A pleasant exhibition of photographs is taking place until the end of March in the Palais Royal Gardens in Paris. It is called: ‘Paris Paradis, un journal photographique de Nicolas Guilbert’. It is in open-air and free and can be seen at any time as the photographs are lit up at night!
For thirty years the Parisian artist Nicolas Guilbert has been walking all over Paris so as to capture new pictures of the city. He takes an amused look at it by catching at the right time photographic opportunities: Parisian people or tourists, street scenes, metro stations or famous monuments. I like his view of Paris which is in the same time unusual, powerful and unpretentious.
The location of the exhibition looks like an allusion to the youth of the artist: Nicolas Guilbert used to work as a scene shifter in the nearby Comedie Française when he was 16… and the fences and his works were put up last January by some scene shifters of the theatre!
About 50 photographs representing the best of his most recent book ‘Paris Paradis’ are currently exhibited on wooden fences at the entrance of the Palais Royal Gardens next to the famous Buren’s columns: Black & White or in colour, indoor or outdoor, showing people or animals, streets or monuments. I love all of them. One of my favourites is: ‘Irène Krenz-Mouquin et Elliott, quai de l’horloge, 1er’. The whole makes a poetic travel through Paris. Not to be missed!
The Parc Monceau is doubtless the smartest garden in Paris. It is located in a very elegant and upscale neighbourhood in the 8th arrondissement of Paris and surrounded by beautiful buildings and luxury ‘Hotels Particuliers’.
The Parc Monceau was created in 1769 by the Duke of Chartres who entrusted its landscaping to the painter and architect Carmontelle. Carmontelle put there a variety of follies, which were very fashionable at that time: an Egyptian pyramid, the ‘Naumachie’, which is a pond surrounded by Corinthian columns and inspired by the Ancient Rome, greek columns, a sarcophagus,… During the French Revolution the Park underwent huge transformations.
One had then to wait until 1852 before seeing the Park be redesigned as a landscape garden. And in 1861 the Parc Monceau such as we know it today was inaugurated by Napoleon III : Some of the follies of Carmontelle are still there, including the impressive Naumachie ; many trees have been planted and other antiques and sculptures added. Among them a lovely Venitian bridge dating from the Second Empire: one of my favourites!
The Pavillon de l’Arsenal in Paris is largely unknown by tourists as well as by Parisians themselves. And yet this beautiful building located in the very centre of the city near the Marais could be called the Museum of Paris as it houses on its groundfloor a very interesting permanent exhibition about Paris and its history: ‘Paris, la métropole et ses projets‘. A must-see, whether you are a Parisian or a tourist, to learn much about the history of Paris for free and with captions both in French and in English!