A day in Paris in tribute to Léonard de Vinci

A day in Paris | History and heritage | Exhibitions
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Pleasures of an aesthete: From the Italian Renaissance to French gastronomy

The five-hundredth anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death is the opportunity for many commemorations both in France, the master’s second home, and abroad, which have already started. While waiting for the big exhibition of the Louvre in autumn 2019, the Paris Ecole des Beaux-Arts which owns a collection of highly valuable drawings, takes part in this tribute and is putting 30 Italian Renaissance masterpieces on show. Four pages made by Leonardo in person reveal the variety of his interests as ballistic research -testifying to his role as a military engineer at the court of Milan- rub shoulders with « heads of character » -some portraits of elderly men- and sketches of various positions in preparation for his Adoration of the Magi. Works by other artists living in Florence at the same time are also on show: studies by Raphael, Filippino Lippi, Benozzo Gozzoli, and Bernardino Luini -very close to Leonardo in his treatment of the Child Jesus and Saint John embracing each other- among others. However, it is perhaps the work of more anonymous artists that will be remembered such as this page by the entourage of Piero di Cosimo with the Apostles at the tomb of the Virgin in a landscape or that other one by the entourage of Andrea del Verrochio representing with exceptional delicacy The Charity of St. Martin. Here is a relatively discreet but yet exceptional event!

comptoir-de-la-gastronomie-par Esprit de FranceHowever the pleasures of art aesthetics cannot make us forget those of French gastronomy. A favourite spot for people living in and around les Halles, the Comptoir de la Gastronomie has been open since 1894. Both a delicatessen and a restaurant, it serves many French classics such as foie gras ravioli with truffle cream, onion soup, cold cuts and cheese platters, assortments of smoked salmon and selected wines. Located rue Montmartre, just a stone’s throw from Châtelet, Saint Eustache church and Montorgueil Market, the authentic settings are a showcase of French gastronomy (South West specialties in particular). A genuine landmark of regional cuisine with a decor that has kept the charms of bygone years intact: the woodwork, red curtains and lighting combined create a pleasurable experience.