© A. Hughes
The luxury goods of France have always been seductive. But, to this day, nothing can outdazzle her 18th century porcelain. This “white gold” remains an art form of its own, a showcase for flawless decorative skills and technical virtuosity.
© Musée du Louvre
He is famous for elegiac portraits of elegance. But Jean Antoine Watteau was not a typical high-society painter. Preceded by the heaviness of royal Baroque, followed by imitators who wallowed in the luxuries he depicted, his own works show a different type of radical talent.
By reuniting Watteau’s key drawings, London’s Royal Academy showed how and why they engineered changes in taste. Perhaps only an outsider li...
© Foundling Museum
Who gave Londoners their first picture gallery? A coalition of castaway children and high society, led by an arriviste, outspoken sea captain! Although it sounds completely improbable, this is a story you can still see for yourself. Just pay a visit to the Foundling Museum in Bloomsbury.
Londoners are acutely aware of fashion and this was no different in the 18th century. Then, as the booming city’s population doubled,...
A tall older man (I will learn he is 93) walks toward a seat in this London auditorium. About to see, like all of us, a film about the exiled Free French in the London of World War II. Is he perhaps one of those who appears in the documentary, telling us how that small band found life in those darkest days?
After all, tonight’s screening is a big deal. Seventy years ago this week, Géneral de Gaulle broadcast l’A...
© J.P. Poulet
The Paris sales take place twice a year, for five weeks, in both July and January. Since 1906, their actual dates have been set by the government. As with la rentrée (the re-entry from summer vacation) or the baccalauréat exams in June, les soldes function as a moment of national re-examination.
The sales are from being considered an aberration. That place is reserved for London’s after-Christmas frenzy, always a feature...