Mr. Mohamed Dekkak believes in the saying ‘READING IS FOOD FOR THE SOUL AND MIND’. Since childhood, he is fond of collecting books of different genres. Reading is one of his favourite pastimes, as it not only helps him discover new information but it also helps him to keep up with trends and events of this generation.
During his travel to Paris, he made sure that he drop by and spend time reading in one of the largest public and research libraries in the world, The Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF). The humble beginning of the National Library of France commenced during the medieval period. Charles V established a small personal archive in the Louvre in 1368 but it is during the reign of Louis XI that the collection flourished into a full-fledged library. Because of this, Louis XI can be entitled as the founder of the royal library. He maintained its purpose up to the second half of the XVth century. The manuscripts were joined by the collection of inscriptions, prints, awards, gifts, coinages, and books as the French monarchy grew. Thanks to the introduction of the printing media in 1450.
In 1537, King Francis I required publishers to deposit a copy of every book printed in the kingdom in the library, which absolutely facilitated the collection to grow. At present, this system called ‘double legal deposit’ is still practised and requires all bookshops and printers to make a contribution. The library now houses around 14 million books and 250,000 manuscripts.
The realization of Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) was made possible by the merger of the old National Library with the new Library of France in 1994. The BNF composes of five wings: François-Mitterrand, Richelieu, Arsenal, The Opera Library and Maison Jean Vilar in Avignon, as well as Gallica, the digital collection. The most visited parts of the library are the Richelieu, which accommodates the most ancient archives and François-Mitterrand has the most up to date collections.
By early 2000s, the facilities of the library had suffered deterioration, which made it impossible to stand the test of time. Due to this concern, a major overhaul of the library was started. The renovation started in 2011, Bruno Gaudin was assigned to manage the project, while the refurbishment of the listed ‘salle Labrouste’ was assigned to Jean Francois-Lagneau. The project runs in two phases in order to keep the library partially open and its completion is expected in 2020.
In January 2017, the former site of the national library located at rue de Richelieu in Paris has reopened. The architectural design of the library now exhibits a contemporary glass airlock, which diverges from the building’s old design.
The library in Richelieu is well known for its Cabinet of medals and relics displayed the second floor. While strolling, your eyes will easily catch original plaster sculpture of Voltaire by Houdon. There is an urban legend that the heart of the philosopher is buried at the base of the monument.
The Cabinet on the second floor It owes its birth to the Cabinet of French kings, which united several collections, especially that of the Duke of Luynes. This wonderful little-known museum has rare examples of Greek pottery, stones, coins, Roman marbles, but also ivories, bronzes and silverware and contains a number of symbolical objects for the French history, such as so-called bronze Throne of Dagobert dating to VII-IXth centuries.
The library features the Department of Manuscripts filled with around 10,000 well-lit documents, as well as the collection of Middle age art.
The library at Mitterrand is well known for its continuously changing designs, glistening under the rays the sun or in the drops of rain. Climbing up to the library is a little challenging because you have to deal with strong wind and slippery wood steps.
As you walk around the large library, you will notice that the library’s heritage of tremendous intricacy is now kissed with the modern touch, which maximizes richness of the heritage of the areas that describe it.
It is Mr. Mohamed Dekkak’s advocacy to encourage everybody especially the children to read books. He also suggests that if you ever plan to visit Paris and wish to have a little moment of peace, far from the typical noisy and crowded tourist spots, the French National Library or BNF is one of the best choices for relaxation and studying.
Mr. Mohamed Dekkak travelled in Paris, France and attended a colloquium marking the Centenary of the First World War from 2014 to 2018. It is primarily held to commemorate all those precious lives that were lost during the Great War.
The main purpose of the event is to discuss the incidents that transpired which leads to the First World War as well as the post-war implications. Many intellectuals, scholars attended the seminar.
On November 11, 2018, the world will observe the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. A ceasefire happened on November 11, 1918, ending the war in Western Europe. This came after four years of intense struggle. On that fateful day in 1918, the armistice marked the end of a historical event that changed the lives of our families forever.
As a result of opposing colonial ambitions and a network of alliances, the war happened between the armed forces of France, Great Britain, Russia, Canada and the United States against those of Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary. A total of 30 countries got involved in the turmoil.
The First World War was a turning point in world history. Over 16 million lives were lost. No one knew what kind of war it was going to be or how long it would last. But men were rushed and join in order to protect their loved ones and show patriotism to their very own land.
When the war started in August 1914, many young men were sent into the battle while women suffered from the physical and mental effects of warfare in hospitals at home and on the front line. It left families without a father, a brother and sons. No place was left unaffected by loss, which lasted for four years.
Apart from these negative outcomes, these four years of struggle are also marked with great resolution and tenacity. It was the time when unique solutions for important provisions were discovered such as tea bags, wristwatch and first aid kit. Women have stepped up to pursue new roles and have helped in taking care of the wounded soldiers. Volunteers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other parts of the world came together in service and solidarity.
The war had profound consequences in the health of the troops of 60 million European soldiers who were mobilised from 1914 to 1918.
As a consequence of the war, on June 1919, a peace treaty is signed at Versailles. Germany was held liable for all the loss and impairments and must pay hefty reparation. In 1920, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman empires are dismantled making way for new countries. Germany had given up approximately 15 percent of its territory to France, Denmark, Belgium and Poland.
Memorials were erected in thousands of villages and towns. The poppy flower became the symbol of the First World War. It reformed the world map and changed the way we are governed, our national identity and opened our eyes to what will happen if peace is not achieved and forbearance is thrown away.
The conference for the Centenary of the First World War from 2014 to 2018 effectively highlighted the heroes who bravely fought and did not cease until harmony is realized.
Located at the buzzing Golden Triangle of Paris, Le Piaf is the new playground of the famous Bruce Merrite. The dining place fully exemplifies its name – an appealing sparrow that lives on fresh water and music. With its little wings flying above the French capital, it decided to make a nest on a private street in the stylish neighborhood in at the corner of rue Mermoz in 8th district, at 38 Rue Jean Mermoz, very close from the lavish boutiques of the Champs Elysees and Avenue Montaigne.
The lovely bird adores good company, great food and relax as well with friends in a chic and comfortable place in an easy going setting. Therefore, it is quite understandable to call it Piaf, similar to France’s own sultry songstress-sparrow, Edith.
The kitchen staff whip up a few wonderful classics such as foie gras, burrata, smoked salmon, risotto, entrecote Angus, panagragrelic frisée with bacon and perfect egg. Dishes are served in a soup tureen porcelain – lovely and quirky! Then, the huge rib of beef matured for a kilo at 84 € good for two servings, well, could actually still largely satisfy a third diner!
After hours of working hard, you can chill at Le Piaf. There’s a cocktail bar at the basement which is fairly large that serves as a venue for meeting friends outside the office or simply kill hours prior to dining out on the town. But forget about calling and organizing your group for a meet up as they are most likely to be there already, reclining on the red velvet armchairs enjoying a Mojito or Bellini.
People come here to spend a good time, however, others still cannot refrain from singing together and with conviction along with the pianist who is playing the French classics, English rock, and American pop with the help of a DJ. Le Piaf frequently invites artists and DJ to come to play live, attracting customers to stay late for the party. From Thursday until Saturday, the basement bar welcomes guaranteed night owls up to 5 am, with an extensive selection of cocktails worth € 15.
Also a restaurant for late-night dining, Le Piaf is a favorite of the neighborhood among night owls who are usually stucked to their desks. The food is savory and highlights contemporary recipes of French tradition presented in adorable vintage plates. It offers delightful and efficient service too. Like any good Parisian, your sweet tooth will be in heaven, as the pastries are supervised by Cyril Lignac. Deserts such as rum baba, lemon tart, Gianduja chocolate tart are recommended.
With regards to decorations, well, it sure wasn’t overseen by Roger Harth, the popular theater decorator, but the chandeliers, the soft lights, the candlesticks, and the tapestries feature a soft and subdued lighting that perfectly suitable at night.
The clock is ticking, but that’s not important as it’s the weekend after all. The ambiance is so lively in this nest of the night that the only thing left to do is spread your wings and fly, with Piaf.
Émile-Antoine Bourdelle is one of the greatest French sculptors of the early twentieth century. Yet, despite the existence of a Paris museum devoted to his memory alone, many facets of his work are largely underestimated or even ignored, foremost among which is his teaching activity. But teaching is not long in becoming the engine and the culmination of his flourishing as a man and an artist. Bourdelle spends twenty years of his life, from 1909 to 1929, providing practical advice and opening the spirit of several hundred young artists who flock, every week, in the premises of the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, in Montparnasse. His sessions are divided into two parts, a prioriquite distinct: the practical corrections of the works sketched out by his pupils, said courses, and the reading of his personal reflections on such or such a subject, said lessons. This ensemble is so important to the artist that at the end of his life he sees it as one of the pillars of his heritage in the world of art. This is the starting point of a study devoted to Bourdelle’s theoretical reflection, to the way he forges it and transmits it, and to the eminent place, it gives him in the Parisian artistic landscape of his time.
Most of the sources consulted for this work are kept in Paris, in the archives of the Bourdelle museum. The main collection consists of the artist’s lessons and lessons at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. This non-inventoried set includes seventy-five lessons (1909-1922), as well as twenty-six lessons (1909-1910). It was also necessary to use other archival files to enlighten both the youth of Bourdelle and his aesthetic positions: a folder entitled “Biographical Ensemble”, constituted by the artist himself, as well as his ” Writings on Art “and other” Miscellaneous Writings “. The “Students” file, as well as the active and passive correspondence of Bourdelle, were also the subject of an in-depth analysis.
Other repositories have been frequented more occasionally. The National Archives, in particular, keep all the existing documents concerning Bourdelle’s schooling at the National School of Fine Arts, as well as the career of his teacher, Alexandre Falguière. Some records also provide information on daily life in the institution at the end of the nineteenth century and were consulted (AJ 5251, 322, 461, 909-910, 944, 970-971). The archives of the Rodin Museum provided valuable information concerning the Rodin Institute, a facility opened very briefly by Rodin, Bourdelle and Jules Desbois in 1901, while the archives of Jacques Doucet, held at the National Institute of History of the art, provided details of Bourdelle’s plans for conserving the lessons of La Grande Chaumière (Jacques Doucet fonds, box 36, mf BXXI, 17838-17903). Although the School of Fine Arts in Toulouse does not keep any trace of the Bourdelle passage in its walls, it does provide information on the professors it attended and on the history of the institution in general (Dossiers Professors’ Staff Nos. 102 and 137, and file B11: History of the School of Fine Arts of Toulouse, 1800-1990). Finally, the museum Ingres de Montauban keeps, in its archives, a large number of drawings and some manuscripts of Bourdelle which relate mainly to its young years.
The birth of a self-taught sculpture teacher (1861-1909)
- Bourdelle and teaching:
the formation of a sculptor, the construction of a spirit:
Born on October 30, 1861 in Montauban, Émile-Antoine Bourdelle is a mediocre student but with an early sense of observation and drawing. Encouraged by his family, he embraces the artistic career very early and follows the ordinary paths of academic education. Thus, he entered the School of Fine Arts in Toulouse at the age of fifteen and, seven years later, at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. This traditional apprenticeship is associated, during his childhood, with a rural education and a permanent observation of the nature, which marks all his imagination of his imprint. Having never ceased to look for masters with whom to enrich his meager culture and his plastic technique, he gradually builds himself, thanks to his youth encounters, then thanks to Falguière, Dalou and especially Rodin, a vision of his own art and how it should be universally taught. As such, the Rodin Institute’s experience is crucial for its future orientations, which took shape in 1909, when it left Rodin’s studio and fully engages in personal research.
- The Académie de la Grande Chaumière:
an institution inscribed in the artistic landscape of its time:
To understand all the originality of Bourdelle’s teaching, it is necessary to put him in his time. In the nineteenth century indeed, Paris drains a large number of artists in search of recognition but, before that, a teaching at the height of their ambitions. The city offers these young people several types of education, first and foremost the prestigious School of Fine Arts. For a long time undisputed, the School of Fine Arts in Paris saw years of doubt, during which emerge other models of education. It is indeed from the second half of the nineteenth century that appear in the front of the scene so-called free schools. If some, like the Julian Academy, remain close to the academic model in their operation and their objectives, others move away to advocate greater freedom, a direct inspiration of life. This is the second category belonging to the Académie de la Grande Chaumiere, located at Montparnasse in the street of the same name. Although we still have very little information about it today, some precious testimonials nevertheless allow us to give an account of the functioning and the atmosphere of this reference establishment.
- Antoine Bourdelle’s workshop, a unique place
It was during the year 1909 that Bourdelle gave his first lessons at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. For this artist long in the shadow of Rodin, it is truly a new beginning, the opportunity to express his rich personality. The workshop that he animates rue de la Grande Chaumiere, at the request of Marthe Stettler, Alice Danenberg and Sergio Castelucho, the directors of the place, then offers a unique face in the Paris of the time: open the same year, it attracts for twenty years an ever increasing number of young artists and is distinguished by the non-conformism of the teacher and the principles that he states therein.
The lessons of La Grande Chaumière:
A bright teaching (1909-1929)
- Practical teaching or methodical learning of an art:
With his ideas on art, Bourdelle delivers to La Grande Chaumière his technical secrets and his personal ideas with unusual verve. His words are the most direct expression of his experience and of the lessons he has learned from his life of toil and plastic research. In addition to the necessary business questions, he develops in the intimacy of the workshop his position on the most diverse subjects and fits in more than one way in the nineteenth century that formed it. Straddling two centuries, between two systems of thought and teaching, the sculptor cultivates this ambivalence and makes his word a unique path, a dissonant voice that draws from several sources to offer the best learning, far from any prejudice and of all determinism. The result of a man’s experience, practical teaching is the most spontaneous facet of Bourdelle’s comments, which reacts according to the sculptures sketched by his pupils. He is all the better in demonstrating his impetuous, demanding and benevolent temperament at the same time.
- Theoretical teaching or the training of the spirits:
Reflecting his interests and other concerns, Bourdelle’s teaching is multiple. The teacher is not content with giving technical precepts and aesthetic orientations to his pupils: his practical teaching is thus combined with a theoretical teaching – the distinction between the two being often very tenuous. The latter, abounding, sometimes contradictory, is based on Bourdelle’s highly sacred vision of art and the artist, and makes life the main source of inspiration for the creator. To support his argument, the sculptor makes reference to the masters of the past, pointing out that any artist is certainly built in the admiration of the ancients, but also in the appropriation of their formulas, in the incessant search for truth. And it is only by looking at the world and at art an original and completely personal look that an individual becomes an artist.
- Concrete teaching:
The lessons that Bourdelle offers to the Académie de la Grande Chaumière constitute much more than mere theoretical teaching; they feed on the master’s life, his experiences and his plastic emotions. Bourdelle distinguishes itself by organizing for his students various group visits, in Paris or in the provinces. This real confrontation with art allows the sculptor not only to illustrate some of his remarks, but also to anchor his teaching in a historical reality, at a time when any aesthetic choice can take a political dimension. It doubles for some of a confrontation with the art of the master. Bourdelle, who considers himself an art seeker among others, does not mention much of his own works during his visits to La Grande Chaumière but opens to a few young people his personal workshops. Indeed, some students are employed by Bourdelle as assistants, even models, and more significantly illustrate the special links he could forge with the youth of his entourage.
The master of thought of a generation
- A united artistic society:
The lessons of La Grande Chaumière as they are taught by Bourdelle highlight its very nature as a man and place great emphasis on the links between the teacher and his students, the community of spirit which, as well, is formed. Far from all conventions, Bourdelle establishes with his workshop a relationship of trust and exchange, which benefits him as much as young people. It is through this highly personalized form of communication as well as the very content of his teaching that Bourdelle differs from many art teachers who are contemporary with him, often locked in an academic system that restricts temperament. Now, if the writings of Bourdelle reveal to us much of the man he is, the same is true of the human relations he has with his pupils, on which we have several testimonies, but also, and to a large extent, the correspondence of the master. It reveals that the young people who live alongside him form, alongside the Bourdelle family, a united artistic society.
- Bourdellian maieutics:
By helping the youth of his time to understand as quickly as possible the principles he himself had to learn in the solitude of his personal workshop, the sculptor refines his thought and his own self-knowledge. Considering artistic education severely, as well as the official art of his time, he has a mission to renovate artistic creation, to pose through his disciples the milestones of a new creative order. But, deeply humanist and fine psychologist, disciple in this of Socrates, he considers that the delivery of the spirits is a necessary precondition to the knowledge of oneself and, therefore, of the others. By choosing to follow this path more than a purely technical way,
- Students’ artistic debt:
spiritual heritage more than aesthetic
In his role as a teacher, Bourdelle has no equal to multiply the strength of his audience. The artist considers his role over a long period: it is not only a question of training young people in artistic creation but also of accompanying them as much as possible in their artistic life. Nevertheless, if the attendance of the sculptor is widely claimed in the first decades of the century, it is often difficult to assimilate stylistically an artist to his former master when it comes to Bourdelle. This part of the study would require detailed parallels from one work to another, but it is necessary above all to understand, given their correspondence, their possible writings and some of their work, the aesthetic influence that the artist may have had on the young people who frequented his studio and in what proportions we can speak of filiations from one to the other. In as much as Bourdelle’s teaching itself preaches independence, self-discovery, and the search for a personal aesthetic path, the debt incurred by pupils towards their teacher appears, legitimately, to be more spiritual than properly stylistic.
Bourdelle, the intellectual
- Bourdelle and the writing:
“one of the faces too ignored of his genius”
Outstanding speaker, Bourdelle lives with the words a true love story. His literary essays, his most diverse texts are for him an opportunity to deliver so many facets of his personality. In addition, knowing the writings of Bourdelle is the best way to understand both the man and the artist he is. Gradually aware himself of this compelling need to write to live, he surrounds himself with writers and thinkers whose attendance enriches his culture and refines his way of thinking. Writing becomes for him a refuge, an outlet and ultimately an end in itself. Perfectionist, demanding, Bourdelle is not content to put disordered thoughts on paper, he is always looking for the ideal form, the beauty of words and images.
- Teaching as a springboard for recognition:
The lessons of La Grande Chaumière increase Bourdelle’s influence, contribute to his reputation as a pedagogue and thus attract a little more attention to his contemporaries. However, few articles are strictly devoted to this teaching, only those close to Bourdelle seem to have immediately taken the measure of his exceptional qualities as a teacher. However, whatever their success, his works alone do not explain the esteem and respect he arouses at the end of his life, the weight of his word as sculptor. By promoting the progressive construction of his discourse, between 1909 and 1929, teaching allows him to refine his thought and find the best ways to formulate it. But it also helps, by training hundreds of young people in his principles, to spread his ideas in a circle initially restricted and then wider and wider. In this way he becomes, besides an esteemed and sought-after pedagogue, an intellectual among others.
Rich and abundant, the lessons of La Grande Chaumière are a unique testimony of Bourdelle’s way of thinking, its aesthetic and ethical orientations, but also a work in its own right, an initiatory discourse. Revealing, under the aegis of Socrates, a whole generation, Bourdelle found in this gift of his person and his ideas on art its full development. However, Bourdelle’s corrections are not without ambiguities and, while the artist refutes the academic bias, his teaching is partly inspired by it: his freedom of your choice and the academicism of models that he follows. But, by refusing to follow Rodin’s footsteps, it opens the way for a whole generation of artists who do not recognize themselves in these sensual works: Bourdelle thus embodies the will to change, not the real accomplishment of this change. The study of what is commonly called “lessons of the Great Thatched Cottage” has opened up vast prospects for research, and it is especially in that it reveals the intellectual groping of the artist that it is particularly fruitful.
The two slaves are to Michelangelo what the Mona Lisa is to Vinci, one of his most famous works. If at first the two statues were to be part of the tomb of Pope Julius II in 1515, the project was modified after his death and they were finally excluded for the sake of economy. Following this change, they leave Italy and arrive at the court of the King of France through a Florentine exile, Roberto Strozzi. They are then deposited in the castles of Ecouen and Richelieu and will remain there until the revolutionary whirlwind takes them to the Louvre in 1794.
More important than the ancient inspiration visible in these statues as in most works of this period, their symbolism remains uncertain. In view of the postures, some think that the Slaves represent the enslavement of the arts after the death of the Pope, a great patron, others look for an explanation drawn from Antiquity which takes up the idea of Plato who wants the soul human being chained to a heavy body, others see it as a symbol of the Pope’s political power. Whatever the message, his expression is worked in marble and accentuated by the opposition between the two slaves. The one on the right, the rebellious Slave, has a posture that gives the impression that he is trying to free himself from a mysterious hold, his arm is trying to pull away, his right leg
The other, the dying Slave, lets himself be carried away by his fate. In reality he does not die but is absorbed by a dream that leaves him in a state of enslavement. One has an exaggerated musculature showing his effort, his head is straight, his eyes open and a veil hides his masculine attribute. The other has a musculature that remains shy with a leaning head and closed eyes, symbols of abandonment. On the other hand he is naked. Everything opposes the first in the will and acceptance of the state of servitude in which they are both immersed.
Michelangelo: Sculptor, painter, architect and Italian poet (Caprese, near Arezzo, 1475-Rome 1564).
First artist considered during his lifetime in all the dimension of his genius, Michelangelo was a master of the sublime at the time of the second Renaissance . His insistence on perfection and his perception of the opposition between human distress and the divine world endow his work with eternal strength. Son of a ruined family, Michelangelo is not supposed to make an artistic career. In Florence, where he spent his adolescence, however, he entered the studio of the Fresco painter Domenico Ghirlandaio, which he left after a year (1489). He feels and wants to be a sculptor – marble sculptor. Noticed by Laurent I er de Medici , he was hired to “casino” of San Marco, where he can study at leisure the antique collection Prince. He also attends the humanist milieu, which will have a decisive influence on his spiritual formation and his artistic ambition. Her first works are a Combat of Centaurs and Lapiths and a Virgin at Staircase , which translates her debt to her great predecessor, Donatello.
To the Celebrity
Leaving the Medici palace in 1492, Michelangelo leaves for Venice, stays in Bologna, where he immerses himself in the example of a master of the early quattrocento, Jacopo della Quercia , and arrives in Rome: this first Roman stay date its most famous Pietà , that of St. Peter’s Basilica (1498), which offers the highest expression of purity, and, paradoxically, a drunken Bacchus , who is the most pagan of his figures. Returning to Florence in 1501, Michelangelo received the commission of David , a colossal statue of which he is the symbol of his personal ideal of virile beauty. Now famous, he also began a fresco, the Battle of Cascina , which must be the counterpart of that of Leonardo da Vinci (Battle of Anghiari) , in the hall of the Grand Council at Palazzo Vecchio; of the work, which will never be executed, we know sketches with animated nudes. At the same time, Michelangelo composes large medallions, either carved (Madonna Pitti) or painted (Holy Family, so-called Tondo Doni), whose figures, linked together in a powerful block, belong to sculpture.
The apotheosis of the Sistine
In 1505, Michelangelo went again to Rome, at the request of Julius II , who intends to entrust to him the sculptures of his tomb (the Slaves) ; but, the project being suspended, the pope uses the artist to decorate the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel , in the Vatican: titanic work, populated by more than three hundred characters, which will be carried out in four years (1508-1512) , without the contribution of any help. The ensemble presents the history of humanity based on the main episodes of Genesis , from Creation (Adam’s Creation) to the Flood. The scenes rising above the vault like celestial visions, the figures of sibyls and prophets, announcing the coming of Christ, and the astonishing ignudi(naked teenagers), who seem to support the vault, represent the most perfect accomplishment of linear drawing, Florentines, amplified by the Roman monumentality.
At the invitation of Pope Paul III Farnese , Michelangelo will return to the site of the Sistine, to realize the immense fresco of the Last Judgm ent (1536-1541), which decorates the wall of the bottom of the chapel. There he paints the high figure of a righteous Christ dominating a visionary space where the souls of the damned are swirling. Forgetting the classic style, he anticipates the wide pulsation of the Baroque , while delivering the message of anguish raised by the idea of the Last Judgment. The frescoes of the Sistine Chapel make Michelangelo the apostle of Mannerism , grouping painters who prefer curved lines with straight lines and favor the scenes appropriate to the expression of a dramatic tension.
The other major sponsors
While in Florence from 1515, Michelangelo was asked by Pope Leo X to build the funerary chapel of the Medici. He then undertakes the tombs of the Dukes Julian and Lorenzo II, who are themselves carved in the guise of young captains dressed in antique fashion, one representing the thinker, the other the man of action. At their feet is a sarcophagus depicting the allegories of passing time: Day and Night, Dawn and Twilight, alternately male and female characters. All the decorative elements are borrowed from the ancient repertory, but never the authority of the composition and the modernity of the style will have been more evident.
In Florence again, Michelangelo supplies the drawings that will be used to build the vestibule and staircase of the Laurentian Library , located within the walls of San Lorenzo Church. It was in 1534 that he settled permanently in Rome. He is then called to resume the project of tomb for Julius II. But Leo X and the heirs of the deceased pope gave up the grandiose monument to which Michelangelo had thought; this one, death in the soul, will have to be satisfied with a reduced model, which will be placed in the small church San Pietro in Vincoli ( Saint-Pierre-with-Links , 1545); he added to it certain marble already carved, including the impressive Moses (c.1515-1516).
The genius superior of his time
From 1546, Michelangelo devoted himself mainly to architecture. He is then, officially, the successor of Antonio da Sangallo the Younger : he draws the famous dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, but, being in the grip of the maneuvers of the friends of his predecessor, he can not realize it; he also works at the Farnese palace , which he has on the top floor and the cornice.
Also urban planner, he built the Capitol Square , taking advantage of the topography, develops plans for the transformation of the baths of Diocletian into a church (Santa Maria degli Angeli, 1561-1566) and designs the monumental Porta Pia (circa 1565). His last sculptures are three Pietà : that of the cathedral of Florence, the Pietà da Palestrina , finally the Pietà Rondanini (unfinished), which repudiates the beauty, even the physical reality, for the benefit of the only spirituality
Michelangelo is also a poet in love. One of his nephews proves this by having Florence print in 1623 a collection of sonnets and madrigals from the hands of the great artist.
The latter is part of Rome, circle that meets around the poet Vittoria Colonna . Is she the inspiration of Michelangelo’s lyricism, which Petrarch would not have denied?
A young and handsome Roman, Tommaso Cavalieri, also entered the life of Michelangelo – who taught him to draw and who called him his “precious genius” – is he the beloved object, dedicatee of so many verses and recipient of so many letters? Or the substitute of the tender Vittoria, whom Michelangelo – as platonic as his flame was – is forbidden to name publicly? Today, the first hypothesis is clearly privileged. Until the end of his life, Michelangelo remained active and took part in the artistic life of his time, advising or recommending one or another of his disciples, as a patriarch already invaded by his myth. He died in Rome at almost 90 years, but it is in Florence, his true homeland, that he rests (church Santa Croce)
To approach the work of Michelangelo is to meet an art placed under the sign of the essential complexity, the desired difficulty and the incessant renewal. The extreme richness, formal and semantic, of this work stems from the diversity of fields and techniques in which Michelangelo expressed himself: sculpture, painting, architecture and poetry, like so many exercises of style to the laws and constraints variety. However, if his most important achievements are universally famous, the omission too frequent of his secondary creations oversimplifies the image of the artist as if he had, unlike his contemporaries, only exceptional tasks to accomplish. This feeling, this extreme variety is still aroused by his double career, Florentine and Roman, which pushes him to adopt very different modes according to whether he works in the Tuscan city or in the capital of the Church . And the duration of his career, exceptional for the time (nearly seventy-five years), certainly contributes. What is there in common between the artist who polishes with so much love the Pietà of Saint-Pierre and, moved by the just pride of his own virtuosity, the signa, and the one who, assaulted by doubts, lassitude and an authentic disgust for the vanity of this art, sketched, mutilated and began again the Pietà from Milan? And what changes in his working conditions and especially in his conception of art and its role! how far, from the humanistic enthusiasm of his first patrons, passionate collectors of the ancients who saw in beauty the reflection of the divinity to this mistrust of the beautiful , if he is not “decent” and strictly subordinate to religious doctrine, reformist circles he attended at the end of his life!
Few works completed in the artisanal sense of the term to be included in Michelangelo’s catalog: a small number of sculptures, dating mainly from his youth, a single panel surely painted autograph and vast paintings painted frescoof the Vatican. But a great deal of unfinished or finished works by others, such as his late architectural enterprises, or well known by drawings that suggest only the future of a sculptural or architectonic project. The historical distance that separates us from Michelangelo is also the cause of misunderstandings that weigh on the interpretation of his works. One would misunderstand his conception of art by wanting to find personal messages, psychological or philosophical, dissociable from the form that manifests them, while both have always been elaborated by him in a close dialectical relationship. In his eyes, art was an autonomous language, which he sought, to triumph more gloriously, the greatest subtleties. It would be wrong to imagine that life than his own “satisfaction from the point of view of art” (as he told Pope Julius II about the vault of the Sistine Chapel) and the approval of an extremely limited number of true connoisseurs , belonging to the artistic world or to the cultured social elite. Finally, just as the artist rethought the means and the sense of art at every new opportunity, the approach of Michelangelo’s work is constantly challenged by new factors. Rediscovered works, such as the mural drawings of the premises located under the apse of the Medici funeral chapel in 1975 or the first version of the torso of Christ of the Pietà of Milan in 1972;and the Sistine Chapel (1980-1994), which gave these works a radiance and limpidity of surprising colors at first sight; revaluations of works such as Christ on the Cross of Santo Spirito (Casa Buonarroti, Florence), which is defeated by the candid purity of its adolescent forms; confrontations with new documents (explicit contracts in particular) or new reading of ancient sources, biographies of the artist or his own correspondence; progress in the knowledge of contemporary artists of Michelangelo, in relation to him as Sebastiano del Piombo or Daniele da Volterra; best study of its “debts” to the Tuscan masters of XIV th and XV th centuries. All these elements, combined with the changing curiosities of the generations and new types of surveys on patronage (Michelangelo and the Medicifor example) and the social and economic aspects of artistic and architectural practice, lead to a renewed vision. Michelangelo appears as a practitioner struggling with the same difficulties as his contemporaries to win a competition and take away an order, to convince his sponsor of the validity of its plastic or functional solutions, to meet his professional commitments, to finally reconcile his thirst for honor, dignity and freedom with the need to work for a living. To the romantic vision of the Saturnian genius still flourishing in the books of great diffusion is gradually replacing the image, which does not diminish it in any way, of a man caught in a multiplicity of dialectical relations, reacting to the constraints imposed by his material, the place where he works and builds, elements built or painted before his intervention, the financial resources of the promoters of the enterprise and the inconstancy of their intentions. As Raphael , to whom he has been systematically opposed in his style as in his character, Michelangelo has shown a prodigious spirit of assimilation (“It was enough for him to see once the work of another to retain it perfectly and use it occasionally without anyone noticing it, “says Vasari) and a great sense of adaptation to demand, evidence of the deep and deep intelligence that he have recognized his most enlightened contemporaries.
Located at the very heart of the Golden Triangle, Avenue Montaigne is considered as the ultimate hub of Paris’ high fashion and luxury goods, as it serves as a home to all the world-famous international Haute Couture garment stores including Christian Dior, Ungaro salons and ready-to-wear retail stores like Chanel, Valentino, Nina Ricci, Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, Céline, Chloé, Dolce & Gabbana, Thierry Mugler, Roberto Cavalli, Prada, Hermès, Saint Laurent Paris, Ferragamo, Akris, Ralph Lauren, and so much more.
Founded in 1850, Avenue Montaigne is called such following Michel de Montaigne, a French writer during the 16th-century who is renowned for his Essais.
Having just about every one of the world’s top designer label available on a single street, Avenue Montaigne is a haven for first-class shopping. It is a must-see tourist spot especially for those who plan to splurge and fan of high-level fashion. Curious fashion lovers can always window shop and find inspiration here despite the limited budget.
Your shopping holiday may never end if you are into serious shopping, or just browsing and people watching, here are five must things to do along the way:
- Montaigne Market, 57 Avenue Montaigne
The exterior might look plain, but its interior is one of the best collections of designer dresses anywhere. Many people come here for design inspiration and it’s no wonder why. Shopping for your quality essentials, some little black dresses from brands like Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Stella McCartney and The Row are available for customers to choose. There are also a selection of shoes, handbags, and accessories, together with some modern pieces for men, making this shop a must-see for fashion beauties.
- Dior, 30 Avenue Montaigne
For Christian Dior, places are like people, where a mere glance and impression can stick with you forever. So when he passed in front of 30 Avenue Montaigne, he knew this small townhouse will be his couture label’s home. And so after World War II, Dior transformed fashion on this very street.
Inside a gray mansion is Dior’s flagship store offering a full collection of garments for men, women and children including the establishment of the first Baby Dior store. It also houses makeup, affordable gift items, and perfume manned by kind sales staff whether you buy or not. The salons on the higher level where haute couture creations are continuously being created are closed to the public.
- L’Avenue, 41 Avenue Montaigne
The corner restaurant popular with celebrities has a large outdoor patio and is the avenue’s go-to place to see-and-be-seen. Entertainment stars such as Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Justin Beiber, Selena Gomez and Beyoncé have been spotted here, including Lionel Richie, who was reported to sit and order a glass of wine.
Its owner Jean-Louis Costes was named as France’s 231st richest person in 2017. He established the brasserie together with his brother, Gilbert. L’Avenue has become famous throughout the years with international celebrities and French politicians.
- Hotel Plaza Athénée Paris, 25 Avenue Montaigne
Ideally located in the heart of Avenue Montaigne, The Plaza Athénée is among the most beautiful and most lavish hotels in Paris. Guests can take a break from shopping or window shopping at La Terrasse Montaigne of the hotel. Servings of summer cuisines, light cocktails, and fresh cocktails are available in vibrant outdoor setting from noon until 10 in the evening.
- Window shop
The cheapest way to get the most out of your Avenue Montaigne experience is to do window shopping. Surely, it does not cost anything to browse. A leisure walks along the tree-line thoroughfare reveals some of the best features for window-shopping for almost every window offers a sneak peek to high-fashion. Facades carrying Loewe’s bright pastel purses to the stylish suits and jackets of several Chanel boutiques on the avenue.
Avenue Montaigne is a mecca of Parisian fashion. A luxurious street in the French capital that has become every fashion and luxury lover’s haven.
Every time, Paris is a great idea, specifically if you get to stay in the most talked-about re-launch of the year. One of the oldest and most luxurious hotels in the world, Hotel de Crillon is nothing short of perfect.
Constructed in 1758, Hotel de Crillon features an incomparable location spot that overlooks Place de la Concorde. Presenting a sophisticated and grand history, the iconic palace captures the very essence of France.
Given its flawless symmetry, Neoclassical architecture and facade, the hotel’s design aims to capture everyone’s senses. It has, for many years, bedazzled generations of guests and has hosted some of the greatest events in history. The structure has survived 2 kings of France, the French Revolution, Napoleonic Empire’s triumph and collapse and the birth of the League of Nations.
King Louis XV during 1758 has appointed Ange-Jacques Gabriel, the best architect of his generation to put together twin structures overseeing Place de la Concorde. The outcome was a masterpiece of 18th century architecture. Behind a facade is a charming private residential property adorned by the era’s greatest artisans and skilled craft workers. Such are the beginnings of Hotel de Crillon, created to host the world’s great ambassadors. Originally houses distinguished family of the Counts of Crillon, the private mansion was made into an extravagant palace in 1909 following the directives of architect Walter-Andre Destailleur.
Renovation of a Country’s Treasure
Located at the foot of the Champs-Elysees, Hotel de Crillon shut its doors in March of 2013 to undergo on a huge renovation to improve further the grandeur and lavishness of the outstanding building, whilst preserving the nature of its impressive 18th-century structure. Getting the inspiration from its celebrated history, and in respect to its traditions and true to its disposition, the restoration added a modern touch to the hotel.
With the supervision of prominent architect Richard Martinet, the art director Aline Asmar d’Amman and 4 Paris based decorators Chahan Minassian, Cyril Vergniol, Culture in Architecture and Tristan Auer have produced a vivid tapestry of classy interiors. The make over of Hotel de Crillon proposes unmatched opulence with extensive, art spaces that conclude in a passionate climax, elegantly articulating the soul of Paris.
Highly engaging, natural and experienced team is readily available to offer straightforward professional advice and to lend a hand on requests with ease and effectiveness. The hotel offers services that includes a courtesy car, dedicated luxury transfers, and valet parking at guests’ disposal. Furthermore, just so no one leaves Paris without doing a bit of shopping, an exclusive collection of custom-made products is available in the boutiques inside the hotel for visitors’ convenience.
Other amenities and hotel services include a 24-hour business center, 24-hour personal butler service, concierge service, spa, pool, gym, salons, terraces, boardroom and private wine cellar for private events, pet program and more.
Hotel de Crillon has long been considered as one of the most majestic establishments in the world. This Rosewood Hotel has been constantly acknowledged by the leading publications, travel magazines and consumer organizations in the world. In 2018, it was given TATLER TRAVEL AWARDS – Vamped-up vision 2018.
On September 19, 2018, he received the distinction “Palace” and became France’s 25th palace.
Famous Personalities and Celebrity Guests
Here are some well-known officials, music idols and film stars, businessmen and TV personalities who have stayed in the hotel and their interesting stories.
– US President Richard Nixon, Winston Churchill, Emperor Hirohito of Japan, Jordan’s Queen Noor
– Kingdom of Morocco’s King Mohamed V and Queen Sofia of Spain.
– Nobel Prize winners Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres
– in 2000, the French football team , winner of the European Championship of Nations (Euro 2000, organized in Belgium and the Netherlands this summer), greets the crowd from the balcony of Marie Antoinette
– Cuban leader Fidel Castro;
– Prince Henri de Polignac was born there on January 2, 1878
– world famous performer Madonna is one of the regular customers when she stays in Paris
Chairman and Founder of Adgeco Group, Mohamed Dekkak, recently paid a visit to Hôtel de Crillon together with friend Mustapha Alaoui. He is currently in France on a business trip and has been enjoying the fine destination spots of Paris.
The Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, known as Rhodes and Malta, today has about eleven thousand lay members united in forty-one national associations. Based in Rome at the Palazzo di Malta, which enjoys the privilege of extraterritoriality, it has the status of a sovereign state and maintains relations with sixty-seven countries. It is headed by a Grand Master elected for life, assisted by a Sovereign Council of ten members elected every five years by the General Chapters. Nearly a thousand years after the founding of the Amalfi Hospital in Jerusalem, the Order of Malta maintains the traditions of assistance and charity that, added to its military role and the magnificent patronage that embellished the island became the stronghold of the Christian Mediterranean,
The origin of the Order of Hospitallers of Saint John of Jerusalem, which became from 1530 the order of Malta, dates back to the middle of the eleventh century. Amalfi merchants active in the Holy Land then obtain from the Fatimid caliph of Egypt the concession of a land corresponding to the location of the house of Zacharie, father of John the Baptist, to build the church of St. Mary Latin, two monasteries (one reserved for men, the other for women), an inn and a hospice soon placed under the protection of St. John the Baptist. Benefiting from collections made in the West, consisting of monks wearing a black dress hit by the white eight-pointed cross, the brotherhood in charge of the hospital, directed at the end of the eleventh century by Gerard de Martigues, is dedicated to the care provided to patients. The services rendered to the Christians in the summer of 1099, during the siege of the Holy City, earned him the favors of Godefroi de Bouillon and Baudoin, the first Frankish king of Jerusalem, who made the hospital benefit from numerous donations. In 1113, Pope Paschal II approved the statutes of the brotherhood which, under the direct protection of the Holy See, became, on July 13, 1120, by the will of Pope Calixtus II, a true religious order “free of Church”, to know independent of the secular clergy established in the East.
A double vocation, hospitable and military
Many other hospices are created in the Holy Land, and many time travelers have reported the quality of care there, but the nature of the order is changing rapidly. Once the liberation of Jerusalem was achieved, the military weakness of the Holy Land appeared chronic, and it was in these circumstances that the Chevalier Champenois Hugues de Payns created, in 1118, the company of the “poor knights of Christ”, recognized in 1128 by Pope Honorius III as the order of the Knights Templar, the first of the military religious orders born from the adventure of the Crusades. He quickly provides a model for Hospitallers, when Dauphinois Raymond du Puy succeeds Gerard de Martigues, who died in 1120. Comprising nineteen chapters, the new rule promulgated in 1135 and approved by Pope Eugene III in 1153 does not call into question the duty of assistance to the sick and pilgrims of the Hospitallers of Saint John, but it also makes them fully warrior monks engaged in the defense of the Holy Land and, from 1137, King Fulk of Jerusalem entrusts to them the defense of the fortress of Bath Gibelin, near Ascalon. In 1142, Raymond of Tripoli gives them the territories lost by the Christians whom they will manage to reconquer. It was then that the Hospitallers settled at Crac des Chevaliers, which they defended against numerous assaults until 1271. During the second half of the 13th century, the Knights of the Hospital were in all the battles. In 1153 they took a decisive part in the Christian victory of Ascalon; in 1187, their superior, Roger Des Moulins, was killed during the disastrous battle of Hattin, which shortly preceded the recovery of Jerusalem by Saladin. This fighting vocation will not be denied until May 1291, when the Grand Master Jean de Villiers is badly wounded while defending Acre, the last crossed place of the Holy Land. Of the eight hundred knights engaged in this ultimate battle against the troops of the Mamluk Sultan of Egypt, only seven Hospitallers and ten Templars survive. when the Grand Master Jean de Villiers is seriously wounded while defending Acre, the last cross place of the Holy Land. Of the eight hundred knights engaged in this ultimate battle against the troops of the Mamluk Sultan of Egypt, only seven Hospitallers and ten Templars survive. when the Grand Master Jean de Villiers is seriously wounded while defending Acre, the last cross place of the Holy Land. Of the eight hundred knights engaged in this ultimate battle against the troops of the Mamluk Sultan of Egypt, only seven Hospitallers and ten Templars survive.
From Acre to Rhodes
If the knights of the Temple – whose Grand Master, Guillaume de Beaujeu, died on the ramparts of the city – return to the West to know soon after the tragic destiny that we know, the Hospitallers retreat first on Cyprus where King Henry II of Lusignan gives them the city of Limassol; but they prefer, with the help of the Genoese Vignolo da Vignoli, to seize in 1307 Rhodes whose privileged position in the south-west of Asia Minor did not escape them. They understood that the “terrestrial” reconquest of the Holy Land was for the moment out of reach and that it was imperative to give priority to naval domination over the Eastern Mediterranean, a necessary condition for the success of future Crusades. The Grand Master Foulques de Villaret thus installs the knights in the island where they will live for more than two centuries. The dissolution of the order of the Temple which intervenes in 1312 directly benefits the Hospitallers, insofar as Pope Clement V transmits them the goods of the rival order, which contributes to the growth of their resources in considerable proportions. Rhodes then became a sovereign and powerful territorial principality drawing a good part of its wealth from the revenues that the number and extent of its western properties give it. Faithful to its original vocation, the Order built a first hospital in Rhodes from 1311, then a second from 1437 to 1478. These establishments then appear as true models. The medical knowledge implemented is inspired by Arab and Jewish traditions, and the “comfort” provided to the sick – single beds, hygiene, severity of quarantines, concern for dietetics, use of silver dishes for better asepsis … – is exceptional for the time. Faithful to their “hospitality” wish, which is added to the traditional ones of poverty, obedience and chastity, the knights take off their emblems twice a day to come and take care of “their lords the sick”, and the Grand Masters themselves must submit to this service at least once a week, which will cost the lives of Roger des Pins, victim of the plague in 1363. Hospitals similar to that of Rhodes are established in Corinth and Negrepont Venetian possession in Euboea. time. Faithful to their “hospitality” wish, which is added to the traditional ones of poverty, obedience and chastity, the knights take off their emblems twice a day to come and take care of “their lords the sick”, and the Grand Masters themselves must submit to this service at least once a week, which will cost the lives of Roger des Pins, victim of the plague in 1363. Hospitals similar to that of Rhodes are established in Corinth and Negrepont Venetian possession in Euboea. time. Faithful to their “hospitality” wish, which is added to the traditional ones of poverty, obedience and chastity, the knights take off their emblems twice a day to come and take care of “their lords the sick”, and the Grand Masters themselves must submit to this service at least once a week, which will cost the lives of Roger des Pins, victim of the plague in 1363. Hospitals similar to that of Rhodes are established in Corinth and Negrepont Venetian possession in Euboea.
Sovereign power beating money, the Order continues to assume its warlike vocation fighting both the Mamelukes of Egypt and the Turks who became masters of Asia Minor. The knights seized Smyrna in 1344, helped the Armenian kingdom of Cilicia three years later, and took part in the Lusignan raid on Cyprus against Alexandria in 1363. In the entire eastern Mediterranean, the “galleys of religion” led at the expense of the Muslim ships a fruitful war of race which contributes to the rapid enrichment of the Order, which is not without worrying the popes of Avignon John XXII and Clement VI, which questions the Grand Master Hélion de Villeneuve about “Good use of possessions”.
The war against the Mamelukes and the Ottomans
Christianity still lives in expectation of a revival of the crusade, of which the Hospitallers are more than ever the vanguard facing the Muslim East; however, the destruction in Nicopolis in 1396 of the Christian army that came to the aid of King Sigismund of Hungary ruined all hopes of reconquering the Holy Places, at a time when the West appeared dangerously weakened from 1378 to 1417, by the Great Schism opposing the pontiffs of Avignon to those of Rome. The victory won by Tamerlane over Bajazet I in Angora in 1402 gave Europe a few years’ respite, necessary for the Ottoman Empire to rebuild its forces, but it was the Mamelukes who faced the Hospitallers. The Egyptian troops besieged Rhodes without success in 1426, 1440 and 1444, and finally agree to conclude a truce in 1450. Three years later, the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror managed to seize Constantinople; however, the winner of the Byzantine Empire can not break the resistance of Rhodes during the terrible siege of 1480 that sees the Grand Master Pierre d’Aubusson and his knights head victoriously over one hundred thousand assailants – feat immortalized by the famous manuscript illuminated by Guillaume de Cahoussin. Under the command of Emery d’Amboise, the knights resume the war of race but must count, under the reign of Bajazet II, with the alliance concluded against them by the Turks and the Egyptians. Everything changes under Selim I, who undertakes the conquest of the East and leads victorious campaigns against the Mamelukes and Persia. The Egypt and the entire Arab Middle East are thus conquered by the Ottoman ruler whose successor, Soliman the Magnificent, can now turn all his efforts against Europe. Rhodes is therefore too dangerous a threat for Ottoman communications in the eastern Mediterranean, and the new sultan decides to seize the island, defended by the Grand Master Philip de Villiers of Isle-Adam.
The fall of Rhodes
In June 1522, four hundred ships and two hundred thousand men were assigned to this campaign, while the Order, to defend the island, only six hundred knights, reinforced with four thousand five hundred other combatants. However, they break all assaults and Soliman – who has already lost eighty thousand men – is preparing to lift the siege when the betrayal of Andre d’Amaral, Chancellor of the Order and prior of the language of Castile – the knights were divided into eight “languages” each corresponding to a geographical and linguistic space – which informs the Turks of the state of exhaustion of the garrison, encourages it to continue the siege begun since four months. The Christian resistance is then exhausted, and the Grand Master is forced to negotiate with the emissaries of Soliman. He abandons the place after blowing up the churches to prevent them from being desecrated and after having obtained the “honors of the war” and the permission to take with him four thousand inhabitants refusing to undergo the Ottoman yoke. On the 1st of January, 1523, the vanquished embarked on thirty vessels, and the knights of Saint John saw the shores of Rhodes leave forever. When, twelve years after this heroic defense, Villiers de l’Isle-Adam surrender his soul to God, Soliman will have the following declaration read in all the mosques: “Believers, learn from an unfaithful person how one fulfills one’s duties until one is admired and honored by his enemies … ” to take with him four thousand inhabitants refusing to undergo the Ottoman yoke. On the 1st of January, 1523, the vanquished embarked on thirty vessels, and the knights of Saint John saw the shores of Rhodes leave forever. When, twelve years after this heroic defense, Villiers de l’Isle-Adam surrender his soul to God, Soliman will have the following declaration read in all the mosques: “Believers, learn from an unfaithful person how one fulfills one’s duties until one is admired and honored by his enemies … ” to take with him four thousand inhabitants refusing to undergo the Ottoman yoke. On the 1st of January, 1523, the vanquished embarked on thirty vessels, and the knights of Saint John saw the shores of Rhodes leave forever. When, twelve years after this heroic defense, Villiers de l’Isle-Adam surrender his soul to God, Soliman will have the following declaration read in all the mosques: “Believers, learn from an unfaithful person how one fulfills one’s duties until one is admired and honored by his enemies … ”
Leaving Rhodes in January 1523, the Knights of the Hospital stopped in Messina, Crete, Italy and Nice. Villiers de l’Isle-Adam plans to install them in the islands of Hyeres, but it is in Viterbo and Civita Vecchia that Pope Clement VII, former Prior of the Order in Capua, establishes them until the Treaty of Castel Franco, concluded in March 1530 between the Grand Master and the Emperor Charles V, gives the Order the Maltese archipelago, populated by thirty thousand inhabitants and attached to Sicily since its conquest by the Aragonese in 1282. In return, the knights must hand over a falcon to the emperor each year. In the autumn of 1530, they land on the island and settle in Borgo where
The installation in Malta and the seat of 1565
In 1535, the Order took part in the conquest of Tunis, but suffered heavy losses in 1541 during the unfortunate expedition against Algiers and lost Tripoli de Barbarie in 1551. The archipelago was very quickly threatened by the Ottoman galleys and the assaults of the Ottomans. Barbary corsairs. Elected Grand Master in 1557, Jean Parisot de la Valette must methodically prepare his defense because the taking of Djerba, which occurred in 1560, certainly announces a large-scale assault. The ramparts are strengthened, water and food supplies are accumulated, knights flock from the various priories and commanderies of Europe to come face the Turk, and nine thousand men of fighting age are mobilized in the local population to face in peril. It was in May 1565 that Mustapha Pasha brought thirty thousand men to work transported by one hundred and sixty galleys, with the intention of carrying away what is then one of the outposts of Christendom, indispensable to the defense of the Italian and Spanish coasts. The heroic resistance of Fort Saint-Elme, which only falls on June 23, allows to gain the necessary time and “to use” the attackers who had to make very heavy losses. Nothing can break the will of the defenders of the forts of St. Angelo and St. Michael and when, on August 7, the Turks manage to enter the Borgo, they are finally rejected. Finally, the arrival of the “great help” sent by the Viceroy of Sicily Don Garcia de Toledo decides, in early September, the fate of the battle. The appearance of one of the outposts of Christendom, indispensable to the defense of the Italian and Spanish coasts. The heroic resistance of Fort Saint-Elme, which only falls on June 23, allows to gain the necessary time and “to use” the attackers who had to make very heavy losses. Nothing can break the will of the defenders of the forts of St. Angelo and St. Michael and when, on August 7, the Turks manage to enter the Borgo, they are finally rejected. Finally, the arrival of the “great help” sent by the Viceroy of Sicily Don Garcia de Toledo decides, in early September, the fate of the battle. The appearance of one of the outposts of Christendom, indispensable to the defense of the Italian and Spanish coasts. The heroic resistance of Fort Saint-Elme, which only falls on June 23, allows to gain the necessary time and “to use” the attackers who had to make very heavy losses. Nothing can break the will of the defenders of the forts of St. Angelo and St. Michael and when, on August 7, the Turks manage to enter the Borgo, they are finally rejected. Finally, the arrival of the “great help” sent by the Viceroy of Sicily Don Garcia de Toledo decides, in early September, the fate of the battle. The appearance of saves the necessary time and “to use” the attackers who had to make very heavy losses. Nothing can break the will of the defenders of the forts of St. Angelo and St. Michael and when, on August 7, the Turks manage to enter the Borgo, they are finally rejected. Finally, the arrival of the “great help” sent by the Viceroy of Sicily Don Garcia de Toledo decides, in early September, the fate of the battle. The appearance of saves the necessary time and “to use” the attackers who had to make very heavy losses. Nothing can break the will of the defenders of the forts of St. Angelo and St. Michael and when, on August 7, the Turks manage to enter the Borgo, they are finally rejected. Finally, the arrival of the “great help” sent by the Viceroy of Sicily Don Garcia de Toledo decides, in early September, the fate of the battle. The appearance of arrival of the “great help” dispatched by the Viceroy of Sicily Don Garcia de Toledo decides, in early September, the fate of the battle. The appearance of arrival of the “great help” dispatched by the Viceroy of Sicily Don Garcia de Toledo decides, in early September, the fate of the battle. The appearance oftercios de Don Alvaro de Bazan discourages Turkish leaders who must give up, after a four-month siege very deadly for their troops. Celebrated throughout Europe, this victory against the Turk – this “Verdun of the sixteenth century”, to use the beautiful expression of Jacques Godechot – is a milestone in the war for the Mediterranean. It will be confirmed six years later, in October 1571, when the fleets of Spain, Venice, the Holy See and most of the Italian principalities placed under the command of Don Juan of Austria will inflict on Lepanto another galleys of the “Great Lord”. The Order will commit four galleys in the battle and sixty of its knights will be killed in this major clash.
Malta, naval school of the West
Meanwhile, in Malta, Valletta has renamed the Borgo Citta Vittoriosa and created a new town that will take its name. It is the Italian architect Francesco Laparelli who, between 1566 and 1571, is responsible for the realization by mobilizing for this purpose eighty thousand workers. Once built this impregnable fortress, Malta will be out of reach of the Ottoman assaults and will continue for two centuries an effective fight against Barbary piracy. Until the second half of the eighteenth, it is on the galleys of Malta, during the four “caravans” – the naval campaigns – that must accomplish the knights that form the masters of the war on sea, such d’Estrées , Tourville, Suffren or Grasse. Barbary ships have then everything to fear from “galleys of religion”, to the the time when Jacques François de Chambray (1687-1756), nicknamed the “Rouge de Malte”, one of the best sailors of his time, multiplies, during his twenty-four campaigns, taken and destroyed. A formidable military instrument, the Order remains faithful to its hospital vocation. A first hospital was built in Malta between 1530 and 1532 and a second, the “Sacred Infirmary”, from 1575 to 1663. The capacity of reception of the patients increased steadily, from three hundred beds in the seventeenth century to five hundred fifty in 1789. Three doctors, three surgeons, a pharmacist are assigned to it, and the knights always carry out regularly their mission of assistance to the patients. Malta thus has, in the eighteenth century, the largest and most modern hospital in Europe. Under the Great Master Pinto of Fonseca, it is a university of medicine that succeeds the schools of anatomy, surgery and pharmacy previously established and endowed, since 1687, with a specialized library that admires contemporaries. The slackening of morals, the progress of irreligion, the vogue of Orientalism and the “turqueries” which gives a fresh glance at the Ottoman enemy of yesterday, contribute to the decadence of the Order in the second half of Eighteenth century. Knights, the youngest sons of families of the highest European nobility, now devote themselves more to pleasures than to assisting the sick or naval campaigns. a specialized library that admires contemporaries. The slackening of morals, the progress of irreligion, the vogue of Orientalism and the “turqueries” which gives a fresh glance at the Ottoman enemy of yesterday, contribute to the decadence of the Order in the second half of Eighteenth century. Knights, the youngest sons of families of the highest European nobility, now devote themselves more to pleasures than to assisting the sick or naval campaigns. a specialized library that admires contemporaries. The slackening of morals, the progress of irreligion, the vogue of Orientalism and the “turqueries” which gives a fresh glance at the Ottoman enemy of yesterday, contribute to the decadence of the Order in the second half of Eighteenth century. Knights, the youngest sons of families of the highest European nobility, now devote themselves more to pleasures than to assisting the sick or naval campaigns.
The decline and revival of the Order
While the kingdom of France provided nearly two-thirds of the knights, the French Revolution is a terrible blow to the Order of more than seven centuries. The National Assembly of 1789 refuses to consider it as a sovereign state possessed in France where there were then 358 of its 671 commanderies. The abolition of the privileges, the suppression of the orders of chivalry and the sale of their property in September 1792 reduce in a catastrophic proportions the incomes of the order of Malta, at the moment when the Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc refuses to recognize the new republican regime. His successor Ferdinand de Hompesch, German elected in 1797, tries to interest the fate of the Order the Tsar Paul I of Russia but also England, became the dominant power in the Mediterranean, while the young General Bonaparte explains to the Directory “the major interest” that the island of Malta presents for France. The expedition of Egypt is the occasion of a French landing which opens on June 12, 1798 on the surrender signed by Hompesch, soon a refugee in Trieste while the knights – some of whom joined the army of Egypt – are regrouped for several months in Antibes before recovering their full freedom. From 1800, the English replaced the French in Malta and, if the treaty of Amiens concluded in 1802 provides for the retrocession of the island to the knights, the governor appointed by His Gracious Majesty does not want to hear anything about it. England will be confirmed the possession of the island during the treaty of Paris of 1814 and on the occasion of the congresses of Vienna and Verona in 1815 and 1822. Weakened by the disputes arising from the pretensions without tomorrow of Tsar Paul I, the Order, deprived of territory, is directed henceforth by a “lieutenant of the magisterium” to whom Pope Leo XII concedes a convent and a church of Ferrara. However, he returned to Rome in 1834, in the palace of Via dei Condotti, and was reborn during the nineteenth century, within the framework of national associations, until the restoration of the Great Masters in 1879. is now headed by a “lieutenant of the magisterium” to whom Pope Leo XII concedes a convent and a church of Ferrara. However, he returned to Rome in 1834, in the palace of Via dei Condotti, and was reborn during the nineteenth century, within the framework of national associations, until the restoration of the Great Masters in 1879. is now headed by a “lieutenant of the magisterium” to whom Pope Leo XII concedes a convent and a church of Ferrara. However, he returned to Rome in 1834, in the palace of Via dei Condotti, and was reborn during the nineteenth century, within the framework of national associations, until the restoration of the Great Masters in 1879.
He is now devoting himself once again to his hospital duties and intervenes during the battles of the Italian unit or during the Franco-German war of 1870. He multiplies the hospitals and organizes health trains during the First World War, notably behind the Verdun front, before founding the Institute of Missionary Medicine in 1934. After a period of tension linked to the Vatican’s attempts to exercise more direct control over the Vatican, the Order adopted a new charter, approved in 1961 by Pope John XXIII.
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux: born in Valenciennes (Nord) on May 11, 1827, died October 11, 1875 in Courbevoie (Hauts de Seine). Nineteenth century. French.
World-renowned for his sculptures of allegorical subjects, groups, figures, busts, portraits and bas-reliefs, he was also a painter, engraver and draftsman.
Coming from a modest family of workers in Valenciennes, he first knows the misery, due to the financial woes of his father; Despite the paternal opposition, he wanted to study sculpture and was received in October 1844 at the School of Fine Arts in Paris. In 1854, he won the prestigious Grand Prix of Rome and moved to the Villa Medicis where he studied the great masters Raphael and Michelangelo. Pupil of François Rude, he travels to Italy where he draws his taste for the movement and the grace, so characteristic of his work whose first representative subjects then appear: the “Petit Boudeur”, the “Palombella” and the “Neapolitan fisherman with “Shell”, his first big success.
Returned to Paris in 1862, he was introduced to the court of Napoleon III which he obtained protection and several official orders. His masterpiece “Ugolin” gets the first medal at the Salon of 1863 and devotes the talent of Carpeaux. In 1866, he worked for the pediment of the Flore pavilion at the Tuileries, then completed the group of “La Danse”, the famous right-wing group of the facade of the Opera that his friend Garnier built in Paris. These works give substance to controversy: the “Flore” of the pediment of the Louvre is considered too sensual, and the group of “The Dance” is condemned for its freedom, its realism, its modernity which according to some, harmed the public morality. For revenge, a bottle of ink was thrown one night on the group and left a spot long indelible.
Carpeaux enjoyed the support and benevolence of the imperial family, which also favored his marriage in 1869 with the lady of his heart, Amelie de Montfort, daughter of the governor of the Palais du Luxembourg and a regular at the court.
After the war of 1870 and the fall of Napoleon III, Carpeaux stayed in England and, back in Paris, exhibited the plaster model of the Fountain of the Observatory, “The four parts of the world”, his last work that will finally inaugurated in 1874. Sick, Carpeaux died on October 12, 1875 in Courbevoie.
Far from the dominant academicism, the work of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux is the expression of movement, life, vigor and grace, and makes him one of the outstanding personalities in the artistic domain of that time. Some of his works, “Ugolin” in particular, announce the feverish and powerful passion of Rodin, who was his pupil.
Carpeaux was also a great painter, whose works are marked by spontaneity and speed of drawing. A beautiful and rare exhibition, “Carpeaux peintre”, was dedicated to him in Valenciennes, then in Paris and Amsterdam in 2000.
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, very attached to his native city, Valenciennes, bequeathed part of his works to the Museum of Fine Arts in his city.
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux was at the same time the portraitist of Napoleon III and an artist who refused the rules of the academy. A passionate forerunner of modern sculpture that tracked life and movement. A lacemaker’s son who attended the greats of his time. The Musée d’Orsay devotes a welcome retrospective to its flashy and tormented career (until September 28th).
The Musée d’Orsay offers an overview of Carpeaux’s works in all stages of their genesis: preparatory drawings, small figures modeled in earth or plaster, particularly lively and virtuoso, plaster originals, marbles. As well as paintings, because if the artist did not usually show them, he was also a painter.
He wants to get the Academy Award, which allows artists to go to Rome. It took seven years to achieve his goal and finally he received in 1854 the grand prize of sculpture which opens the doors of the Villa Medici for four years. To begin, Carpeaux arrives in Rome with months of delay. During his stay, he discovers Michelangelo, one of his great models. Inspired by the Italian people, he makes himself known with his little “fisherman with the shell” with a smile so striking.
Ugolin by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux
Ugolin is a work of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (May 11, 1827 Valenciennes – October 12, 1875 Courbevoie). There are several versions of this group in different materials. This bronze, preserved in the Musée d’Orsay, was melted in 1862. It is 194 cm high and 148 cm wide. The Metropolitan Museum of New York keeps a marble of identical size. While the small Palace and the museum of Valenciennes have in their collections plasters.
The sculpture is inspired by the song 33 of Hell, the first part of Dante’s Divine Comedy. It is the passage or the Florentine poet accompanied by Virgil meets Ugolin della Gherardesca, who had betrayed the party of the Ghibellines (favorable to the Emperor to join that of the Guelphs (supporters of the Pope) and then instituted a tyranny in his city. Archbishop Ubaldini had him locked up in a dungeon with his sons and grandsons to die of hunger, and before succumbing, Ugolin ate his descendants.
The father is figured sitting in the center of the composition, his children at his feet. The pain and anguish can be read in his attitude: he eats his fingers, his face is tense, his feet curled up. The four boys are in agony, in positions certainly contorsionnées but so expressive. Each represents a step towards death
The composition of the very compact work adds to the impression of fear of terracing.
In the representation of the bodies, the spectator can see that Carpeaux was inspired by antique sculptures like the Laocoon or Michelangelo’s masterpieces like the Slaves kept in the Louvre Museum.
The first development of this group was conducted in Italy where Carpeaux was a student after winning the Prix de Rome, this is his last work as a student at the French School of Rome. But the theme had to include one or two figures and the subject taken from ancient history or the Bible. The work was therefore refused and a battle ensued between the administration of the school and the artist. Ugolin was finished once Carpeaux ended his stay at the Academy thanks to the support of patrons.
The work of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux is unclassifiable, all of his work is a bridge between romanticism by the choice of his subjects and naturalism by his realistic treatment.
“Ugolino”, a great work with a difficult genesis
The great work of his Roman stay is “Ugolino”, whose painful genesis sums up the character who never complies with regulations or uses. This is the last shipment he has to complete for his fourth year. First, the theme from Dante’s “Hell” comes from imposed subjects, usually from mythology or holy history. Then, the artist comes into conflict with the Academy because his project has five figures. The norms allow one or two at the most.
Ugolino, walled alive with his sons in a tower will devour his offspring before starving. Carpeaux makes a striking representation of it, biting his fingers, his features full of anguish, his children huddled around him. Delayed, the artist finally gets a deadline to finish his work. Last disavowal, this one does not receive, in Paris, the reception which it discounted.
The sculptor of the imperial family
Shortly after his return, Carpeaux made a bust of Princess Mathilde and began to work for the imperial family. He gives drawing lessons to Prince Louis-Eugene-Napoleon, the only son of Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie. And when he makes his portrait, he breaks with the official stiffness, delivering a little boy almost normal with his dog. The prince can be seen in small, large, plaster, earth, marble and silver bronze. It is that this portrait, become an object of propaganda, meets a lot of success and it is declined in many forms.
Carpeaux produces many portraits, of officials but also of his friends, of his family, all crying with life and truth. His busts are full of realism whether it is that of the Emperor or that of Mrs. Chardon-Lagache, founder of a retirement home in his neighborhood. For his friend Alexandre Dumas Jr., Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux sculpted “more true than life”.
The sculptor, who has marked his successors, “made the most beautiful busts of our time”, according to Auguste Rodin.
Orders for the Louvre and the Opera that make waves
Parallel to these portraits, Carpeaux receives important public commissions such as that of the decoration of the south facade of the Flore Pavilion of the Louvre, rebuilt by the architect Hector Lefuel. He will decorate her with sensual and smiling faces. Again he stands out and attracts the anger of the architect by accumulating delays and realizing too prominent relief, that Lefuel threatens to level. Exceeding the status of simple architectural decor, his work for the Louvre becomes a work in its own right.
In 1861, Charles Garnier, in charge of the construction of the new Opera, commissioned him a group of three characters inspired by the dance, for the facade of the building. Never doing as expected, he draws a happy round of nine dancers. The project is accepted but when the work is unveiled, it provokes a real scandal because of the nudity of its dancers.
A dazzling career
Carpeaux was of a passionate temperament. For various reasons, he sometimes destroyed his works. Like this bust of the Marquise de la Valette, on which the model had issued criticism, and that the sculptor attacked the mass. The mutilated marble can be seen in the exhibition.
He did not make sculpted self-portraits, but many paintings of himself, without complacency, where he will finally be overwhelmed by pain, haggard eyes, features twisted by anguish. His blistering career lasted only fifteen years when he was blown away by bladder cancer.
His works in public collection:
In the United States
- New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art : Napoleon III , 1872-1873, marble.
- Compiegne, Compiegne Castle :
- The Duchess of Mouchy , 1867, plaster;
- Bust of Napoleon III , 1873, plaster.
- Dijon, Museum of Fine Arts :
- The Genie de la Danse , 1869, bronze;
- Portrait of old Transtévérine , circa 1856-1862, oil on cardboard.
- Douai, museum of Chartreuse : Why to be born slave? , circa 1868.
- Évreux, museum of Evreux : Charity , drawing in black ink and pen on paper.
- Lille, Palace of Fine Arts : The Prince Imperial and his dog Nero , 1865.
- Montpellier, Fabre museum : Amélie de Montfort , 1869, patinated plaster bust.
- Museum of Fine Arts: The Triumph of Flora , 1873, plaster.
- Massena museum: bust of Empress Eugenie .
- castle-museum of Nemours: Bust of the painter Jean-Léon Gérôme , c. 1871 plaster (tinted), 60 x 24 cm, n o inv. 2016.0.385 14 .
- Comédie-Française: Alexandre Dumas Jr. , 1873-1874.
- Orsay Museum:
- Ugolino surrounded by his four children, 1860, bronze, 194 × 148 × 119 cm );
- Bust of Anna Foucart , 1860, bronze;
- The Marquise de la Valette , 1861, plaster;
- Princess Mathilde , 1862, marble;
- The Prince Imperial and his dog Nero or The Child with the Greyhound , 1865, marble;
- The Four Parts of the World supporting the celestial sphere 1868-1872, plaster, commission of the city of Paris for the garden of the Observatory;
- Danse, 1865-1869, group in stone, coming from the facade of the Palais Garnier ;
- Charles Garnier , 1868-1869, bronze bust;
- Eugenie Fiocre , 1869, plaster;
- Jean-Léon Gérôme , 1871, bronze bust;
- Madame Delthil de Fontreal , 1873, patinated plaster.
- Fisherman with the shell , 1857-1858, oil on canvas;
- Costume Ball at the Tuileries Palace (Emperor Napoleon III and Countess of C.), 1867, oil on canvas;
- The Attack of Berezowski against Tsar Alexander II June 6, 1867 , 1867, oil on canvas;
- Louvre Palace, facade of the Flore Pavilion: The Triumph of Flora , 1865, stone.
- Small Palace:
- Fisherman with shellor Neapolitan fisherman , 1858, plaster 15 ;
- The Chinese , 1872, patinated plaster (study preparing the female figure of Asia for the fountain of the four parts of the world );
- Daphnis and Chloé , 1873, patinated plaster;
- The Three Graces , 1874, terracotta;
- Sinking in the port of Dieppe , 1873, oil on canvas;
- Amelie de Montfort , 1869, black chalk on paper;
- The Children of the Artist, Charles and Louise, asleep , circa 1874, pencil and black chalk on paper.
- Valenciennes, Museum of Fine Arts :
- Le Petit Boudeur , circa 1856, marble;
- Monument to Antoine Watteau, 1863-1864 16 ;
- Charles Gounod , 1871, terracotta;
- Triumph of Flora , 1872, terracotta;
- Wounded Love , 1873-1874, marble;
- Bust of Bruno Cherier, 1874, plaster;
- Saint Bernard , 1874, terracotta;
- Self-portrait called “Carpeaux crying with pain” , 1874, oil on canvas;
- Sunset , 1872, oil on canvas;
- La Relève des morts at Montretoux , 1871, oil on canvas;
- various drawn figures of the group of La Danse and sketches, preparatory studies on paper.
- Vesoul, Georges Garret Museum : Bust of Jean-Leon Gerome , 1872, bronze.
The Palais d’Orsay
From 1810 to 1838, it was the construction of the Palais d’Orsay. The palace bears the name of a member of the municipal body, before the revolution. This is Charles Boucher d’Orsay. This gentleman undertook the construction of a stone quay. The wharf bore his name, which was then given to the palace. The palace was intended to receive the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but eventually, it was assigned to the Court of Auditors. In May 1871, it is the end of the Commune (in history, the commune is the time of a revolutionary government). The people do not agree with the state, it’s a mini-revolution. There are fires where many buildings are destroyed, including the Palais d’Orsay. It is not rebuilt and remains in ruins for almost thirty years.
The train station
1898 – 1900, it is the construction of the station of Orsay: The railway company Paris – Orleans wants to buy the ground of the old Cour des comptes (or Palais d’Orsay) to build a station there. She will keep the name of Orsay. Victor Laloux, an architect, is chosen for the construction. The station must fit perfectly into its prestigious environment: The Louvre and the Tuileries Garden. The architect adopts a metal structure and the envelope of cut stone.
The train station includes a luxurious 400-room hotel, a restaurant and a large ballroom. It is decorated by painters and sculptors that the architect had chosen himself. The station is open on the occasion of the world exhibition of 1900. For nearly 40 years, the station knows a great activity. It is used for traffic (circulation) of travelers; and the hotel is frequented by passing travelers and Parisians who use its restaurant and banquet hall for luxurious receptions.
The station loses its function
1939, the main railway lines are abandoned because the railways have become too short. The facilities of the Orsay train station (hotels, restaurants) become useless … there are no more long-distance travelers, which is why the hotel becomes useless. During the war, the station of Orsay becomes a place where parcels are sent to the prisoners soldiers; then, at the end of the war it serves to welcome survivors. In May 1958, General De Gaulle gave a press conference in the village hall of the hotel. Subsequently, the buildings of the ORSAY station will only serve to host different events (cinema, theater). Rail traffic no longer exists.
The saved building
In 1961, SNCF decided to put the station building up for sale to avoid its demolition. However, the Minister of Cultural Affairs at the time, Jacques Duhamel, decided to keep the building. The facades and decorations of the old station are listed in the inventory of Historic Monuments in 1973 and the entire station in 1978.
In 1977, President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing took up the idea of to install a museum of the nineteenth century in the old station. The museum is intended to receive national collections, scattered in other museums. Shortly after his election in 1981, François Mitterrand confirmed the Orsay project.
From 1983 to 1986, it is the transformation of the building. A complete reorientation of the spaces of the old station is planned. The ground floor of the hotel and the arrival yard are transformed into public reception areas. Three levels of exposure are planned. At the eastern end, there are escalators that allow you to go upstairs. The terraces at the middle level form exhibition spaces. The party hall of the hotel is preserved. We can visit it. The former restaurant of the station is transformed into a public restaurant. “Traces” of the old station are left voluntarily visible. In December 1986, the Musée d’Orsay opened its doors to the public.
The Musée d’Orsay has, without counting the photographs, about 6,000 works, of which 3,000 are on display. The others are kept in reserves from which they come out, episodically, for exhibitions at the museum or to be lent. Thus, out of 2600 paintings, 1500 are in reserve; out of 1250 sculptures, 500 are in reserve. It is the curators who have chosen the works exhibited permanently.
Recent years in particular, one of the main problems facing a museum is the theft of works of art, which are most often sold by receivers abroad and will enrich private collections.
How to guard against these thefts?
The experts have designed two types of defense. The first consists of a set of electronic anti-theft devices (ultra-sophisticated microwave and ultrasonic detectors); the second is based on what might be called “passive defense”, that is to say all the measures which, in one way or another, can make the objects exposed less vulnerable. For example ? attempts are made to reduce as much as possible the exits (entrances and exits) so that they are more easily controllable by guards or detectors; doors and windows are often shielded, etc. But recent museums are pretty much the only ones that can be equipped this way. Very large budgets should be made available to protect old museums.
Collections were collected that were scattered among several sites, and sometimes unexposed for lack of space. The main background is that of the Luxembourg Museum ; it is complemented by works preserved in the National Museum of Modern Art , the Jeu de Paume or in various other national museums. Since 1986, the collections of the Musée d’Orsay are enriched by acquisitions (including the works of foreign artists) and donations and dations collectors or artists descendants.
The Musée d’Orsay is the link between the permanent collections of the Louvre Museum and those of the National Museum of Modern Art (Center Pompidou) , with sometimes fluctuating boundaries. The dates of 1848 and 1914 were chosen to mark the beginning and the end of the period concerned, sometimes mainly because of their historical meaning. It can be noted that, from the point of view of art history, the Musée d’Orsay is located overall between Romanticism(exhibited at the Louvre Museum) and Fauvismor Cubism (on which the museum opens National Museum of Modern Art).
Temporary exhibitions are regularly organized in situ to make the works of the reserves known to the public. Outside the walls, prestigious exhibitions – often a retrospective of an artist’s work – are organized by the museum at the Grand Palais National Galleries . Many places in France can supplement or be a prerequisite for a visit to the Orsay museum: Musée de l’Orangerie, the Marmottan-Monet Museum , Musee Rodin, Bourdelle Museum in Paris; Museum of Impressionists and Claude Monet Foundation in Giverny, Museum of Fine Arts in Angers, Museum of Fine Arts in Reims, Fabre Museum in Montpellier, Toulouse-Lautrec museum in Albi, Ganne inn in Barbizon, etc.
The Musée d’Orsay has about 6,000 works (not counting photographs and drawings), about half of which are permanently displayed on three levels, according to various groupings: chronological, thematic, or by collections.
The consecrated painting is present with academicism , the only current supported for a long time by the official authorities. A beginning of emancipation against the academic rules is felt with the school of Barbizon in the landscape painting and with the realism in the description of the society.
Modernity holds pride of place in the collections: the major expression is Impressionism , which takes the painter out of the studio and affirms the primacy of light. With the upheavals of the society which is transformed in depth, the symbolism opposes an ideal and dreamlike world. After the analytic experiences of naturalism , the personality of the artists is more and more recognizable in the works (Post-Impressionism, Pointillism, Nabis, Art Nouveau). Everyone develops their own style, with, in some cases, the announcement of the vanguards of the early twentieth century.
History of collections
The Orsay museum houses the Jeu de Paume collections from the Musée du Luxembourg, those left in the Palais de Tokyo by the Museum of Modern Art, as well as works from the Louvre dating from the second half of the nineteenth century . Today, this ensemble is constantly enriched by new acquisitions, in order to offer the public an ever wider image of the art of the second half of the 19th century, both French and foreign.
While Impressionism for a long time eclipsed the works that preceded or followed it, Orsay had the immense merit of rediscovering history painting and rendering justice to so-called official painters unjustly disqualified as Gérôme or Couture, of to deepen our knowledge of realism, with Courbet, but also Millet , Jules Breton or Bastien-Lepage , to reveal to us the splendours of French and foreign symbolism, from Gustave Moreau to Franz van Stuck , to recall the importance that had for the evolution of art to come the post-impressionism of a Seurat and Nabi movement born of Cezanne and Gauguin.
The new Orsay
Your stay at Hotel Bersolys will allow you to discover the new Orsay and its recently renovated upper floors. A new, more coherent visit itinerary has been designed, ranging from Impressionism to Post-Impressionism, while the Median level is home to the great Nabi decorations and foreign schools of decorative arts. Instead of the usual white color, deep blue and deep red walls were also chosen, to reveal the contrasting values so marked in nineteenth-century painting. The presentation of the paintings, finally, is more airy, the windows less loaded, the works put in perspective: everything is done to sharpen a look that will be prompted to contemplate, compare, analyze.
- Alexandre Cabanel , Birth of Venus (painting, 1863): a mythological subject illustrated by an official artist very much in favor during the Second Empire. (Cabanel )
- Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux , Dance (sculpture, 1869): the original group that adorned the facade of Paris Opera, in which the artist manages to translate the sensation of movement. ( Carpeaux )
- Paul Cézanne , the Card Players (painting, between 1890 and 1895): a sober and balanced post-impressionist painting, belonging to a series of five versions. (Cézanne )
- Théodore Chassériau , the Tepidarium (painting, 1853): a work with multiple influences, between romanticism, orientalism and historical painting. (Chassériau )
- Gustave Courbet , A burial at Ornans(painting, 1849-1850): a daily scene in a monumental format, which classified the artist as the leader of the realist. (Courbet )
- Edgar Degas , Fourteen-year-old Dancer (sculpture, between 1865 and 1881): the extremely realistic sculpture of a painter of everyday life. (Degas )
- Emile Gallé , Plat d’ornament (faience, 1878): the first steps of a master glassmaker in the field of ceramics. (Gallé )
- Paul Gauguin , Arearea [jubilations] (painting, 1892): idealized exoticism in a painting considered by the artist as one of his most important. (Gauguin )
- Édouard Manet , the Lunch on the Grass (painting, 1863): a work whose modernity and subject caused a scandal at the Salon des Refusés. (Manet )
- Jean-François Millet , the Angelus (painting, 1863): famous throughout the world, a major painting of the representative of French realism. (Millet )
- Claude Monet , the Cathedral of Rouen. The portal and the Saint-Romain Tower, full sun (painting, 1893): an example of Claude Monet’s work on the play of light and the transfiguration of forms. (Monet )
- Félix Nadar , Charles Baudelaire in the chair (photograph, 1855): when one of the first photographers made the enigmatic portrait of a poet. (Nadar )
- Pierre Puvis de Chavannes , the Dream (painting, 1883): a master of decorative art reconnects with the classical tradition by tinging it with symbolism. (Puvis de Chavannes )
- Auguste Renoir , Bal de la Galette mill (painting, 1876): a very thorough study of open air, a masterpiece of early Impressionism. (Renoir )
- Henri Rousseau , the Snake Charmer (painting, 1907): exotic landscape, realism and fantasy intermingle in this announcer of some vanguards of the twentieth e s. (Rousseau )
- Vincent Van Gogh , the Church of Auvers-sur-Oise (painting, 1890): a building and a landscape in motion, the reality transfigured by the vision of the artist. (Van Gogh )