Tag Archives: Paris

December 22

Jean-Étienne Liotard’s Soulful Portraits

Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702–1789) was born on the 22nd of December 1702 into a refugee French Protestant family living in Geneva. His father, Jean-Antoine Liotard, was from Montelimar and a merchant tailor by trade. In Geneva, Liotard trained with Gardelle and Petitot, skilfully copying their enamels and miniatures. In France, he was an apprentice to Massé and […]

November 30

Folies Bergère: Populist Cosmopolitan Hub

On the 30th of November 1886, The Folies Bergère staged its first revue in Paris. Located at 32 rue Richer in the 9th Arrondissement, and called Folies Trévise back then, it was finished as an opera house by the architect Plumeret in 1869. The venue was at the height of its popularity from the 1890’s […]

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 21

Voltaire: The Father of Sci-Fi?

On the 21st of November 1694, François-Marie Arouet, known under the pen name Voltaire, was born in Paris. This French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher, who was also a great enthusiast of science and empirical knowledge, was probably one of the most prolific authors of all times. Throughout his life he produced about 2,000 books […]

November 07

Was Camus a Sisyphus or a Stranger?

On the 7th of November 1913, Albert Camus, a French Noble Prize winning author, philosopher and journalist, was born in Dréan, French Algeria. Known for literary landmarks, such as The Stranger, The Plague or The Fall, he is considered one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. Initially a close friend of Jean-Paul Sartre, Camus’ rejection […]

October 17

Natalia Goncharova’s Stand Against Western Modernism

Russian artist Natalia Goncharova (b. 1881) died on the 17th of October 1962 in Paris. One of the leaders of the early 20th century Russian avant-garde, her art spanned from Primitivism, Fauvism, Cubism to Futurism and Rayonism, but she was mostly known in the West for her book illustrations and stage decorations for ballet, costumes […]

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, […]

August 06

Vajda Lajos: A Hungarian Modernist

On the 6th of August 1908, artist Lajos Vajda was born in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary. He was the youngest child born into a poor Jewish family of five. In 1916, his father moved the family to Serbia in search of a better life. Here the young Lajos came into contact with religious Byzantine-Orthodox art for the […]