Princess Diana’s Travolta dress failed to sell at auction but purchased by British charity for £264,000
In early November 1985, Princess Diana visited the United States with her husband Prince Charles. They stayed at the White House, where they attended a gala dinner on 11 November.
On that occasion, the Princess of Wales wore a midnight blue silk velvet gown designed by British designer Victor Edelstein who had also designed her wedding gown in 1981.
After the dinner, Princess Diana danced with the American actor John Travolta to the music of his 1977 film Saturday Night Fever in the Entrance Hall. The photographs and TV footage of them "gliding around the room" were widely circulated around the world, and the gown came to be known as the "Travolta dress".
The Princess of Wales wore the silk velvet gown again in Germany in December 1987 and at the premiere of the film Wall Street in April 1988 and she wore it for her last official portrait photograph, taken by Prince Charles's uncle, Princess Magritte’s husband the Earl of Snowdon, in 1997.
The iconic velvet gown has been auctions several times.
In June 1997 ( just two months before her death) Princess Diana auctioned off the gown for £100,000 to raise funds for Aids charities. It was bought by Florida-based businesswoman Maureen Dunkel who kept it until she went bankrupt in 2011 and was forced to put it up for auction but did not succeed.
In March 2013, the gown was sold for £240,000 by London Auction House Kerry Taylor to a British man, who reportedly bought it as a gift to cheer up his wife.
And now, 34 years after Princess Diana first wore it, Kerry Taylor included it in its auction catalogue again, with pre-sale estimate of £350,000.
According to Victor Edelstein who had designed for Princess Diana for 11 years before her untimely death in 1997 the princess of Wales often visited his studio and saw this off-the-shoulder gown in burgundy, and wanted to have it made in midnight blue. The fittings were done in the Princess’s private apartment in Kensington Palace. During the last fitting, Princess as so happy with the final result she decided to show it to Prince Charles who told her she looked wonderful and it would be perfect with jewellery.
The gown has off the shoulder straps, while a diagonally swathed velvet skirt hugs the figure tightly to the knee with a bow to one side, then flares out into a broad flounce above layered tulle petticoats.
The auction was held on 9 December 2019, titled “Passion for Fashion” by the auction house, but this blue velvet gown failed to reach its reserve price of £200,000, provoking the media’s assumption that the fashion of Princess Diana is perhaps not relevant anymore.
One day later, however, Historic Royal Palaces (HRP), an independent charity that looks after palaces in the UK bought the gown out of auction at £264,000 ($347,000).
According to Eleri Lynn, curator at HRP: “We're delighted to have acquired this iconic evening gown for the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection -- a designated collection of national and international importance -- over twenty years since it first left Kensington Palace. Not only is the 'Travolta' dress a fantastic example of couture tailoring designed to dazzle on a state occasion, it represents a key moment in the story of twentieth century royal fashion."
And it will also means that the Travolta dress will stay in Britain.
A few days ago, the Canadian actor and movie star Keanu Reeves became the focus of media again, not because of his new movie or his mysterious quality of being permanently young, but because of his new girl friend in decades (According to The Daily Mail), a Los Angeles-based artist Alexandra Grant, who looks like Helen Mirren, does not look glamours, and carries a daring shade of grey hair on her head.
The image of this worldly famous and widely loved Hollywood star being with a woman close to his age bracket has caused quite a social media storm. The haters think Keanu is dating a grandmother, and supporters applauded either Alexandra's courage of leaving her hair grey, or Keanu's gut of not going out with a younger, more beautiful and more glamorous girl. But really the applause should go to both of them, for living the way they want, and not caring about what other people expect or think or say.
From the public photos, Alexandra Grant looks like one of those earthily women who might love to do yoga and meditation or cook or burn essences and have a big heart, and the couple look happy, relaxed and loving together.
It's said Keanu and Alexandra had known each other for years before they became a couple earlier this year. Over the years, they have worked together on several projects, including writing two books: Ode to Happiness in 2011 and then Shadows in 2016, they then established a publishing house together in 2017. So it seems the two had shared a long and fruitful friendship before they locked their hands and hearts together.
Ode to Happiness is a grown-up's picture book, a charming reminder not to take oneself too seriously. With drawings by painter Alexandra Grant, text by actor Keanu Reeves, and in collaboration with mutual friend Janey Bergam, this facsimile artists' book is about making the best of a bad situation. In the tradition of a classic "hurtin' song", Reeves' text externalizes a melancholy internal monologue and subtly pokes fun at it. Grant's images, delicately realised in sombre inky washes, reflect the dark and light, the pathos and humour of the text. Neither entirely earnest nor wholly ironic, Ode to Happiness is both a meditation and a gentle tease about how we cope with life's sorrows.
So Odd to Happiness for Keanu Reeves and his new love!
Title: In pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection
Time: 27 November 2019–MAY 17, 2020
Place: The Met Fifth Avenue
The Costume Institute's fall exhibition features promised gifts from Sandy Schreier, a pioneering collector, who over the course of more than half a century assembled one of the finest private fashion collections in the United States. The show will explore how Schreier amassed a trove of twentieth-century French and American couture and ready-to-wear, not as a wardrobe, but in appreciation of this form of creative expression.
The gift is part of The Met's 2020 Collections Initiative celebrating the Museum's 150th anniversary. In Pursuit of Fashion will feature approximately 80 of the 165 promised gifts, including womenswear, accessories, and fashion illustrations dating from a 1908 pochoir album, Les Robes de Paul Poiret, developed in collaboration with Paul Iribe to a 2004 Phillip Treacy butterfly hat.
Schreier was introduced to fashion through her father Edward Miller, a furrier at the Detroit outpost of Russeks Department Store, owned by the parents of the photographer Diane Arbus. She admired the clothes of the well-heeled clients so much that they would eventually bring in their cast-offs for her to play with.
Mesmerised by the golden age Hollywood films and the beauty of the film costumes, Schreier slowly started collecting them, and as she herself put it: “my main criterion is whether the piece meets the standard of fashion as art.”
Compared with other Grand Slam tournaments like Australian Open, French Open and US Open, Wimbledon has something special about it, it is the oldest, it is of green grass, and as the Swiss tennis player Roger Federer said: the tradition.
Since he first played in Wimbledon in 1998 as a junior tennis player, it has been more than 20 years, during which Roger Federer grew into major and mature player, became world No.1.
But Wimbledon is special for the Swiss player, it witnessed his most Glorious victories: It was here, the young Roger Federer defeated the then World No.1 Peter Sampras in 2001, then became champion himself in 2003, then 2004, then again and again, until he made history by being the first ever to win 8 Wimbledon championship.
Now it is 2019, and Roger Federer has left the quarter-final behind him. Will he make the final, and who will he encounter: his old opponent the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, or the now World No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic? or someone unexpected?
Will he create history again, on this grass court which has been very kind to him?
We wish him the best luck!
Downton Abbey is moving to big screen
After almost 4 years, The gate of Downton Abbey is finally opening again, for His Majesty King George V and Queen Mary, as well as for us! The year will be 1927, and Carson the Butler will have to come out of his retirement to help Mary prepare for the royal visit......
A brief refreshment on how the characters in Downton Abbey the TV series left us:Robert and Cora: After serious sickness, Robert took a step back from running Downton Abbey and the estate. His wife Cora became hospital president.
The Dowager Countess: Violet (played by Maggie Smith) reluctantly gave up her position of hospital president.
Lady Mary: Lady Mary re-married after falling for dashing racing driver Henry Talbot (played by Matthew Goode) and was running Downton herself.
Lady Edith: married Bertie Pelham, forming a family of three with her illegitimate daughter Marigold, meanwhile starting a career in magazine publishing.
Anna and Bates: they had a baby
Tom Branson and Sybbie: Tom and his daughter returned from America to make Downton their home. He and Mary’s husband Henry set up an automobile shop in York – named Talbot and Branson Motors.
Isobel Crawley: Matthew Crawley’s mother, now called Isobel Grey decided to marry Lord Merton against the wishes of his daughter-in-law Amelia.
Carson and Mrs Hughes: The two of them tied the knot, but Mr Carson developed palsy and had to retire.
Thomas Barrow: Survived his suicide attempt, returned to Downton Abbey and stepped into Carson’s shoes as butler.
And the good news is, all of the main characters will be coming back, and played by the same actors, what a joy!
-Hugh Bonneville as the Earl of Downton
-Elizabeth McGovern as Lady Cora
-Dame Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess
-Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary
-Jim Carter as Carson the butler
- Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates.
-Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith
-Lesley Nicol as Mrs Patmore
-Allen Leech as Tom Branson
In Downton Abbey the TV Series, the Dowager Countess, Violet said: "I hate Greek drama, where everything happens off-stage." And now perhaps she will be more satisfied, because Downton Abbey will be on stage again, with her, of course.
The film is scheduled to open in theatres on 13 September 2019 in the UK and on 20 September 2019 in North America.
The film trailer
Tribute: Gloria Vanderbilt, the socialite, designer and painter, mother of Anderson Cooper, dies on 17 June 2019, aged 95
Gloria Vanderbilt, the American heiress, socialite, artist, author, actress, fashion designer, died on June, 2019, at her own home in New York, at the age of 95.
Born on 20 February, 1924 in New York, into the wealthy Vanderbilt family, Gloria lost her father, the railroad heir Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt (1880–1925) at age of two, and she lived with her mother Gloria Mogan((1904–1965), mostly in France, until her paternal aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875-1942) thought little Gloria's mother was unfit as custodian of her niece, thus a very publicized and scandalous custodian trial began, resulting in Gertrude winning the custody of Gloria Vanderbilt.
Although affected by this trial of century, Gloria Vanderbilt grew up to be a heathy woman of intelligence and talent. She started to model at age of 15, and in her early 20s, she started acting both on stage and in TV. She also painted and designed textile as well as glassware.
But it was fashion design that gained her international acclaim and commercial success. She first launched jeans bearing her name with her business partner, then launched dresses, blouses, sheets, shoes, leather goods, liqueurs, and accessories, all on her own, and sold all of them later for huge profit.
Then she wrote.
With a life fully lived -- a priviledged birth, traumatic childhood, a variety of career, four husbands all related to world of art and drama(a Hollywood talent agent, a conductor, a director and a writer), numerous lovers from Howard Hughes to Frank Sinatra, together with challenging and tragic experiences as a mother: one of her sons Anderson Cooper, the prominent CNN tv anchor had decided as a teenager to embrace his different sexuality when being gay was not widely accepted as it is today, another son Carter Cooper killed himself in front of her -- Gloria Vanderbilt seemed having a lot to tell, and she did, in five volumes of memoirs and three novels.
It seemed she has told everything she could about her life, her love, her romances and her son's tragic suicide, until a few years ago, in 2016, her son Anderson Cooper started to talk to her, in a different way, more daring and intimate, like he had never done before. Their conversation grew into a new book by mother and son.
Behind the veil of those lucky private privileges and the distorted public childhood, was an extraordinary woman, who had been searching for love and beauty, who was passionate about growing and creating, and who had finally acquired wisdom about love, joy, loss, death, and about life and living, about what we leave behind when we leave.
Title: Goethe, transformation of the world
Time: 17 May - 15 September 2019
Place: Museumsmeile Bonn
Patron: Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Art is a mediator of the unspeakable.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) is Gerrmany's most famous poet and writer whose works have been translated into every major languages, and characters like Faust and Werther as references can been seen in every genre of art. In his long and pro folic life, he had also been playwright, botanist, geologist, optical scientist, politician, philosopher, literary historian, art critic, theorist and collector...During and after his life, he had also served as inspiration for other writers and artists like painters, sculptors as well as composers, photographers and even film directors.
The exhibition: Gothe, transformation of the World is the first major Goethe exhibition in 25 years held at Bonn's Bundeskunsthalle (the last major show of Gothe was held at Schirn Kunsthalle in 1984), featuring more than 300 works—including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, memorabilia, film and music—will present a synthetic account of Goethe’s life and work in nine thematic sections, mostly with historical examples. Among these are portraits of Goethe by Angelika Kauffmann and Heinrich Christoph Kolbe, Goethe’s notes for Werther, his annotated German translation of the Koran, Goethe’s own drawing of the appearance of the Earth Spirit from Faust, plus selections from his collections of minerals, maiolica and seals.
These works will shed light on Gothe's life, the dawn of our modern world and on the history of the reception of his singular work.
The modern and contemporary works in the exhibition will help demonstrate how Goethe is “relevant”, both directly or indirectly.
The exhibition has been organised by Johanna Adam, a curator at the Bundeskunsthalle, and Thorsten Valk, a curator at the Klassik Stiftung Weimar, and is a collaboration between the two institutions.
The exhibition Christian Dior: designer of dreams has been extendeed until 1 September, 2019 in The Sainsbury Gallery, V&A museum, London, covering from 1947 when Christina Dior designed his first "New Look" bar suit, to the present day while the brand's latest creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri is trying to interpret Christian Dior's vision of elegance.
to the present day while the brand's latest creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri is trying to interpret Christian Dior's vision of elegance.
This exhibition traces the history and impact of one of the 20th century's most influential couturiers, exploring the enduring influence of the fashion house, and Dior's relationship with Britain.
Some highlights of the exhibition:
Book on Christian Dior
Christian Dior's career, a veritable fairy tale, is set in a rich tapestry of Paris cultural life before, during, and after the war. Much of Dior's daily inspiration emanated from the world of the intellectual and artistic elite, in which he moved with such people as Erik Satie, Francis Poulenc, Henry Sauguet, Jean Cocteau, and Raoul Dufy.
Born at the end of an era in which luxury seemed reserved only for the happy few, Dior again revolutionized the world of fashion by introducing, in the early 1950s, "ready-to-wear" in his Dior Boutique. Until then, couturiers had worked essentially if not exclusively for the very rich and famous. With his boutique, Dior brought high fashion to the world at large. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the "New Look", New York's Metropolitan Museum mounted a major Dior retrospective in the winter of 1996-97.
Translated from the French by Joanna Savill.
Grace of Monaco, Princess in Dior
April 27 to November 17 2019
Christian Dior Museum,
1 Rue d’Estouteville,
Villa Les Rhumbs, 50400 Granville
27 April to 30 September:
1 October to 17 November:
Theusday to Sunday (except holidays): 10h-12h30 and 14h-18h
9 € Adult fee, 5 € reduced and group fee.
TheChristian Dior museum in Granville, France, the city where the designer was born, will present the exhibition "Grace of Monaco: Princess in Dior" to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the birth of Grace Kelly.
Grace Kelly, one of the most elegant women in fashion and movie history, the only actress who became a real princess after playing one on screen, remains one of the most iconic figure almost 40 years after her tragic death in Monaco in 1982.
The Monaco palace has carefully preserved her personal things including her outfits, accessories, letters and archival film footage. Fashion historian Florence Müller and curator of the exhibition found that one third of her total wardrobe were from Dior, which not only shows prominence of the brand at the time, but also Grace Kelly’s relationship with Marc Bohan, the house’s third creative director, both professionally and personally. As Bohan had been more than a designer to Kelly, he was also her confidante, and played the role of uncle to Kelly’s two daughters, Stephanie and Caroline.
Grace of Monaco: Princess in Dior will showcase 85 beautifully crafted dresses belonging to Grace Kelly´s own collection, including the gown she wore to her engagement ball held in New York’s Waldorf Astoria in 1956 and the couture autumn/winter 1968 look she chose for her first official portrait as Princess Grace of Monaco. The dresses will show Grace Kelly the princess and Grace Kelly the wife, mother, and a modern woman.
Auction: 14th-Century Spanish Villa with private Chapel near Barcelona, Spain for sale on 18 July 2019
A 67-acre 14-century estate outside Barcelona, Spain, is headed to the auction block in July.
The fully restored Villa Argentona will be sold in an online auction by Concierge Auctions without a reserve price on July 18, with bidding set to open at 10 a.m. on July 16.
The main features of the villa are:
All collection of art and sculptures will be included in the sale, with them valued separately at 1 million euros. The sculptures are by 19th-century artist Louis Thivin.
Location: Argentona ,Barcelona, Spain
This 14 century Estate in perfect condition is located in Argentona, a quaint tourist town just 30 minutes away from Barcelona, known for its horticulture and architectural variety. The Argentona Water Jug Museum in the town houses the ceramic works of Pablo Picassohimself.
The villa, in the Catalonian town of Argentona, is currently listed for sale for €12.5 million (US$14 million) with Ronei Kolesny of Barleigh Ellis in Barcelona.
But the owners are turning to Concierge Auction for an online auction, according to Caitlin Keys, managing director for Europe, Middle East and Asia for Concierge Auctions.
The villa is open for viewing daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or by appointment.
On June 26, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Concierge Auction will host a preview event at the villa.
2019 marks the 90th anniversary of Audrey Hepburn’s birth ((1929-1993) and the 10th anniversary of the passing of renowned photographer Bob Willoughby(1927-2009).
This is the first time such a comprehensive collection of Bob’s most memorable photos of Audrey is shown in Hong Kong. The 90 intimate and candid photographs – one for each year since Audrey’s birth – have been carefully curated by Douglas So, Founder and Director of F11 Foto Museum, with the help of Bob’s son, Christopher. They cover the 1950s and ’60s period when she was at the peak of her fame. The photographs include stills from Audrey’s best-known movies, among them rare candid shots captured behind the screen.
Audrey Hepburn as a style icon, an Oscar and Emmy winning actress or an ambassador for UNICEF still remains one of the greatest inspiration for us today.
Bill Willoughby first met Audrey Hepburn in 1953, when he was called in to shoot the new starlet one morning shortly after she arrived in Hollywood in 1953 and he was enraptured. "She took my hand like... well a princess, and dazzled me with that smile that God designed to melt mortal men's hearts," as the photographer recalled.
And thus born a friendship which remained decades, allowing him to take behind-the-scene pictures of Audrey, especially during her filming of ‘My Fair Lady,’ ‘Green Mansions,’ ‘Paris When it Sizzles,’ ‘The Children’s Hour,’ and ‘Two for the Road.’. Also the photos of Audrey at home, as wife and mother.
Bob Willoughby’s son, Christopher Willoughby worked closely with the founder of F11 Foto Museum, Douglas So, to select the images. Douglas So has always been a huge fan of Audrey and all his visitors have always asked when he will have an exhibition of Audrey. The exhibition brings great joy to Christopher, and he is grateful that it is in his father’s vision.
The exhibition is open for public viewing from 2pm to 7pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays (closed on Sundays, Mondays and public holidays). Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 6516 1122 for group visit appointment.
Admission Fee: HKD100 for adults. HKD50 for students and seniors aged 65 or above. Free admission for the disabled and children aged 11 or below.
Or you can buy the book written by Bob Willoughby
Quoi(what) : Hammershøi, le maître de la peinture danoise
( Hammershøi, the master of Danish painting)
Quand(when): Du 14 mars au 22 juillet 2019(14 March to 22 July 2019)
Où (where): Musée Jacquemart-André,
158 boulevard Haussmann 75008 Paris
For the first time in more than 20 years, the artworks of Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) returned to Paris, with more than 40 of his works on exhibition in Musée Jacquemart-André, after his two previous expositions in 1987(Petit Palais) and in 1997 (Musee Orsay).
The painter himself was in Paris between 1899 to 1900 to participate in Expositions universelles.
Vilhelm Hammershøi was born in 1864 in Copenhagen, Denmark in a well-to-do merchant family and studied drawing from the age of eight as well as painting before embarking on studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
In 1885, he participated in the Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition with Portrait of a Young Girl (of his sister, Anna), which was admired by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
Hammershøi worked mainly in his native city, painting portraits, architecture, and interiors. He also journeyed to the surrounding countryside and locations beyond, where he painted rolling hills, stands of trees, farm houses, and other landscapes.
He is most celebrated for his interiors, many of which he painted in Copenhagen at Strandgade 30 (where he lived with his wife Ida from 1898 to 1909, and Strandgade 25 (where they lived from 1913 to 1916). He travelled widely in Europe, finding London especially atmospheric in providing locations for his highly understated work, suffused as it was at the time with a foggy, coal smoke polluted atmosphere. His work in consequence has been described as "Monet meets the Camden School".
Greatly Influenced by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer(31 October 1632-15 December 1675), Vilhelm loved painting intimate and delicate domestic scenes with young woman doing their daily chores, but unlike Vermeer, Vilhelm's tones are much more restrictive, mostly in greys and beiges, which evokes sense of solitude, silence, loneliness and melancholy, quite like James Whistler (July 11, 1834 – July 17, 1903), the American artist whom Vilhelm also admired a lot.
And as a very shy and taciturn person, he only used his family members like his wife, his sister or very close friends as his models.
A quick look at the exposition
Or you can get a copy of the catalogue put together by the curator of the exposition Jean-Loup Champion an Pierre Curie.
HAMMERSHOI. LE MAÎTRE DE LA PEINTURE DANOISE
JEAN-LOUP CHAMPION ET PIERRE CURIE (DIR.)
Title: Monet: Impression, Sunrise
Time: 7 June - 1 September 2019
Place: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
Claude Monet was born in Paris on November 14, 1840 but his family moved to Le Havre in 1845 where he passed his early years, and showed strong interest and talent in drawing.
In 1859, Claude Monet went to Paris with the encouragement of his friend Eugène Boudin to study painting.
It was also Boudin, who encouraged Claude Monet to paint outdoor in the open air.( "En plain air")
"It was Boudin", said Monet, "who initiated me... He revealed me to myself and started me on the right path". And from then on he spent "… his life expressing his own instinctive way of seeing"
In 1872, Claude Monet finished his painting Port du Have: Impression, Soleil levant ( Impression, Sunrise).
Two years later, in 1874, Claude Monet and his artist friends held their own show for the first time, and Monet's painting Impression, Sunrise, was among the paintings on show.
One of the Critics at the time, Louis Leroy for Le Charivari, wrote an article "The Impressionist Exhibition" in the form of a dialogue from the imaginary perspective of an old-fashioned painter, shocked at the works of Monet and his associates:
-...What is this a painting of? Look in the catalogue.
-Impression-- I knew it. I was just saying to myself, if I'm impressed, there must be an impression in there… And what freedom, what ease in the brushwork! Wallpaper in its embryonic state is more labored than this seascape!
And without realising it, Leroy gave the name to one of the most famous art movement in the history: Impressionism.
Together with Monet's own paintings, the explosion will also include some paintings by other artists who have influenced Claude Monet like JMW Turner and Eugène Boudin, or who are related to him like Alfred Sisley and James McNeill Whistler.
Exhibition: ‘The Tale of Genji’: A Japanese Classic Illuminated, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, through 16 June 2019
He made a show of dressing modestly in a hunting cloak, of changing his costume, and of giving her no look at his face, and he never came to her until everyone in the house was asleep. He was so like a shape-changing creature of old that he caused her acute anguish, although his man- ner with her, and her own sen8se of touch, made her wonder how great a lord he might be.
“The Tale of Genji,”(源氏物語) is a novel in Japan’s Heian period (794-1185), written by a noblewoman and lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shikibu in the court of Empress Sh¬shi (988–1074) roughly between the years of 1006 to 1010. And Prince Genji, the main character of the first part of the tale is the favorite son of the Emperor.
The story, written in more than 1,000 pages, unfolds in 54 chapters with a large cast of three generations that includes beautiful live-in mistresses, part-time lovers, children, devoted retainers and Genji's brothers.
Written in a period which was considered the golden age of Japanese culture, as it was mainly ruled by aristocratic families which paid more attention to rituals and beauty, the novel is universally recognized as the greatest masterpiece of Japanese prose narrative, perhaps the earliest true novel in the history of the world.
Murasaki Shikibu is not the real name of the author, but a sort of a pen name. It is a combination of Murasaki, one of the main heroines and an office title of her father, Shikibu (Bureau of Rites), because her father held a post at one time in that bureau.
Over the centuries, many Japanese artists have tried to give its scenes visual form in illustrated “Genji” albums, handscrolls, hanging scrolls, large folding screens and miniaturized version of colorless ink-line painting.
This is the first major loan exhibition in North America to focus on the artistic tradition inspired by Japan's most celebrated work of literature, The Tale of Genji. Covering the period from the eleventh century to the present, the exhibition features more than 120 works, including paintings, calligraphy, silk robes, lacquer wedding set items, a palanquin for the shogun's bride, and popular art such as ukiyo-e prints and modern manga. Highlights include two National Treasures and several works recognized as Important Cultural Properties. For the first time ever outside Japan, rare works are on view from Ishiyamadera Temple—where, according to legend, Shikibu started writing the tale.
Exposition: Parabola of Pre-Raphaelitism
Place: Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo
Period: 14 March 2019 - 9 June 2019
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (later known as the Pre-Raphaelites) was a group of English painters, poets, and art critics, founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The three founders were joined by William Michael Rossetti, James Collinson, Frederic George Stephens and Thomas Woolner to form the seven-member "brotherhood". Their principles were shared by other artists, including Ford Madox Brown, Arthur Hughes and Marie Spartali Stillman.
A later, medievalising strain inspired by Rossetti included Edward Burne-Jones and extended into the twentieth century with artists such as John William Waterhouse.
Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti (12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882), generally known as Dante Gabriel Rossetti (/rəˈzɛti/), was a British poet, illustrator, painter and translator. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. Rossetti was later to be the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement, most notably William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. His work also influenced the European Symbolists and was a major precursor of the Aesthetic movement.
Rossetti's art was characterised by its sensuality and its medieval revivalism. His early poetry was influenced by John Keats. His later poetry was characterised by the complex interlinking of thought and feeling, especially in his sonnet sequence, The House of Life. Poetry and image are closely entwined in Rossetti's work. He frequently wrote sonnets to accompany his pictures, spanning from The Girlhood of Mary Virgin (1849) and Astarte Syriaca (1877), while also creating art to illustrate poems such as Goblin Market by the celebrated poet Christina Rossetti, his sister.
The exhibition showcases 150 Pre-Raphaelite paintings, tapestry pieces, furniture and more, selected from private and museum collections in the U.K. and U.S.
Title: l’exposition de la collection Courtauld à la Fondation Vuitton
Time: 20 February - 17 June 2019
Place: 8, avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, 75016 Paris
Organizer: Louis Vuitton Foundation
L'exposition présente la collection de l'industriel et mécène anglais Samuel Courtauld, l'une des plus significatives collections de peintres impressionnistes, rassemblés pour la première fois à Paris depuis 60 ans.
L’exposition témoigne de l’extrême exigence et de l’engagement artistique de Samuel Courtauld. Elle réunit quelque 110 œuvres – dont une soixantaine de peintures, mais aussi des œuvres graphiques, ayant toutes appartenu à Samuel Courtauld et majoritairement conservées à la Courtauld Gallery ou dans différentes collections publiques et privées internationales. Elle présente également un ensemble de dix aquarelles de J.M.W. Turner qui ont appartenu au frère de Samuel Courtauld, Sir Stephen Courtauld.
Occasion unique de découvrir quelques-unes des plus grandes peintures françaises de la fin du XIXème siècle et du tout début du XXème siècle (Manet, Seurat, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin), l’exposition réunit des chefs-d’œuvre tels que :
Bar aux Folies-Bergère de Manet (1882)
Nevermore de Gauguin (1897)
La Loge de Renoir (1874)
La femme se poudrant de Seurat (1889)
L’autoportrait à l’oreille bandée de Van Gogh (1889)
The exhibition presents the collection of the British entrepreneur and art patron Samuel Courtauld, which hasn't been showed in Paris for the past 60 years.
“The Courtauld Collection: A Vision for Impressionism” brings together some 110 works, including 60 paintings and graphic pieces, which are mainly conserved in the Courtauld Gallery or in different international public and private collections. It features some of the greatest paintings from the end of the 19th century and from the very beginning of the 20th century.
These works include "Un Bar aux Folies Bergère" (1882) by Manet, "La Jeune Femme se poudrant" by Seurat (1889-90), "Les Joueurs" de cartes by Cézanne (1892-96), "Autoportrait à l’oreille bandée" by Van Gogh (1889), "Nevermore" by Gauguin (1897), as well as a set of ten watercolours by J.M.W. Turner which belonged to Samuel Courtauld’s brother, Sir Stephen Courtauld.
The exhibition of the Courtauld Collection embodies the Fondation’s aim to showcase the role of emblematic collectors from the history of art, following on from previous exhibitions such as “Keys to a passion” (2014-2015), "Being Modern : Moma in Paris" (2017-2018), "Icons of Modern Art. The Shchukin Collection" (2016-2017) which brought together great works of Modernism, collected by prestigious institutions and visionary collectors.
Samuel Courtauld (1876 - 1947) est un industriel anglais, collectionneur d'art et fondateur du Courtauld Institute of Art et de la Courtauld Gallery à Londres en 1932.
Samuel Courtauld joue un rôle fondamental dans la reconnaissance de Cézanne au Royaume-Uni, en rassemblant le plus grand ensemble du peintre, dont la Montagne Sainte-Victoire au grand pin et l’une des cinq versions des Joueurs de cartes. Seurat constitue l’autre point fort de la collection avec un ensemble significatif de quatorze œuvres, dont La Jeune Femme se poudrant.
Samuel Courtauld (1876 –1947) was an English industrialist who is best remembered as an art collector. He founded the Courtauld Institute of Art and the Courtauld Gallery in London in 1932.
Samuel Courtauld played a fundamental role in the recognition of Cézanne in the United Kingdom, by building up one of the greatest collections of the painter’s work, including Montagne Sainte-Victoire au grand pin and one of the five versions of the Joueurs de cartes. Another strong point of the collection was the work of Seurat, with a significant collection of fourteen pieces, including La Jeune Femme se poudrant.
FONDATION LOUIS VUITTON Du 20 février au 17 juin 2019
8, avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, 75016 Paris
Du mercredi au jeudi de 11:00 à 20:00
Du samedi au dimanche de 10:00 à 20:00
Du lundi au jeudi de 10:00 à 20:00 du 22 avril au 5 mai 2019
Le vendredi de 11:00 à 21:00
Le lundi de 11:00 à 20:00
Le vendredi de 10:00 à 21:00 du 22 avril au 5 mai 2019
TARIFS Billets expositions temporaires
Plein : 16 €
Réduit : 10 €
- 26 ans
Réduit : 5 €
- 18 ans
Artistes professionnels, Guides interprètes nationaux et régionaux, Conférencier nationaux
Demandeurs d'emploi et bénéficiaires de minimas sociaux
Forfait famille : 32 €
De 1 à 2 adultes et jusqu'à 4 enfants au maximum (de moins de 18 ans).
Moins de 3 ans
Personne en situation d'handicap + 1 accompagnant
Membres de l'ICOM, Membres de l'ICOMOS, Journalistes et critiques d'art français et étrangers
Romeo and Juliet
In Verona Italy live two families Montague and Capulet who have been enemies to each other for long time
Romeo, son of Montague was infactuated with Rosaline, one of Capulet's niece, persuaded by his cousin Benvolio, he decided to go to the ball held in Capulet's house in the hope of meeting Rosaline but instead encountered Juliet, daughter of Capulet and fell in love with her.
After the ball, Romeo sneaked into Capulet household again and overheard Juliet's love declaration to him on her balcony and declared his love to her as well, and with the help of Friar Lawrence, they secretly got married.
Juliet's cousin Tybalt was angry about Romeo going to the ball and challenged the later to a duel, but Romeo refused thinking Tybalt as part of his new family, but Mercutio, Romeo's friend accepted the duel and was killed. Full of guilt and anger, Romeo killed Tybalt as well.
Prince Escalus, the ruling Prince of Verona sentenced Romeo eternal exile from Verona. Juliet was devastated by the sentence, but her family forced her to marry Count Paris, par of entourage of Prince Escalus.
Juliet asked Friar Lawrence for help who gave her a special potion which can help her fake death for 2 days while he would send someone to tell Romeo.
Juliet took the potion before her wedding night and Romeo learned of Juliet's death from his servant without knowing the truth. He bought poison and carried it with him to Juliet's tomb, there he encountered Count Paris who was also mourming Juliet's death, the two argued and Romeo killed Paris, and drank the poison.
When Juliet awakened, she saw Romeo dead beside her tomb, killed herself with Romeo's dagger.
The grief stricken Montague and Capulet families learned the truth from Friar Lawrence in front of the dead bodies of their children and decided to reconcile.
Cary Grant met Randolph Scott in 1932 on the Paramount set of Hot Saturday and the two Hollywood actors formed a bond immediately. They were soon living together, and for the next 12 years, they lived together off-and-on, sharing a Santa Monica beach house and a mansion in Los Angeles’ Los Feliz neighbourhood. By the mid 1940s, when Grant and Scott were no longer living together, the two remained close friends throughout most of their lives.
There are different theories and rumours about the nature of their relationship, with the most persistent being that the two are actually a gay couple. But Hollywood of that period was run by the infamous iron-fisted studio system, which monitored, managed and practically dictated a star’s personal and public life, and would certainly not allow their leading men living openly as homosexual, let alone as a couple.
In 1934, the studios ordered Grant to get married. His wife, Virginia Cherril, wound up divorcing him 13 months later and Grant moved back in with Scott at the beach house. Stories of a variety of attractive young women going in and out of the beach house—dubbed “Bachelor Hall”—was said to be planted in the press by the studios.
Their mutual friend, Carole Lombard, once jokingly referred to the pair as having the perfect relationship: “Randy pays the bills and Cary mails them.”
The fashion critic Richard Blackwell—of the infamous Mr. Blackwell’s annual best and worst dressed list—claims in his memoir that he lived for several months with the two and it was obvious they were, “deeply, madly in love, their devotion complete.”
Cary Grant and Randolph Scott never publicly acknowledged if they were lovers or mere friends. And both were married multiple times to various women.
Cary Grant’s daughter, Jennifer Grant dismisses the notion her father was gay in her 2011 memoir: “Dad somewhat enjoyed being called gay. He said it made women want to prove the assertion wrong.”
However, a 2016 documentary, Women He’s Undressed, about the three-time Academy Award winning costume designer Orry-Kelly, acknowledges Grant was in a gay relationship with the designer in the 1920s.
No matter what is the true nature of their relationship, the love and deep bonding between the two men were obvious as seen in the following photos. When Cary Grant died in November 1986, Randolph Scott passed away just three months later.
April 14, 2018, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York.
It was spring at its best in most places around the world,
It was time for celebrating life,
Yet one man decided to take his here with the belief that we can possibly live ours better.
“I am David Buckel and I just killed myself by fire as a protest suicide.”
For many years, David Buckel was a prominent lawyer, particularly famous for protecting gay rights,
In 1993, a transgender teen Brandon Teena was raped and killed in Nebraska and David Buckel fought wholeheartedly as the lawyer of the victim´s family. The story was made into the movie Boys Don’t Cry in 1999.
And in 1996, a student called Jamie Nabozny in Ashland, Wisconsin was harassed and bullied by classmates because of his sexual orientation., David Buckel once again stood up for the victim and won the case, with Nabozny awarded $962,000 in damages.
Buckel was also very dedicated in the legalization of same sex marriage. One of the cases he was involved, the case Varnum v. Brienmade made Iowa the third state—and the first Midwestern one—to recognize same-sex marriage.
Then starting 2008, he started to transfer his energy, skill and dedication to a new cause: environmental protection, He was key figure in the NYC compost project based in Brooklyn botanic garden, and thecomposting project he operated at the Red Hook Community Farm is a model of sustainability which operated free of fossil fuels. He himself walked for about an hour a day to work.
But it seemed that the more he did, the more stressed he became: “...Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather. Our present grows more desperate, our future needs more than what we’ve been doing...Thus wrote he in his death note. And he saw death as his only way of showing concern of and giving more to our planet: ¨My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves”.
Death itself is ugly, but taking one`s life when living is not possible any more, can be noble and dignified act, particulary while doing it for one´s idea, cause, or as a sacrifice for the lifes of others. “A lifetime of service may best be preserved by giving a life … Honorable purpose in life invites honorable purchase in death”. David Buckel obviously understood and believed in the nobility of death in the right manner.
In the Brooklyn botanic garden where David Buckel had initiated his compost project, there is a cherry walk.
April is the month of spring, also the month of cherry blossom, the blooming and death of this delicate pink flower called “Hanami” in Japanese. To Japanese, cherry blossom signifies both the beauty and evanescence of life.
Almost half century ago, on the day of April 16, again the time of cherry blossom, the most famous Japanes writer Yasunari Kawabata also killed himself by gas in a small apartment . He did not leave any note, and there are different thesis about why he chose to die: because of depression, health problems, aging, or profound sadness caused by the suicide of his Friend and protege Yukio Mishima more than a year and half earlier. And the people close to him, including his wife, believed it was accidental death.
But most likely, Yasunari Kawabata took his own life. For someone who was so obsessed with beauty that he had one of his characters felt revolted about a mole on the body of a young girl who was otherwise perfect, is own aging must became unbearably ugly, and for someone who had the tendency of beautifying death, to end life perhaps was not a tragedy but his last gesture of celebrating beauty.
Capitol Hill, Washington
On April 25, 2018, 11 days after David Buckel’s death, French president Emmanuel Macron said in his speech to American congress:
“By polluting the oceans, not mitigating CO2 emissions and destroying our biodiversity we are killing our planet. Let us face it, there is no planet B.”
Our planet A is the only one we have, the womb of our mother, everyone of us is damaging it by living, some more, some less, and some of us were beginning to be conscious of what we did and some of us were starting to do something about it, but for someone like David Buckel, it was not enough, he thought we need to do more on a grander scale, to make more changes on an universal level, we need a message, an urgent one, and he decided to be the messenger, and his body, the message. “I hope it is an honorable death that might serve others.”
“I apologize to you for the mess,” thus was his final words, a gentleman and a soft soul even at the last minute.
A lawyer, a human right fighter, an environmentalist, a father, part of a unique family who loved and respected him, David Buckel was changing the world, he was making the world a better place to live, he had won battles after battles, so why did he believe he could only help win the war against environmental pollution by dying?
We will never know the real reason why David wanted to fulfill his life purpose in such a violent way, perhaps this poem of Swedish poet Harry Martinson can help us get some insight:
The Great Trouble (1971) by Harry Martinson
Nature's laws are already on the way
to stand us all against the wall.
That wall is law's own nature.
It is missing an evangel.
That great trouble all of us must share.
Then it will be possible to bear.
The great trouble is to take great trouble.
That is what all of us must learn.
Amid all shoulds and should have beens
there is one must for all.
All must learn to take great trouble with the world.
Now that man has gotten power enough
to bring about the trouble of the world
the time is now
to heal the trouble of the world in time
before all nature has become
everybody's troubled child.
This is called taking trouble in time.
which sees in time to what it sees.
Translation by Stephen Klass and Carolyn Skantz
During World War II, Japanese pilots who embarked on suicide missions painted their kamikaze warplanes with the cherry blossom imagery (Kamikaze bombs), so they can die like beautiful cherry petals for the emperor.
In Japanese, cherry blossom or Sakura also signifies renewal. So perhaps all those who have chosen to take their life with a honourable purpose, with the blessings of cherry blossoms, consciously or unconsciously, will be reborn again, one way or another.
And our planet, no matter how damaged it is, will always have hope, because more and more of us start to realize that "There is no planet B."
« Tu m’aimes parce que je suis là ».(you love me because I am here) Hélène (played by Romy Schneider)his mistress says to him in the car. They just leave a party. She wears a short white sleeve dress, he says nothing.
« Je suis fatigué, fatigué de t’aimer. » (I'm tired, tired of loving you) She continues, he still says nothing.
And somehow, during her long monologue, he decides to end it.
« Mais comme ca, sans rien.. » (But not like this, without anything else). She is shocked and she protests.
« Tu sors? » he asks her, two times, when he stops the car in front of her house.
« Tu n’as rien à me dire? » Hélène finally decides to get out of the car, but she is still trying. « Non » he smiles at her.
« Tu m’a appèleras? » (Will you call me?) She is already out of the car, but she does not want to give up. « Bien sûr. »(Of course.) he smiles again.
She walks away, he sits in the car, uses one cigarette to light the new one, throwing the old butt out of the window, then drives away, all seen by Hélène who reappears behind the column beside the gate of her home.
That is one of the most unforgetable scenes in the film Les choses de la vie.
It is heart breaking.
It seems French directors are specialized in filming the abstract, the indescribable "choses dans la vie" (things in life), like love, like ennui, like the state in and out of life. Claude Sautet is one of them, one of the best of them. He does not belong to the most internationally acclaimed new wave crop, but I think he is greater than all of them.
He has that extraordinary sense of time, silence, the meaning pregnated by silence between people, and expresses it beautifully, discreetly. And he knows how a dream can and should look like, and ilusions:
Toward the end of his life, struggling between life and death, Pierre´s thoughts go to Helene, he hangs a pair of cherry on her ears, then kisses her behind her ears, taking the cherries, then kisses her. she is wearing white dress, they are getting married, all the family sitting on one side of the table, his son, his father, his friends, her family, then at the head of the table, sitting his ex wife Katherine and her lover. Pierre smiles, happy, until he gazes at another side of the large table, sitting there the police men, the truck drivers, the priest, the paramedics...people he met earlier at the site of his accident.....And children, joyful children, children who he saw on the road prior to the accident in a real wedding ceremony, also part of the ceremony, are starting to leave his wedding, and he is starting to leave his life...
According to Philippe Sarde, the composer of the film, he also composed a song called chanson de Hélène, with the lyrics by Jean-Loup Dabadie who also writes the screenplay of the film, and sung by Romy Schneider and Michel Piccoli, but Claude Sautet did not want to use it, afraid that it will "faire vieillir" the film, make it look aged or outdated.
Unlike Un cœur en hiver, Claude‘s timeless masterpiece more than 20 years later, Les choses de la vie does show the traces of its time period: the surroundings, the men’s shirts with very sharp tipped collars, women’s too thick makeup, in particular Romy Schneider’s dresses designed by André Courrèges. Romy Schneider is one of the few rare women who managed to look elegant, look like a woman in those colorful Lolita style A line mini dresses too high above the knee, but the film thus evokes unmistakably the youth quake and the 60’s….
But Claude achieved something else in this film: the poetic and perhaps unavoidable sadness of love, the unpredictable mystery of love created by fate, like an unread letter, like the letter written by Pierre just before his death to Hélène which will never be read by her.
Do you ever have this strange sensation: that January is the most important month of a year but yet is the shortest?
I do, I think what we do and how we feel in January define the whole year, our dream, hope, fantasy, expectations and resolutions, we tend to put them all in January, like planting seeds, and yet, it ends before we have time to say: wait, here is another « hope » I forgot to tell you my dear calenda…...
It is like eating a 300g chocolate bar. You will tell yourself, it is three times bigger and longer than all those pitiful 100g chocolate bars, you will be able to get much more enjoyment out of it, and then, before you know it, the foil paper is holding nothing anymore. But how can it be? Did I really?
Yes, you did really, one night, in bed, with warm fire, soft light and goose down duvet, holding a good book in one hand, and a few tasty chocolate squares in another, you told yourself: just a few more squares, everything is so perfect, just a few more, the night is still young, just a few…...
To me, January is just like that, you think you are holding 31 days in your hand, but you never do, January 1 is of course just one such chocolate day, then Jan.5, 11, 12...21…... it seems there is always more reason to celebrate and indulge in this month, as if it were an extra month, a gift of god.
And this January, I have squandered in traveling. Just one more small trip, I said to myself, then, just another small trip, just 3 days...then it was February 1, I was still traveling.
But the wonderful thing about traveling this time, is I found how much I love reading book through listening…
Listening to book has become such a natural habit to me now that I start to forget how wonderful it is to be able to do so. But the non stop travel of January, made me realize that reading a book by listening is my favorite thing in this technology era after Steve Jobs’s iTunes library.
It took back all those time we think are born for wasting:
Waiting for a plane to take off and land, waiting for security check or checked luggage, waiting for the arrival of a train at the platform, waiting for… all those minutes even hours otherwise defined as “in between” and spent without any guilt or shame or consciousness (or most likely anxiety and nervousness), were saved by a voice reading a book you have wanted to read but have failed to find time.
It enhanced reading experience:
I have read De Profundis of Oscar Wilde Long time ago, in print form. But listening to it again, narrated by Simon Russell, in a small city in Italy, made it a much more special book to me: i still remuer an early afternoon, it was time for siesta(nap)of the italians, there was nobody on the streets, other than an occasional tradesman or a beggar. It was a small city in Northern Italy, not famous, not touristy, half empty even in the busiest time, and the proof of ongoing crisis was everywhere, the closed shops, restaurants, and the red signs of “for sale” of real estate agencies were everywhere.
I was there, walking on those small narrow cobbled streets having being walked on for hundreds of years, now almost abandoned, listening to one of my favorite writers living more than a hundred years away, in disgrace, poverty and prison, expressing his deepest feeling to his undeserving lover Boise in the most sincere and eloquent way, it broke my heart, piece by piece.
It made the book stay with me more vividly:
It happens all the time, we read, and we forget, then we read more, and we forget more.
But I found listening to a book made me remember more and remember better. Léonardo da Vinci thought sight is our most important and precious organ, I agree with him, If i had to choose between losing eyes and ears, i would always choose ears, but listening to Demian of Hermann Hesse narrated by Jeff Woodman at the airport of one city, a restaurant of another, and finishing it in the hotel swimming pool of yet another city, made Demian the boy, Demian the man, Demian the face and the voice organic parts of my travel and an unforgettable part of my memory, together with the name of that airport, the color of menu of that restaurant, and the shape and size of the swimming pool in that hotel.
It made me being more conscious of time.
Demian, unabridged, 5 hour 46 minutes, De profundis 4 hour 54 minutes. Books used to mean pages, 249 pages, 300 pages, 356 pages, but now, the audible form gives book a different measurement, a different dimension.
While reading a good book in print, I almost always get lost in it and loss sense of time. While it is harmless at home or alone, slightly annoying when I need to meet someone at a certain time slot, it can be disastrous while I travel.
But now, i synchronise those “ in between moments” of travel with book listening, with the timer set accordingly at 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or 60 minutes, so just as the voice in my ear slowly fade away, the train would slowly glide into a station, or a flight attendant would start to announce it is time to board...at times,the synchronisation worked so perfectly it gave me a strange sensation that the whole universe is in harmony.
Some books are written to listen instead of reading.
Nothing can compare with holding a book in your hand, between your palms, with your eyes and fingers touching the words, the sentences, every single letter, but I found out now some books are so much more fun and enjoyable to listen to, particularly those with lots of characters and actions, I enjoyed immensely Her Royal spyness written by Rhys Bowen, a writer I have never heard of.
I could list many reasons why I like this book:
The language in general is melodic in general, except a few times when it is too long winded I want to close my ears.
The main Character is funny,witty, at times resourceful and always attracts trouble: the main character Georgiana (Géorgie) is like Rebecca (Becky) of Sophie Kinsella with a royal title, or at times Bertie Wooster of P.G.Wodehouse in a woman form.
Plot is smart: The author made Georgiana the 34th in royal line, so it is safe enough not to put her into too many direct contact with real historic events, but at the same time allow her some harmless royal privilege like having tea with the queen or meeting Wallis Simpson in her friend’s boutique.
There is a Darcy in it: Since Jane Austen has invented Fitzwilliam Darcy, Mr darcy has seemed to stay in the collective consciousness of women eager for love. Aloof, arrogant even a little bit rude on surface, but soft, sweet and noble in heart. Then Helen Fielding modernised the 19th century nobleman into a 20th century barrister Mark Darcy, giving him different career and different clothes, but essentially the same Prince who will rescue his princess. Rhys Bowen has continued the tradition of Darcy obsession with a twist: she carried him into 21th century, made Darcy the surname into Darcy the first name: a Darcy O’Mara, and made him Irish and roguish, but she kept his devastatingly good looks.
But what I enjoyed most about the book, was the narrator’s incredibly talented voice: her name is Katherine Kellgren. The book was well written by itself, but Ms Kellgren’s voice made it alive, she is like a mini theatre of voices: from queen to grandfather to detective to duke, every character has their distinctive mannerism; and the accents: from Irish, Scottish to American English to French to French spoken badly by upper class English young men, and British English spoken by different classes…..she can mimicry all with such easiness, it is unbelievable, and she is American.
In fact, I found the book Her Royal Spyness because of Ms. Kellgren. I was browsing www.audible.com to choose for next read, and I saw her picture on the home page, and learned of her untimely death. And I decided to buy a book narrated by her.
So you see, an audiobook is becoming as essential as a dark grey cashmere shawl for traveling in winter.
How did you spend your January and how would you define it?
Her name is daisy, one of my friend, she was with him,Heinrich Müller, a character in the French tv series un village francais, I asked him: what is the name of the German song he sang, he smiled, and wrote down something, I looked at the small piece of paper, it was the name of a Japanese actress Ryoko Nakano, written in kanji, with mistakes… and I woke up.
It is funny how one dreams and what one dreams about.
In season 3 episode 10 of un village francais, at 32:45 minute: the head of German intelligence service(SD) Heinrich Müller(who was going to be sent to Russia unless he finds and arrest the communist member Marcel Larcher , the brother-in-law of his lover Hortense Larcher), was standing over a commode, a sadness filled the room, then a song, a German song started to play on the radio, without turning around, Heinrich said to Hortense:
-c’est ma chanson préférée (This is my favorite song). Der treue Husar.
Then he started to translate the song from German to French for her:
Il était une fois un hussard fidèle,
Qui aima sa belle une année entière,
(There was once a faithful soldier,
Who loved a young girl for an entire year)
Hortense looked at her lover, tears in her eyes, she knew where her brother in law would be. Should she betray her husband for her lover?
And when she did, Heinrich turned around, slowly smiled, then continued to sing again, in German…
10 minute later, Hortense, lying in bed, the same song was still playing , she was humming the melody, the camera slowly moved toward her face, a woman who betrayed to be faithful for love…
For days afterward, the melody stayed with me. At all strange moments it would come back….
It was an old German song, written in 19th century and became a carnival song since 1920´s.
Der treue Husar (1825)
Es war einmal ein treuer Husar,
Der liebt' sein Mädchen ein ganzes Jahr,
Ein ganzes Jahr und noch viel mehr,
Die Liebe nahm kein Ende mehr.
Der Knab' der fuhr ins fremde Land,
Derweil ward ihm sein Mädchen krank,
Sie ward so krank bis auf den Tod,
Drei Tag, drei Nacht sprach sie kein Wort.
Und als der Knab' die Botschaft kriegt,
Daß sein Herzlieb am Sterben liegt,
Verließ er gleich sein Hab und Gut,
Wollt seh'n, was sein Herzliebchen tut.
Ach Mutter bring' geschwind ein Licht,
Mein Liebchen stirbt, ich seh' es nicht,
Das war fürwahr ein treuer Husar,
Der liebt' sein Mädchen ein ganzes Jahr.
Und als er zum Herzliebchen kam,
Ganz leise gab sie ihm die Hand,
Die ganze Hand und noch viel mehr,
Die Liebe nahm kein Ende mehr.
"Grüß Gott, grüß Gott, Herzliebste mein!
Was machst du hier im Bett allein?"
"Hab dank, hab Dank, mein treuer Knab'!
Mit mir wird's heißen bald: ins Grab!"
"Grüß Gott, grüß Gott, mein feiner Knab.
Mit mir wills gehen ins kühle Grab.
"Ach nein, ach nein, mein liebes Kind,
Dieweil wir so Verliebte sind."
"Ach nein, ach nein, nicht so geschwind,
Dieweil wir zwei Verliebte sind;
Ach nein, ach nein, Herzliebste mein,
Die Lieb und Treu muß länger sein.
Er nahm sie gleich in seinen Arm,
Da war sie kalt und nimmer warm;
"Geschwind, geschwind bringt mir ein Licht!
Sonst stirbt mein Schatz, daß's niemand sicht.
Und als das Mägdlein gestorben war,
Da legt er's auf die Totenbahr.
Wo krieg ich nun sechs junge Knab'n,
Die mein Herzlieb zu Grabe trag'n?
Wo kriegen wir sechs Träger her?
Sechs Bauernbuben die sind so schwer.
Sechs brave Husaren müssen es sein,
Die tragen mein Herzliebchen heim.
Jetzt muß ich tragen ein schwarzes Kleid,
Das ist für mich ein großes Leid,
Ein großes Leid und noch viel mehr,
Die Trauer nimmt kein Ende mehr.
Kristiane Kubrick sang Der Treue Husar in the film Paths of Glory (1953) of her husband Stanley Kubrick in front of French soldiers who were going to be sent away to war fields.
LE HUSSARD FIDÈLE
Il était une fois un hussard fidèle,
Qui aima sa belle une année entière,
Une année entière et plus encore ; enfin,
L'amour n'a plus de fin.
Le gars partit ailleurs
Sa belle tombe malade du cœur,
Tellement malade qu'elle se meurt,
Trois jours, trois nuits, dans les douleurs.
Quand le gars apprend la nouvelle,
Qu'à la mort, se trouve sa belle
Il quitte sur le champ son destin ;
Il veut voir, ce que sa belle devient.
Ah mère apporte vite une lumière,
Mon amour se meurt, je ne vois guère,
C'était vraiment un hussard fidèle,
Qui d'une année entière aimait sa belle.
Quand il arriva chez elle,
Elle lui donna une douce main,
Une main entière et encore plus d'elle,
L'amour n'a plus de fin.
« Sacredieu, sacredieu, ma bien aimée !
Que fais-tu dans le lit toute seule ? »
« Dieu merci, Dieu merci, mon gars fidèle !
Rejoins-moi bien vite : sous la feuillée ! »
« Sacredieu, sacredieu, mon beau !
Veux-tu venir dans mon froid tombeau.
« Ah non, ah non, ma chère enfant,
Car nous sommes amoureux, vraiment. »
« Ah non, ah non, pas si vite,
Car nous sommes deux amoureux ;
Ah non, ah non, ma très chère,
Amour et foi se tiennent à deux.
Il la prit à l'instant dans ses bras,
Elle était froide comme la pierre
« Vite, apportez vite une lumière !
Mon trésor meurt sans que personne ne le voit.
Et comme la jeune fille était morte,
Il la met là sur le lit des mortes
Où vais-je trouver six jeunes costauds,
Qui porteront ma chérie au tombeau
English Translation _(-translated from French version)
The faithful Hussar
There was once a faithful hussar,
Who loved his beautiful girl for an entire year,
One entire year and then more; finally,
Love does not end anymore.
The young boy went to foreign land
His girl became heartsick,
She was so ill she was dying,
Three days, three nights, in full pain.
When the young boy learns of the news
That his beautiful girl is dying
He leaves his destiny right away;
He wants to know how his girl is.
**(translation note: I do not know why here the tense becomes from past to present)**
Oh Mother bring a light quickly,
My love is duing, and I can bearly see her,
This was really a faithful soldier,
Who for an entire year loved his girl.
When he arrived at her home,
She gave him a tender hand,
A whole hand and then more of her,
Love does not end anymore.
“Holy God, holy god, my beloved one!
What are you doing in the bed all alone?”
“Thank God, thank god, my faithful boy!
Join me soon:under the leaves!”
“Holy God, holy god, my man!
Do you want to come to my cold tomb?”
“Oh no, oh no, my dear child,
Because we are in love, truely”
“Oh no, oh no, not so fast,
Because we are two lovers;
Oh no, oh no, my very dearest,
Love and faith are two different things.”
He took her in his arms immidiately,
She was as cold as the stone
“Quick, bring quickly a light!
My treasure is dead without anyone seeing her”
And since the young girl was dead,
He put her on a deathbed
Where can I find six strong young boys,
Who will carry my darling to her tomb.
**(translation note: the dialogue part was a little bit confusing: firstly I was not sure if the girl was dead when the boy arrived and all dialogue is an imaginary dialogue, secondly the part when the boy talks, it does not seem like some one really in love, but perhaps because his philosophy of love differes from that of Romeo and Juliet, that one does not join the loved one to tomb as soon as possible.)**
The song was also adapted by French singer Francis Lemarque in 1957, and renamed as Marjolaine with different lyrics. But I like LE HUSSARD FIDÈLE better.
Lyrics for Marjolaine
Un inconnu et sa guitare
Dans une rue pleine de brouillard
Chantait, chantait une chanson
Que répétaient deux autres compagnons
Marjolaine, toi si jolie
Marjolaine, le printemps fleurit
Marjolaine, j'étais soldat
Je reviens près de toi
Tu m'avais dit : "Je t'attendrai"
Je t'avais dit: "Je reviendrai"
J'étais parti encore enfant
Suis revenu un homme maintenant
Marjolaine, toi si jolie
Marjolaine, je n'ai pas menti
Marjolaine, j'étais soldat
Je reviens près de toi
J'étais parti pour dix années
Mais dix années ont tout changé
Rien n'est pareil et dans ta rue
A part le ciel, je n'ai rien reconnu
Marjolaine, toi si jolie
Marjolaine, le printemps s'enfuit
Marjolaine, je sais trop bien
Plus jamais ne revient
Un inconnu et sa guitare
Ont disparu dans le brouillard
Et avec lui ses compagnons
Sont repartis, emportant leur chanson
Marjolaine, toi si jolie
Marjolaine, le printemps fleurit
Marjolaine, j'étais soldat
I think that was how I felt about the melody of this song, hunting and melancolic and beautiful: I would have really like to know its name
1955, Paris France.
The model was Dovima, an American girl named Dorothy Virginia Margaret Juba who took the first two letters from her three names and transformed herself into an unforgetable being. She was wearing Christian Dior designed by Yves Saint Laurent.
Richard Avedon was 32, he was working for Bazar, his aesthetics was still more acadamic than avant garde, and for the first time he moved his model outdoor like the impressionist painters did in 19th century, thus changed the history of photography.
2011, Beijing, China. Her name is Fan binging, the most famous actress in China, you can not see she is not beautiful, she is. But the picture? No. The triangular composition is not bad, but it is the only good thing about the picture.
The photographer Chen Man gave Miss Fan a G.I. Jane bold hair style, and make her dress like striptease, both evoking Demi Moore the warrior.
There are two versions as to what Richard Avedon wanted to express in his dovima and elephants photo: beauty and beast, or sadness of aging-through Dovima’s smooth hand over the elegant’s wrinkled bodies. But whatever it is, he has done a perfect job, from the composition, texture contrast, model’s gesture and facial expression, the length and silhouette of the dress, the sash, it is something you can look at again and again, and still feel touched by its beauty and simplicity.
Chen Man’s photo, however, did not transmit any aesthetic pleasure. It was for the September cover of a man magazine called Mr. Fashion.
¨Did you get inspiration from Dovima and elephants? She was asked. No. She did not like to repeat or copy others.
But of course she did. The problem is not that she copied, in the world of art, almost every artist has to or wants to copy before the becomes himself, even the best artist copies. Rafael copied perugino before he became rafael, Michelangelo copied Masaccio before he became Michelangelo.
It is the way how she did it.
Both French painter Edward Manet and Amercian painter John Singer Sargent copied zealously Diego Velazquez,but they became better Manet and Sargent, while as Pablo Picasso, when he copied his compatriot Velazquez, he destroyed.
That was how Chen Man copied Richar Avedon, that is why her photo is so vulgar.
2016, Alberto Alicata an Italian from Palermo, Italy won the Professional Staged Category at the Sony World Photography Awards with his series ‘Iconic B’. B stands for Barbie, and dovima barbie is one of them.
Is it Sony, or is it the world that is more and more loosing its judgment over beauty and ugliness¿
It is said elephants have the best memory in the animal world, and I sometimes wonder, what will the elephants photographed with Miss Fan Bingbing remember: the fact that they have been amusingly made up, or their trunk have been used as a chair for someone barely covered.