An 18th-century portrait sold in New York to a British gallery as a “woman in a feathered hat” turns out to actually portray a man dressed as a woman, becoming the earliest known painting of a transvestite. (Read how they figured it out…)
The portrait is of Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d’Éon de Beaumont, a French diplomat, spy, soldier and Freemason whose first 49 years were spent as a man, and whose last 33 years were spent as a woman.
Seems the makers of the 24-episode Japanese animé series, Le Chevalier d’Eon, took a lot of liberties with the Chevalier’s history! And his appearance… Watch the trailer.
Meet Nénette who, at 40, is the oldest resident of the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes in Paris. The Parisians love her. See the trailer of the award-winning documentary about her made by French filmmaker Nicolas Philibert.
Poaching and palm oil plantations are killing off the orangutans. If you care about them, there are several ways you can help through Orangutan Outreach.
We had the pleasure to meet Ms. Kawamura when she was showing her lovely watercolors of Paris in our neighborhood, and thought we’d share her work with you. She lives in Paris and you can reach her through her Contact page.
When confined to his bed, Matisse would sketch on the ceiling by attaching brushes and charcoal to a long pole. As painting became more difficult, he focused intently on the sleek, stylized paper cutouts he had first started experimenting with in the 1930s, using scissors to create the sinewy shapes and swaths of color that he could no longer render directly on canvas.
This is currently being exhibited in Pittsburgh. Read about the work and the exhibit here: Matisse’s The Thousand and One Nights in Pittsburgh – WSJ.com.
If you’d like to sleep inside a fairy tale, you might want to pay a visit to La Balade des Gnômes, a quiet bed and breakfast where you can live out your fairy tale dreams, including one inside the belly of a wooden bull.
Details and pictures of interiors at io9.
Save the date for the Acadian World Congress 2014! Details: Congrès mondial acadien 2014.
As part of a vigorous publicity campaign, the American Committee for Devastated France, a civilian relief organization, commissioned photographs and films designed to foster a humanitarian response to the plight of French refugees during and after the First World War. Full-page images ran in American newspapers and sets of prints were sold for three dollars a dozen. Among the most affecting images were portraits featuring the craggy faces of the proud, elderly farmers of Picardy and the beautiful faces of French children—some posed in shabby clothing; others neatly dressed as they engaged in volunteer-sponsored activities.
See photos, videos and more at The Morgan Library & Museum Online Exhibitions. If you live in Palm Beach FL, the photos are on exhibit till March 31 at the Wally Findlay Gallery.
It’s always fun to see the icons and concepts people choose to represent France (the usual clichés, but we love them anyway). But we’re sharing this mostly because the Quasimodo cracked us up…
See more francophile design inspirations at CreativeRoots.
Striking vintage illustrations from a 1959 book by (evidently not French — see the comments) illustrator Maurice Laban. See more at My Vintage Avenue.
In this poster (De Gaulle, 1965), la République (incarnated by a little girl version of Marianne) asks to be allowed to grow up. De Gaulle is represented by the starry cuff of his sleeve.
See the rest at Affiches électorales : la bataille de limage 1965-2012.
For a project named La Campagne à vélo, two journalists, Raphael Krafft and Alexis Monchovet, are biking around France in order to meet French voters directly in their workplaces and homes until the end of the French presidential campaign in May.
Their Facebook page is the main portal: the two journalists post pictures of their trip, updates on their latest video, radio or written productions and ask for help or tips on their journey (the two bikers have to find a place to sleep every night!).
Read the rest and learn how you can keep up with Ralph and Alexis at Geeking the Elysée.
On the Hermès site right now, you can download PDF patterns for six versions of the dog collar bracelet to print and make yourself. Just go to the Hermès site, click Travel the world of Hermès, and choose Surprises from the menu (vertical orange bar, top left). Note that different country sites might have different versions!!
If you don’t find them, or if they take them down (they don’t stay up there forever, ladies!), you can get them here.
On the Hermès site right now, you can download PDF patterns for six versions of the Jigé clasp clutch to print and make yourself. Just go to the Hermès site, click Travel the world of Hermès, and choose Surprises from the menu (vertical orange bar, top left). Note that different country sites might have different versions!!
As with the other Hermès goodies we’ve posted, if you don’t find them, or if they take them down, you can get them here.
The bells that have been ringing every 15 minutes since 1856 in the towers of Notre Dame are being melted down and reforged. The Diocese of Paris says they’re ”mediocre in quality and of discordant tonality.”
Not sure I want bells that are in tune. It’s like having perfect teeth; no character…
Read the rest at the Sydney Morning Herald.