here in one of the oval rooms, "l'âge d'airain" is lit by two windows.

The new Musée Rodin is all about light, as here in one of the corner oval rooms, “l’Age d’airain” is lit through two windows. Photo Jérôme Manoukian

It would be easy to say that after a 16 €million renovation, Musée Rodin does not look any different than before the three year restoration. And in a way this is a blessing. But the changes are subtle and refined and rely mostly on a brilliantly computerized lighting system and on a new circulation of the public around the two floors, all offices having been suppressed. The walls that are not lined by oak panelings, are painted in « slipper satin », « Mouse’s back », « Skylight », « Blue Gray » and « Biron Gray » a color created especially by Farrow & Ball for Hotel de Biron. The place had been discovered by Rilke, Rodin’s secretary, in 1908 and turned into Musée Rodin in 1919.

Head of Madame Roll, 1887

Jeune femme au chapeau fleuri, 1870

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