Sports at Petit Palais, roses in Chantilly, music by the Garde Républicaine what a life!

parisdiaArt, Flowers and gardens5 Comments

Two months ahead, place de la Concorde is already closed to pedestrians

Yes the nightmare has started and every single Parisian I meet says: “I am moving to the country for the summer”… When the bus 84 from Saint Sulpice dropped me off at Assemblée Nationale and said it was turning back, I started to understand that life in the next six months would not be the same. The same happened when after a very nice lunch at Hotel e Crillon, I took the subway at concorde, just below and found out that line 12 to rue du Bac was closed until October? what a disaster… Last night, a friend of mine paid 50 € (normally 20€) in taxi fare to get to the Ranelagh from the Louvre, because all the bridges were closed and traffic jams were huge. So the exhibition “Le Corps en mouvement” at Petit Palais will be hard to access… but remains open all summer.  For the opening they invited a few charming Olympic athletes who picked their favorite sculptures and posed for a picture. Sports and the arts, what could be more flattering?  It is a nice way to get the public into the museum (which is free) and outline the numerous sports paintings and objects they have like the swimmer by Augustin Rouart (bequeathed by his son Jean Marie) or Emile Bracquemond‘s porcelaines offered as a prize in the 1924 Olympics.

Augustin Rouart, The Swimmer, 1943, bequeathed by Jean Marie Rouart, Petit Palaisro

Another museum of the city of Paris, Le Musée de la Vie Romantique is having an exhibition on “Géricault’s horses“. Not only does the show lack spark, but apparently it exhibits a lot of  paintings which are not by Géricault… as Didier Rykner mentions in his magazine, la Tribune de l’Art, on may 15. So the mayor of Paris has managed to destroy most of our streets and now she turns the city museums into flea markets… So the only solution was to flee to the countryside and enjoy the beautiful Pentecost week end in Chantilly where “Journées des plantes” was taking place. None of the scientific English and Dutch garden botanists are present anymore and the “Autour du Jardin” section is larger than ever. But I fell in love with many of the roses, the fern grower who is a passionate and also with Wesley,  a knife maker from Ariège (near Toulouse) who was so fervent about his trade that we listened to him discuss his creations for fifteen minutes.

The Roses Loubert at Chantilly won the Botanical Prize

Prizes were won by the Ville de Nantes for its collection of 600 magnolias, of which the Magnolia Grandiflora, was imported there for the first time in Europe from Louisiana, in 1711. Rose Gertrude Jekyll from Oriot was awarded a prize, the newcomer Nella Rosa did not win this year but  the clematis foundation Willy Böttcher did again. But now that Hélène and Patrice Fustier, founders of Journées des Plantes de Courson, are not present any more, the star of the event was definitely Thierry Basset, the  head gardener of Chateau de Chantilly who was busy carrying the prized plants around.

Thierry Basset, Head Gardner of Chantilly with the rose tree from Oriot

I personally loved Sandrine and Thierry Delabroye‘s stand with their mauve “clouds”. They develop perennials and asters in the fall. The Prix de la botanique went to Roses Loubert in Anjou. Once again Marie Gaillard the great specialist of ferns won a prize for all her creations at Les Jardins d’écoute s’il pleut and Wesley Savarino from Couteaux- Nature, enchanted us with his stories of knives which can cure the sheep up in the mountains and also be used in gardens and his sharpening stones from the Pyrénées. Their blades are designed in the shape of a sage leaf and they are ornamented with ebony or boxwood handles.

Wesley Savarino and his extraordinary knives from Saurat in Ariège

Back to Paris where I attended a sublime concert of soloists by the Garde Républicaine in the large indoor horse ring “Manège des Célestins” built by Eiffel on boulevard Henri IV. Emilien Lefèvre, oboist, Amaury Viduvier, clarinet, and Thomas Quinquenel, bassoon, played with flutist Nina Pollet and violinist Guillaume Plays.  Colonel François Boulanger was performing his last concert as conductor (he started in 1997) and had selected a number of film musics as well a rarely heard piece by Manuel de Falla, and 19 th century French composers. It was a unique moment amid the horses stables and a large contingent of militaries. The next concert in Paris is on May 30 at Salle Pleyel, but the orchestra travels all around France. I learned then that musicians apply to join the orchestra or the choir and become military instantly…

The training ring of Garde Républicaine was built by Eiffel

We ended the evening with a very nice dinner at Vins des Pyrénées, a restaurant on rue Beautreillis. I had always gone for lunch and loved the atmosphere at night with a fabulous foie gras, duck and tartare of beef. But sadly, the service is non existent…

On June 12, Urban artists will dialogue with historical works from the Petit Palais and show their “Street Art”  until November  17.

Château de Fontainebleau was a royal castle from François 1er to Napoléon, with 1 500 rooms and 130 has (c) Béatrice Lécuyer-Bidal

And if you want to travel to Mexico with just a train ride to Fontainebleau, visit the 13 th edition of Festival de l’Histoire de l’Art this week end. It starts on Friday with the multifaceted artist Mario Garcia Torres who will speak  at Théâtre Municipal at noon, then you can hear a conference on how Mexicas planned their water system in the 13 th century in the chapel of the château and discover Mexican contemporary design… The festival founded by Pierre Rosenberg remains focused on art books and brilliant curators who come from all over the world but has expanded into town. It is a brilliant reason to return to Fontainebleau and see all the improvements made to the castle in the last three years since Marie Christine Labourdette has been named President…

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5 Comments on “Sports at Petit Palais, roses in Chantilly, music by the Garde Républicaine what a life!”

  1. Thank you Laure, for this wonderful column and expressing rhe general parisian fears regarding getting around in Paris mot only during the forthcoming Olympics but already now and cerainly for several weeks after.
    Nevertheless, if it ever stops raining and does not get too hot there are many wonderful exhibits to try to see.

  2. Merci laure pour votre blog;
    Tout est difficile à Paris pour le moment, sauf nos musees et leurs expositions dont vous nous rendez compte si bien!.
    Ghislaine

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