Category Archives: Louvre

A Swede in the XVIII Century Paris.

Many of my American friends feel claustrophobic in Parisian hotels — it’s too tight, too hot. They completely miss the idea of boudoir! It has to be tight, it has to be hot, especially when outside it it is not. … Continue reading

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The Emperor, His Crown and Scepter

The Louvre has these items — the crown and the scepter of Napoleon. That’s the way he wanted them — crude, primitive, archaic to reflect his understanding of the tradition. The hand of justice was copied off an old gravure … Continue reading

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A Picture for the Frame

If Van Loo is the court painter of Louis XV, then Boucher is the court painter of Pompadour. Only he is not a court painter, for there is not a single Boucher portrait at Versailles. This is why we recognize … Continue reading

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Parergon

These days you can see at the Louvre the portrait of Lady Alston by Thomas Gainsborough. Well, I did. A disturbing experience! Because of the heavy gilded shells that surround the canvas. They distracted me: Versailles is stamped all over … Continue reading

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Louis XIV at the Haunted Palace

I’ve talked a little about ghosts and a lot about perfumes; but I have never mentioned how closely the two happen to be related: it goes back to 1654 and even earlier, so this is a Paris-Versailles, or rather Louvre-Versailles … Continue reading

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Still Life Anonymous

This anonymous XVII century still life can be seen in the Louvre collection of French paintings, right before Georges de La Tour. At first the picture passes for a familiar allegorical representation of our five senses: sight — book, hearing … Continue reading

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Water and Moral Rectitude in XVIII Century Painting

By mid 1700’s water is back with vengeance; and in the late XVIII century its use does not only concern itself with hygiene, but quickly gains the grounds in the social and political discourse: it is not just a bath … Continue reading

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