Exposure to Nantes. Lefèvre-Useful, tasty saga to discover the castle of the Dukes

“A fragrance of sweet cake and warm. ” When she was in high school, this Nantaise still remembers the good smell that embaumait some days in the city, until the early 1980s. If the mark READING is intimately linked to Nantes from the middle of the XIXe century, his reputation has since toured the world. Who has not chewed with gusto in a small schoolboy, devoured the ears of the small-butter ?

This saga gourmet opens in 1846 when Jean-Romain Lefèvre moved to Nantes. In 1850, with his wife, Pauline-Isabelle Useful, they founded “the fame” and sell dry cakes just out of the oven. In 1882, their son, Louis Lefèvre-Useful, takes the biscuit and sees great. Three years later, the company invests a former spinning mill on the edge of the canal Saint-Félix, on which shall soon both towers flaming. In 1913, 1 200 workers produce 20 tons of biscuits every day.

The castle of Nantes tells the story of this industrial success through “what has always characterized the brand READ : innovation “, underlines Bertrand Guillet, director. It is first of all translated by the research “new forms of biscuits “. In 1886, the small-butter and its twenty-four punches, in 1906, straw, gold, wafer, stylish, topped with raspberry jam. Original sketches, books of recipes of engineers and molds to reveal the trials.

The avant-garde spirit of LU was also observed in these machines, designed to produce fast and good like that “to retrieve the egg yolks “, immortalized under the brush of the painter Albert Brenet, whose series shows the organization of the workshops of the manufacture.

“A new graphic language “

Bags of paper in the boxes to the more sophisticated, these jewel cases very thought out appeal to gourmands. “For Louis Lefèvre-Useful, it needs to be seen to please and to be purchased “, supports Bertrand Guillet. “With him, is born a new graphical language “, explains Olivier Fruneau-Maigret, collector. The brand stands out thanks to the artists who are shaping his image. In 1897, Firmin Bouisset imagine the figure of the small schoolboy from the portrait of Louis junior, son of the director.Alfons Mucha packs the biscuits of new art. Their paintings and original drawings are presented in this exhibition is colourful and playful.

“Always go farther “ remains the leitmotiv of the company that built for the universal Exhibition of 1900 in Paris, a pavilion, giant with a lighthouse READ that makes sense in the face of the Eiffel tower. The consecration. However, it will take half a century for the final logo to READ white letters on a red background was created in 1957 by designer Raymond Loewy.

“I find nothing better than a little READING : oh if ! two small LU “, said the actriceSarah Bernhardt, its most famous ambassador. A slogan still valid at the time of the tasting !

READ, a century of innovation, 1846-1957the castle of the dukes of Brittany in Nantes, from June 27 to January 3, 2021.


Niels Hansen Jacobsen, the sculptor of the metamorphoses, at the Musée Bourdelle

A troll monumental is invited to the Musée Bourdelle in Paris. Claws, this creature escaped from the nordic mythology is one of the most famous works in Denmark, the sculptor Niels Hansen Jacobsen. At Vejen, his native village, a copy of the Troll who smells the flesh of christians throne in front of the house-museum of this man, close to anarchistic ideas. Erected in the centre a fountain of hot water, the monster is covered with stalactites in the winter and takes, among the fumes of a vapor, an allure, more fantastic still.

→ VIRTUAL TOUR. Jacobsen, sculptor of the bizarre

This charming museum is rich in works by Danish, symbolist or art nouveau, is to be enlarged, its director, Teresa Nielsen, had the idea to propose in Paris for the loan of works by Jacobsen. A real discovery for the French public who could not admire that the three masks of the artist in 2008, at the Musée d’orsay.

Rodin, Gauguin, Redon… as inspirations

The exhibition at the Bourdelle Museum is all the more interesting, as it reveals the productive relationship of the Danes with France. In 1892 and 1902, the sculptor, lived in Paris, in the Cité fleurie at 65, boulevard Arago. Many nordic artists had a workshop, as well as the ceramists Paul Jeanneney, and Jean Carries, illustrated by cartoonist switzerland Eugène Grasset… Their neighbourhood, as well as a visit to the great Rodin, the discovery of the ceramics of Gauguin, paintings and dream Gustave Moreau, black, charcoal drawings of Odilon Redon, and many works of symbolist or art nouveau have renewed deeply the inspiration of Jacobsen. This is confirmed by the multiple correspondence orchestrated around his creations by the director of the Bourdelle Museum, Amélie Simier and the art historian, Jérôme Godeau.

→ (RE)READ. The art of transmission Gustave Moreau

Still a bit academic, Death and the Motherbased on a tale of his compatriot Andersen, left quickly the place to works of a symbolism very singular. See this great Shadow (1897) emaciated, crawling along the ground and all in arabesques, sinuous as a spectrum. Jacobsen not a big fan of anything as long as to freeze in the plaster figures, moving, fears, elusive, in the image of The Night haunting, at the same time, the sculptures of Antoine Bourdelle and Victor Prouvé. Fascinated by the metamorphosis, Danish, faithful to Andersen, invented a Little Mermaid hybrid cross between the coral reef, the carp and the woman

Vases and masks in response to japonisme

Soon, the alchemy of ceramics, which thrives in the flower City, draws. At the end of the XIXe century, japonisme has delivered the sandstone rustic fashion, with their enamel are subjected to the whims of the fire. Jacobsen draws vases devilishly experimental. One evokes a mountain landscape, other vents or vulvas roses and rods are veined in blue, still others in crucibles organic which flows here a pair of ears, a lizard, a face-threatening…

→ HISTORY. The Musée d’ennery, the high place of the japanese ones

Influenced by the noh theater, and by the grotesque figures of Carries, the Danish also creates masks in sandstone. For example, the face of his wife, the painter Anna Gabriele Rohde, who passed away in 1902, which seems to float in the void like an apparition, and bathed in tears, thanks to a masterful control of dribbling of the enamel. Other masks, ravinés like old bark, and the convening of the figures fabulous appearing of the world new year’s eve : The Fall horned, crumpled and a whole troop of Troll. Away from his country, Jacobsen keeps up with the scandinavian folklore.

Fight pacifist in Denmark

He returned, moreover, permanently in Denmark, after her widowhood. In 1903, the monument to The native Languagesketched – irony of history – a model in paris, is erected, not far from his native village, at Skibelund Krat. A sanctuary of ancient tombs, the vikings, located on the border with the Jutland in the South, has been occupied since 1864 by the Prussians. Dug into the hill, an amphitheatre of greenery is deploying bleachers turned to the territory amputated. For decades, until the reunification of Jutland in 1920, thousands of activists Danish, of which our artist, were there to demonstrate, discuss and sing patriotic songs, hoping that the wind would carry their voices to their brothers, in the distance. The monument to the Mother tongue of Jacobsen, reproduced on postcards sent from the other side of the border, became a symbol of the peaceful struggle. The artist carved the other monuments for this site, near which he even kept a long-time workshop.

In the cemetery of Vejen, rustling of tweets, his ultimate creations are hiding between the squares of boxwood and decorations are rustic with branches of fir trees. These are stelae surprising – one of which is for the grave of his parents, similar to the standing stones of the Vikings, but decorated with plant motifs and patterns art nouveau. As distant hints of his parisian stay…


Christophe Léribault, director daring the Musée des Beaux-arts, Paris

That’s three months that he waited for this moment. During the containment, Christophe Léribault came every day, by metro, to watch over his dear Little Palace, to inspect the reserves and negotiate of long hours on the phone the reports of its programming. The superb collection of drawings French of Louis-Antoine and Véronique Prat, hung on the rails since mid-march, but remained invisible, can finally be unveiled to the public Tuesday, June 16.

→ TO READ. Second wave of re-opening for national monuments

The couple of collectors has even offered up two leaves in the paris museum. Its director smiles with optimism :” In the months that open, we will have to juggle even more with our budgets, but we will walk, it is obvious. The City of Paris is supporting us, unlike american museums, for example, entirely dependent on the private… “.

At the age of 56, this conservative guard a from the juvenile. He recounts a childhood marked by visits of castles, churches and museums with parents scientific” very loving “. 3 and a half years, he discovers” impressed “the exhibition Tutankhamun, right here, at the Petit Palais. What to feed a solid vocation ? He was only 12 years old when his father dies, swept away by a long illness.

To reassure his mother, the teenager will enroll simultaneously in history and art history at the Sorbonne, before becoming the general curator of the Heritage. “ Make his passion his profession, brings a lot of comfort “, he says soberly.

Lively and full of humor

Appointed first to the Carnavalet, the museum of the history of the City of Paris, Christophe Léribault there goes the exhibits, fascinated by “ the collections are huge, with horse between the history of mentalities, architecture, urban planning and the arts “. A break of a year at the Villa Medici allows him to complete his thesis on Jean-François de Troy, who led the Academy of France in Rome in the Eighteenth century. And specify the corpus of the painter, sometimes confused with that of his father.

In 2006, Henri Loyrette, then head to the Louvre museum, invites this sharp mind to join the department of graphic arts and to lead the museum Delacroix. ” A place emotionally charged “that the grantee renovates, expands, energizes. “ I have a lot ran, of both sides of the Breaste “, he recalls, with its everlasting hint of humor.

Bright colors and live performance

On his arrival at the Petit Palais in 2012, he deploys the same energy. It modernized by bright colors the presentation of the collections, creates a room of the icons, sort, statuary, monumental reserves, expanded in the programming of concerts, films and courses in art history, invites contemporary artists during the international contemporary art Fair (Fiac) and advocate for or piétonnisée the esplanade between the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais.

He even offers to welcome in the gardens located behind the museum the bulky Bouquet of tulips Jeff Koons challenged everywhere else. A prestigious location but discreet, which allows you to renovate in the end these green spaces left behind. ” In the meetings, I’ve always seen to find the solution that makes everyone happy. He has a true talent as a diplomat, and the sense of human relations “salutes his friend, the art historian Adrien Goetz.

Behind the scenes, Christopher Léribault also defends the free access to the municipal art collection and the free reproduction of works. ” Our heritage is derived in large part from donations “pleads he, anxious to open wide the doors of the Petit Palais. Result : the attendance of the museum is three-fold, reaching 1.2 million visitors in 2018. A success alas mitigated since, by the succession of social movements that have paralyzed the centre of Paris.

Exhibitions bold

Its policy of exhibitions, carefully staged, has won yet a loyal audience. The clashes abundant and multidisciplinary” Paris 1900 “or the” Romantic Paris “there are interspersed with bold proposals. Christophe Léribault discover the ile-de-france the work of the Swede Carl Larsson and Anders Zorn, rehabilitating artists that are a bit forgotten as Georges Desvallières. He dares the first retrospective in france of Jacob Jordaens and Luca Giordano, enjoying the spacious rooms of this palace built for the universal exhibition of 1900.

→ (RE) READ. The Paris 1900 is displayed at the Petit Palais

It is endowed with an infinite curiosity, eclectic, very wide “, enjoy Amélie Simier, director of the Bourdelle museum, which has cooked up, with this” wonderful comrade “there is a season Danish in Paris. She currently presents the sculptor Jacobsen. Christophe Léribault had, him, see, because of the containment The golden Age of painting Danishas of 22 September. ” Denmark has closed its borders a priori until the end of August, but we will get there “, he promises, with his moral beating.


Between Haskell and Rosenberg

“When I was a resident at the Villa Medici, I was able to invite the great historian of art, English, Francis Haskell. I accompanied him in Rome for fifteen days, and we’re reviewed on a regular basis then. His writings on the role of collectors and patrons of art, on the differences in the taste depending on the times, and it opened my eyes.

In a museum, he should also be freed from the modes. My other model, this is Pierre Rosenberg, the former president of the Louvre. Immense curator, cataloger, collector, gifted with an eye striking, this maker of projects, full of energy, pushed me for my thesis, and plays a very positive role in the world of art He does not hesitate to say things, but always with tact and fights in favour of the artistic education “.


“Champs-Élysées, history and perspectives”, the fields of possibilities

In the photos, the Champs-Élysées gardens are deserted. No wonder in this period of confinement. Except that the photos of the Pavillon de l’Arsenal exhibition devoted to the famous avenue were taken well before this strange spring … With its 24 hectares, the green spaces of the Champs-Élysées are three times larger than the Parc Monceau but attracts thirteen times less audience!

→ DOSSIER. Culture at the show: our selection by confinement time

It must be said that “the most beautiful avenue in the world” has lost this status in the eyes of Parisians. Only 5% of the passers-by who come to stroll there live in the capital, the axis being mainly frequented by tourists and … cars! This was not always the case on this royal road imagined by Le Nôtre in 1664. Extension of the central alley of the Tuileries garden beyond the fortified enclosure, it symbolizes the domination of the monarchical power of Louis XIV over the whole kingdom.

Today it remains a high place for the legitimization of power with its military parades and presidential enthronement conveyed, but also for its protest, from sans-culottes to yellow vests …

Evils of Modernity

It also reflects a vision of progress which sees nature, fields and marshes in this case, being domesticated by man. A design that comes to confirm the successive arrangements of Jacques Ignace Hittorff and Adolphe Alphand in the XIXe century. Caught up in the evils of modernity, the Champs-Élysées must reinvent itself to find the favors of Parisians.

The architect Philippe Chiambaretta, author of the study carried out for the Champs-Élysées Committee, an association bringing together the economic players on the avenue, makes here a number of proposals to reduce the inconvenience caused in particular by atmospheric and noise pollution: reduction two-lane instead of four currently, creation of bicycle paths and playgrounds, silent floor covering, electrification of the car fleet, and pedestrianization of Place de la Concorde.

Moving a little quickly on the hyperinflation of land, the architect, who advocates partnerships with the private sector to finance his development ideas, may forget that a neighborhood also lives because it is inhabited. It is still necessary to have the means…


Visit the Raphaël de Chantilly exhibition in pictures

In the fantastic collection of the Duke of Aumale, bequeathed in 1886 to the Institut de France with the Chantilly estate, Raphaël has always held first place. Like many amateurs in the XIXe century, Henri of Orleans placed the “Lovely Sanzio” at the top, going to salute his works on each of his trips to Italy or Munich.

He bought three of his paintings: The three Graces, in his eyes a “Exquisite jewel”, La Madone said from the house of Orleans who had belonged to his ancestor, Philippe Égalité and Madonna of Loreto then considered a copy. Coup de théâtre in 1979: a restoration of this suave Virgin stretching a veil, which foreshadows the shroud, above the Child Jesus, revealed a number linked to the collection of Cardinal Scipio Borghese. Our Lady was an authentic Raphael…

The Duke of Aumale also had a happy hand in acquiring the collection of 380 drawings by Frédéric Reiset, curator at the Louvre. Among them, seven or eight are from Raphaël and around thirty of his pupils, all shown at Chantilly for the 500e anniversary of the master’s death.

The blog of Crouching Scribe, offers on the internet a filmed tour of the exhibition, commented by its curator Mathieu Deldicque. It begins under the serene auspices of Perugino and Pinturicchio which influence the young Sanzio in Umbria. As proof, his Joust of children, recently dated thanks to its watermark. After 1505 in Florence, Raphaël was inspired by the nudes of Michelangelo, but also by Madonnas by Leonardo, as for La Belle Jardinière of which Chantilly has a drawing.

Great studies

This compulsive cartoonist first outlines his jumbled ideas. Like these two pink leaves, loaned by the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille, where the Christ of Madonna of Loreto, twirls in different postures. Then comes the harmony between the figures, the distribution of light, as in this superb study of twenty characters for The Dispute of the Holy Sacrament, first order in 1508 from Pope Julius II. Another gem: a Table porter à la sanguine, intended for the fresco of The Borgo Fire at the Vatican, partly painted by Raphael’s pupils.

The most famous – Giulio Romano, Polidoro da Caravaggio and Perino del Vaga – are in the spotlight at the end. Their grotesques take up the fashion launched by their master in the Vatican Lodges, itself inspired by the decorations of the Domus Aurea of ​​Nero. Yet among these disciples, the elongation and proliferation of figures already heralds the new page of mannerism, which will turn its back on the grace of Raphael.


From Giverny to “Water Lilies”: sublimated nature

Only the gardeners of the Monet Foundation will attend the spring blossoms in the garden of the impressionist painter in Giverny. The opening of the domain, the visits and the activities are postponed until the end of the confinement. .

Misfortunes and hope seen from the Middle Ages

There were times when disasters were not exceptional but marked the course of ordinary life. The famous tapestry of the Apocalypse, kept at the Château of Angers, thus keeps the memory of the end of the XIVe French century, shaken by wars, epidemics and famine. Illustrating the Book of Revelation, it is also crossed by the hope of a victory of good over the forces of evil and describes the advent of the reign of God, revealed to Saint John in the forms of the heavenly Jerusalem.

Fourteen old tapestries back to La Chaise-Dieu

100 meters long (out of the 140 originally woven), this exceptional set was the subject of a photographic campaign in 2016 led by Google Arts & Culture (1). The pictures taken on the back of the canvas – preserved from the misdeeds of light – reveal a forgotten flamboyance and all the details – down to grasshoppers and butterflies … – of the composition commissioned by Prince Louis Ier from Anjou to the painter Jean de Bruges.

With the upload of 78 photographs, Google has been parsimonious in sharing this treasure. Continuous reading of the 82 panels is unfortunately impossible, but there is still something to enjoy in this selection.

Hope is making its way

In his meditation on the world’s misfortune, Jean de Bruges was concrete and carnal. Look at tapestry 12, which depicts a phantom horseman, livid skull and broad grin, carrying an immense sword, the figure of a death who had hitherto hardly been personified. Tapestry 21 shows a shipwreck that engulfs men and boats, forcing the Apostle John to look away from the disaster. In tapestry 26, the apostle holds his breath this time before the surge of horsemen – English mercenaries of the Hundred Years War? – crushing the crowd with all the harshness of medieval weapons.

Throughout this narrative in images, hope nonetheless makes its way, guided by energetic angels, with majestic drapes and slender wings. We will take care to zoom in on the horns and claws of the demons of Babylon, a metaphor for impurity and deception, finally overturned (tapestry 66). In Tapestry 80, the heavenly Jerusalem finally shines. It rises majestic, in a green environment, bathed by the river of “The water of life”, under the gaze of God who emerges from the scrolls of the sky. The apostle John, stands up, ready to enter this paradise. The “New land”, where death, tears, cry and pain have disappeared (Apocalypse 21, 4), has never been so close …


Titouan Lamazou dropped anchor at Quai Branly (replay)

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Titouan Lamazou is first of all a navigator who made himself known, winning the first Vendée Globe in 1990. But he is also a writer and an artist, named “UNESCO Artist for Peace” in 2003. His paintings often very colorful and bright told us about the trips, the places but also the people he meets.

He presented at Jean-François Cadet’s microphone in November 2018 his “workshop boat”. A real boat destined to take to the sea, prefigured by a unique exhibition that bears his name. A carte blanche granted to him by the Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac and which presented itself as a cabinet of curiosities bringing together the artist’s paintings, works by contemporary visual artists and objects from the Museum’s collections.

(Replay of November 13, 2018)

Titouan Lamazou has made frequent stops in the Marquesas for 40 years.

Titouan Lamazou has made frequent stops in the Marquesas for 40 years. © Gwen Le Bras


Claudia Andujar, photographer hired alongside the Yanomamis

The soft voice, patinated by the years, moves. At the age of 88, Claudia Andujar recounts the encounter that changed her life in 1971 in Brazil with the Yanomamis. This photojournalist, who immigrated to New York after the Holocaust, which decimated part of her family, was already interested in marginal populations. The discovery of these Indians, living in remote areas of the Amazon, having little contact with the outside world, was a real thunderbolt, as evidenced by his splendid images, posted online by the Cartier Foundation in Paris.

Since 2015, this private institution has endeavored to accompany each of its exhibitions with a dedicated website. The one who was in preparation around the Claudia Andujar exhibition came at the right time to compensate for the closing to the public of the Foundation, boulevard Raspail in Paris, with the pandemic.

Take a photo of the world of “spirits”

In a very neat layout, the site unfolds in three chapters, the life of this woman gifted with remarkable empathy: her childhood in Transylvania and her beginnings as a photographer in Brazil, then her meeting with the Yanomami and finally her political commitment to help them obtain, in 1992, recognition of their territory threatened by logging, the rush for gold washers.

The artist’s photographs, often in black and white, sometimes bathed in intense colors, punctuate this story. They show an evolution, in contact with shamanic rites, towards original techniques of flashes, superimpositions, fuzzy or nocturnal, in order to restore the world of “spirits”.

Amazing testimonials

Interviews, films accompanied by songs, ritual cries enliven each sequence. We hear anthropologist Bruce Albert, another companion in the Yanomami struggle. Podcasts, produced in partnership with the magazine The Inrocks, give voice to the shaman and traditional leader, Davi Kopenawa, to the Brazilian curator of the exhibition, Thyago Nogueira… Among the highlights, the testimony of Claudia Andujar narrating how she had the idea one day to entrust the Yanomami with paper and markers, an absolutely new material for them, so that they tell him in drawings (exposed on the site) their rites and their cosmogony.

By the way, don’t hesitate to explore the other sites put online by the Cartier Foundation. They contain gems: photo galleries of Malick Sidibé or Daido Moriyama, web series on Mexican architects or on the exhibition ” We the trees “, Unpublished Congolese BD …