Beginning in 1938, the threat of war prompted a large-scale evacuation of France’s public art collections. The storage sites chosen for works of art were châteaux, tranquil locations in the heart of the French countryside, far from strategic targets, and thus escaping the imminent danger of bombing.
On August 28, 1939, the Mona Lisa left the Louvre and on September 3, as war had been declared, a decision was taken to ensure that all of the most precious works would leave the premises by the end of the day.
During the war, Leonardo da Vinci’s smiling maiden would move another five times before being brought back safe and sound. It was an unprecedented journey for the world’s most famous painting.
Moving the Winged Victory of Samothrace
On the Road
Stowed away in…
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Before the start of World War II, the owner of this apartment in Paris fled to the south of France. For reasons not entirely known, she never returned and the apartment remained untouched for 70 years.
In 2010 the owner passed away at the age of 91. Her executor discovered the apartment and a team was sent to investigate. What they found was astonishing. Under a thick layer of dust was a trove of turn-of-the-century objects including several paintings that were set aside for further analysis.
One painting in particular, a portrait of a lady in a pink dress, would turn out to be an incredible find.
After analysis, the painting was discovered to be painted by 19th century Italian artist Giovanni Boldini. It turns out the woman in the pink muslin evening dress was…
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Paris, often the people more than the place, has long been a photographer’s paradise. The colour and beautiful landmarks such as those in my previous post, Getting an Eiffel, often take centre stage. Equally delightful, are the little things. The hefty price tag for a table on a crowded terrace, is often a small price to pay for ring-side seats to the great people-watching spectacle. Great heroes of mine have often portrayed a romantic and exciting image of vibrant Parisian streets.
I thumbed through a book in one brasserie, which showcased the work of Doisneau, Bresson and Sieff among others. Paris Mon Amour now rests on my bookshelf, as I was so inspired by the images inside that I immediately bought a copy. Admittedly, I was a little disheartened that the images were so sublime, but I think it’s always good to be able to reference what you want…
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