Gabrielle F. Culmer

News and Events


Musee Jacquemart- Andre


   A wonderful morning on the Boulevard Haussman was spent at the Caillebotte exhibit. The Caillebotte Peintre et Photographe exhibit "Dans le intimité des frères," was at the Musée Jacquemart- André and ran until the 11th of July 2011.


  First, one is taken by the lovely mansion house which is now the museum; it was the residence of Jacquemart Andre and had intricately decorated Renaissance rooms and period furniture along with lovely oil paintings. The exhibit which was on the first floor  began with Gustave Caillebotte and sa chienne Bergere, a lovely photograph by Gustave's brother Martial of him in industrial Paris wearing a top hat taking a stroll with his dog. It followed with more monumental photographs of Paris and the quarter of Opera by Martial (1853-1910) and paintings by Gustave (1848-1894) the Impressionist painter of idyllic 19th century Parisian depictions. Noted paintings were Pensive Homme au Balcon where a gracious and pensive gentleman looks upon the Boulevard beneath, and Un Balcon, Boulevard Haussman where 19th century men in top hats on a beautiful clear day look upon the Boulevard.  Also were 19th century photos by Martial of the family and children, Jean and Geneviève.  Le Déjeuner, 1876, by Gustave is full of detail and realism depicting a young man having lunch with his mother in traditional 19th century antiquity. Classic and historic photos were also displayed by Martial in black and white, intimate family portraits exhibiting their lifestyles and that of the time.

   The brothers grew interested in yachting near the end of their lives, Gustave's la Berge du Petit Gennevilliers et La Seine, an idyllic summer setting of two youths watching the boats upon the river with the artist illuminating the water with impressionistic strokes of the boats' reflections, eluding more light. Also, Peche `a  La Ligne 1878 is a delightful summer illustration of a father and daughter in summer attire fishing in the river, amidst the splendid greenery brightly reflected in the broad strokes of the leaves. Also, Les Berges de la Seine, a collection by Martial of happy times in the summer on the shore. Gustave's Régates à Argenteuil, 1893 with boats on the river glistens from the impact of the light and their reflection on the water on a clear summer day.  His Interieur, Femme à la fenetre, again 19th century classicism of a lady in full attire peering through a window with lace curtains while her husband seated nearby reads.  A favorite, L'allée au Jardin, depicts a lovely summer garden with plush greenery and a winding pathway. Eye catching was the Soleils Jardin du Petit Gennevilliers, 1885, with lovely bright yellow hues of flowers amidst a sea of green shaped leaves.


 A special thanks to the Musee. 



Les Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais


    In spring, the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais featured the "Nature and Ideal," the paysage of Rome 1600- 1650 exhibition featuring Nicholas Poussin and Claude Lorain and other landscape artists. The whole exhibit seemed like walking through an ancient countryside caught in time. The time period began in 1600 to 1646 in Europe. Some works of art depicted prophets and mythological figures, while others depicted biblical figures, and others the temples of Rome, and the vast landscape beyond of hills, valleys and mountains beneath a clear blue sky to symbolize the space above and the great magnitude of the landscape. Imagery of forests and trees resonated throughout the oil paintings with a small amount of the artist's drawings on view.

     The theme shows how nature is harmoniously structured, and featured artists were Jan Brueghel from Brussels, Paysage avec Saint Fulgence, the Latin writer exiled in Sardaigne, Domenico Zampieri, le Dominiquin,  Paysage avec Tobie et l'ange,  of an ideal landscape of cliffs, green terrain and mythological figures. The Northern Landscape portion depicted the artists such as Bartholomeus Breenbergh, Filippo Napoletano's,  paysage fluvial avec voyageurs,  1617, a lovely landscape scene with trees, a vast blue sky, exaggerated clouds, cattle, herdsmen, and water, and Paul Bril's Vue du Port, a marine scene of vessels docked at a port with moving blue water. Also featured were drawings by Claude Lorrain, Nicholas Poussin, and Paul Bril.

     The final portion included "Les Debuts de Claude Lorrain et de Nicholas Poussin." There were Claude Lorrain's  L'enlevement d'Helene,  Lorrain's L'Archange Raphael et Tobie,  a large painting with a landscape background.  Importantly, Lorrain's Vue de la Crescenza, an idyllic painting of the Crescenza family house.  Also Lorrain's, Les Troyennes Incandeant,  with the navy ships docked in Sicily.  Nicholas Poussin's  paysage avec des edifices, 1648 a view most engaging from far away and in perspective has a large view of the countryside, European architecture, and mountains in the background.




A special thanks to the Musee du Petit Palais and Les Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais.




Chateau d'Amboise and The Loire Valley


    A glorious summer day was spent touring the Loire Valley in the French countryside. It was a two and a half hour drive from Paris to the valley where goat cheese and wild strawberries are a specialty of the region. The River Loire was beautiful where monarchs once crossed, and on that day, reflected the blue from the clear sky. The medieval chateau is beautifully structured in stone and was the home of Henry II and Catherine de Medici of France as well as Henry III and Louis Philippe. Brilliant tapestries and paintings of Louis XVI and Henry IV line the walls, Renaissance furniture and the Italian styled ceilings fill the chateau. In the small chapel on the grounds lies Leonardo Da Vinci who also lived at the chateau. Amboise is a quaint town nestled in the countryside which has kept much of the French culture.



Chateau de Chambord


        The famous grand medieval chateau has a garden of over 5000 acres and is a magnificent structure with high ceilings and a double winding staircase created by Leonardo da Vinci. The author managed to climb all 145 steps to the terrace where there are fabulous views of the region and the chateau's non symmetrical towers. The chateau was home to Francois I, Marie Therese d'Autriche and the Count and Countess of Chambord. The apartment of Francois I is on view as well as the attire and possessions of the Count and magnificent royal coaches.






A special thanks to Cityrama and the Chateau.