Tag Archives: France

December 14

Paths to Modernism: Puvis de Chavannes’ Murals

On  the 14th of December 1824, the Symbolist painter Pierre Puvis de Chavannes was born in Lyon, France. Considered a ‘painter’s painter’, he was a great influence on artists, amongst which Matisse and Picasso and universally popular in his time. “Virtually all the artists and critics of the day admired Puvis de Chavannes. His admirers […]

November 26

Deconstructing Language and Meaning with Eugène Ionesco

On the 26th of November 1909, the playwright Eugen Ionescu was born in Slatina, Judetul Olt, Romania. Having trained as a French teacher in ‘Little Paris’, as Bucharest had become known between the two world wars, Ionesco followed on to Paris where he completed his doctorate in 1938. He returned to France during the war […]

November 03

Matisse’s Joy of Life versus Picasso’s Fear of Death

On the 3rd of November 1954, Henri Matisse died in Niece, France. He was an exceptional artist with a unique and brave vision that allowed him to break away from all artistic conventions of his time. Yes, he did have a short liaison with Impressionism, but the impact of his later achievements on art could […]

October 16

Marie-Antoinette’s Hair Extravaganza

On the 16th of October 1793 – only two weeks before her thirty-eighth birthday – Marie Antoinette was beheaded at the Place de la Révolotion in Paris. From a historical perspective, one can refer to her death in a more symbolic context as to a loss of identity that was never entirely her own.  “For Marie-Antoinette, […]

October 11

Piaf and Cocteau: Les Enfants Terribles

When I write I disturb. When I make a film I disturb. When I paint I disturb. When I exhibit my paintings I disturb, and I disturb if I don’t. I have a knack for disturbing. (Jean Cocteau, Diary of an Unknown) On the 11th of October 1963, a French poet, novelist, designer, playwright, artist, […]

September 15

Grand Designs: André Le Nôtre and the Gardens of Versailles

On the 15th of September 1700, French landscape architect, and the principal gardener of King Louis XIV of France, André Le Nôtre died in Paris. Regarded as one of the greatest landscape designers of all time, Le Nôtre was responsible for the design and construction of such famous French gardens as Chantilly, Fontainebleau, Saint-Cloud, Saint-Germain, […]