Tuesday, December 30, 2014

High end 17th century luxury housing

Chers Amis de L’Ecole du Bon Gout.   When I was in Paris last fall visiting Musee Carnavalet, I had the truly delicious experience of seeing the two newly reopened 17th century rooms which had been closed for almost a decade of restoration.

These rooms are virtual “treasure boxes” of 17th century architecture, fine art and decorative arts, and are rare surviving examples of 17th century Parisian high end luxury residential living. The “bon gout formula” here includes: vibrant colors, complex boiserie, architectural sculpture in stucco, illusionistic fresco painting, faux marble, silk damask wall coverings, and oak parquet de Versailles flooring : all this richness seamed together with lots of gold leafing . This is NOT the “less is more” approach svp.

The main Hotel Carnavalet building was first constructed from 1548 to 1560 and is in itself a rare surviving example of Renaissance domestic architecture in Paris.  Beginning in 1655, the famous architect Francois Mansart completed the hotel by raising the height of the wing on the entrance facade.  Carnavalet is also noted as the residence of Mme. de Sevigne from 1667 till 1696, and retains two rooms dedicated to her.
 
In 1866 the city of Paris purchased the building to be transformed into a museum. Through the years many additions have been made to make more space for a library, many other period rooms, and temporary exhibition spaces. Carnavalet was the cutting edge in the museum world to begin acquiring period rooms as part of their collection with their first complete room purchased in 1867. In the private sector, New Orleans’ own La baronne de Pontalba (1795 –1874) was one of the first individuals inspired to install entire early 18th century rooms collected from buildings being demolished, in her Parisian mansion completed in 1840. Today this mansion houses the “Residence de L’Ambassadeur American”.

Musee Carnavalet is truly a “High Temple of Bon Gout” and is opened from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am till 6:00 pm and is FREE to the public, svp! So next time you are in Paris, give yourself a real treat and visit Musee Carnavalet!

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith












Additional Images










Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com

Monday, November 24, 2014

Tis the season of...

Chers Amis de L’Ecole du Bon Gout, Bonjour !

Like it or not the summer is history and “Old Man Winter” is knocking at the door! So with the earlier nightfall and naturally less time spent outdoors, we have more indoor activities and seasonal winter treats. 

One of my favorite winter treats is the increased use of candle light, in chandeliers, wall sconces as well as in candlesticks. Sometimes when I am up before dawn, I light even just one candle in my bedroom while I drink my chocolate chaud . This sets a new comfy mood and tone to welcome the new day. 

With all the holiday celebrations of winter time of course comes the use of lots of candle light adding its magic glow to dinners both large and small. And don’t forget to light up all the candles you can on the night of the Winter Solstice, December the 21st, to make sure that the Sun gets the message to start giving us longer days and shorter nights!!

See following some photos illustrating candle magic to inspire you as well as a sampling of the extensive stock of antique lighting fixtures now in stock at Au Vieux Paris Antiques. If you can not come see in person, visit the web site at www.auvieuxparisantiques.com.

Please remember, Au Vieux Paris Antiques is a great source for those one of a kind Christmas presents for those special people in your life.  We gift wrap and ship coast to coast!

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday December 7th from 10am till 4pm.  A holiday reception with surprises at Au Vieux Paris Antiques!

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith 337 332 2852






















































Light up a smile on the face of someone special with a gift of antique lighting!

Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com




Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A "New" Treasury of the Louvre

Chers Amis de L’Ecole du Bon Gout,  Last month when I was in Paris, I had the great treat of visiting (for about 5 hours!) the newly reconfigured 18th c decorative arts galleries of the Musee Louvre. These had been closed and under renovation for almost a decade.
The Musee Louvre was actually begun in 1793 when the vast treasure troves, seized from France’s former ruling class, were then exhibited to the public.  The “cream” of this royal legacy, one of the greatest collections of 18th century bon gout in the world, can now be seen in these 35 sensational “new” rooms.  The collection of the period rooms as well as the objects displayed, begins with the last phases of Louis XIV and continues up till the Revolution. Because of the renowned decorator Jacques Garcia’s consultation, the display of this incomparable treasure is arranged in both 14 period room settings, as well as modern exhibition rooms with smaller objects on display in illuminated cases. Masterpieces include: furniture, clocks, scientific instrumentation, silver tableware, tapestries, porcelain, jewelry, etc.

The exhibit space was installed from scratch in part of what was Louis XIV’s splendid major 17th c addition to the Louvre which forms the “Cour Carree” at its eastern end .What I was taken most with was the extremely high level of quality of design, craftsmanship and condition of all items on view. Almost every top French 18th c furniture maker, metal worker and painter is represented in some of their most sumptuous commissions.

The visitor’s visual access to the objects as displayed is admirable in what had obviously been a challenging and complex “chess match” to compose. To give you a sense of the complexity of the design and construction of this new display, besides taking 9 years to complete, the total cost was 26 million euros ( $34,300,000 ) with $4 million coming from “The American Friends of the Louvre”.  All this, with many of the professionals involved , like M. Garcia, donating their time and talents svp!!


Cordialement, Robert E. Smith
















More photos from the newly reopened decorative arts galleries of the Louvre




















Visit the Au Vieux Paris Antiques homepage (click here)
Browse a sampling of the merchandise available (click here)

Mes Amities,
Robert E. Smith   (337) 332-2852

http://www.auvieuxparisantiques.com