Culture under lockdown in Paris: When the opera comes to you

In this edition we discover a very special type of concert. With venues closed due to Covid-19, classical musicians are bringing their art to the courtyards of Parisians, as our team reports. We also look at several symbols of France, including the famous “baguette”. We see what makes it so special and why the French are campaigning for it to be included in the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list. Meanwhile, the Château de Versailles, another symbol of French culture and history, is welcoming back the luxurious desk of Louis XVI after two years of restoration. 

FRANCE 24

Sir Lancelot: Exploring the History Behind the Legend

There is no doubt that most of us, in our childhoods and later in life, heard all about the stories and legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. For many, the stories of Arthur and his exploits were the integral part of growing up, and they continue to be the central aspect of what is a quintessentially British identity. But today, we won’t be focusing on King Arthur. Instead, our story shifts to one of his closest companions – a knight equally dashing and brave, whose legend is the central part of the Arthurian legend: Sir Lancelot. Depicted as one of the most gallant and brave of all the  Knights of the Round Table , Lancelot of the Lake is considered the epitome of that traditional, chivalric  romance that served as an inspiration and an ideal to many over the centuries. Continue reading “Sir Lancelot: Exploring the History Behind the Legend”

January 30: Remembering Richard Brautigan on his birthday

BY 

He was a meteor.

He was an author of such works as Trout Fishing in AmericaIn Watermelon Sugar and The Hawkline Monster, wedged between the Beat Generation and the hippie movement. He showered readers of the 1960s and ’70s with inspiring spare, proletarian ideals in his novels.

He was a poet who foreshadowed the vise-like, smothering grip that technology has over us today in the poem “All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace.”

He was, as biographer and admirer William Hjortsberg noted in Jubilee Hitchhiker, a writer who combined an “easy offhand voice” with “concern for average working-class people, his matter-of-fact treatment of death, and his often-startling juxtaposition of wildly disparate images.”   

Then he was gone. Continue reading “January 30: Remembering Richard Brautigan on his birthday”

Paris’s Musée d’Orsay, from a train station to a world-class museum

Paris’s Musée d’Orsay, from a train station to a world-class museum

The Musée d’Orsay is the second most-visited museum in France after the Louvre. In 1986, this former Paris train station became a showcase for Impressionist art. The exhibition rooms are constantly evolving because only half the paintings are on display at any one time; the others are kept in the storeroom. Curators regularly renew the exhibits. Sometimes, the masterpieces require the expert care of restorers, who then have the delicate mission of bringing the paintings back to life. We take a closer look.

Camille Claudel: The Famous Sculptor Who Changed The History Of Art

Camille Claudel a French sculptor who broke moulds for women in art. Claudel “The Age of Maturity” legend whose achievement has left a lasting legacy and universally acknowledged as a great sculptor in her own right. 

By Sindhu Shivdas

Throughout history, there has been a famous sculptor who has withstood the test of time. Perhaps they are valued for their ability to create highly realistic figures or maybe they are prized for their willingness to push boundaries and defy expectations. Camille Claudel is one of the names that stood the test of time.

Bio:

Playing in two dimensions is easy enough, but what truly separates the women from the girls? Maybe it’s when you give up your easel for a tool belt and get to work with hammer and chisel. Such a sculptor was Camille a unique artist deeply involved in creating and constantly trying to open new doors.

Camille Claudel was born in 1864 in Fere-en-Tardenois, France. The French sculptor who defied gender based restrictions to pursue her art, She did her art studies at the Academie Colarossi in Paris, one of the handful of progressive art schools that accepted women students. Sculptor Alfred Boucher one of the most celebrated French sculptor of the late 19th century took Claudel under his wing and became her mentor for over three years, before moving to Florence.

Under Boucher’s guidance, she rented a workshop in 1882 with other young women sculptors including English sculptor Lipscomb. Claudel recognition for artistic talents came retrospectively and she is also remembered for her dramatic relationship with renowned sculptor Auguste Rodin. A major turning point in Claudel’s professional and personnel life occurred in the autumn of 1882, when Alfred Boucher left paris for Italy and asked his friend, the renowned sculptor Auguste Rodin, to take over supervising Claudel’s studio.

Being Rodin’s only female student, Claudel quickly proved her talents through contributions to some of Rodin’s most monumental works, including the hands and feet of several figures in The Gates of Hell. Working with Rodin she became romantically involved with him.

Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin Passionate Love Affair

Claudel and Rodin shared a connection beyond sculpture, and by 1882 the pair was engaged in love affair.  Rodin was a married person got infactuated with Claudel’s style and encouraged her to exhibit and sell her works. He also used Claudel as a model for both individual portraits and anatomical elements on larger works, such as La Pensee and The kiss.

Since there was gender-based discrimination which was rife in the art world, Claudel couldn’t release some of her daring sculpture ideas and she turned to Rodin to collaborate with her in order to get them made. And this instead made Rodin to receive credit for her ideas. This led to the breakdown of their long-term relationship and Claudel struggled to gain recognition of her own.

Camille Fighting For Recognition

Although continued to be productive through the first several years of the 20th century, the loss of Rodin’s public endorsement made her to struggled to find support. And moreover commisions of her work were scant due to her highly individual style which did not suit conserative tastes at the time, which paved her to mental illness and poverty. Continue reading “Camille Claudel: The Famous Sculptor Who Changed The History Of Art”