From Hammershøi’s austere tables to Pierre Gagnaire’s gourmet table...

A day in Paris | History and heritage | About art
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Hôtel d'Orsay
Hôtel d'Orsay de la collection Esprit de France

A day in Paris by Esprit de France 

A descendant of Vermeer or a precursor of Hopper? The retrospective exhibition of Vilhelm Hammershøi’s works, a Danish painter popular in the 1880s, held at the Musée d’Orsay in 1997, revealed how similar his paintings were to both. His work is currently on show at the Musée Jacquemart André and is still as intriguing as it was 20 years ago. He stages interior scenes made up of successions of partially open doors and expose a sort of human fragility. With a palette mainly composed of gray, black and bright white tones, his rooms parsimonously furnished and punctuated with open doors, are sometimes inhabited by a woman seen from behind, in a window embrasure or near a table. The artist's wife, Ida, participates in these austere compositions that distil an impression of a somewhat enigmatic silence. Our favorite painting -Rest- depicts, in a refined range of gray and brown, a woman seated facing a wall near a table -on which a creamy white dish is placed- and portrayed in elegant shades of greys and browns. The subtly haloed back of her neck, bare between the velvet of her dress and a few stray locks from her head, attracts the eye immediately. It is one of the rare paintings by Hammershøi where the sensation of suspended time is accompanied by peaceful gentleness.

There is a different type of table that we suggest you discover at Gaya’s, an elegant restaurant that has moved into the former Ferme Saint-Simon’s location. Chef Pierre Gagnaire, can already boast 3 Michelin stars and was elected "the best Michelin star chef in the world" by his peers. The famous chef creates inspirational dishes full of flavour here in the chic Art Déco seafood restaurant located in a quiet street of the 7th district. He continues to experiment with seafood and now invites food of the land to join in. Potatoes from Ile de Batz are served with the rock fish soup, and broad beans from Paimpol are served with corn-fed chicken supreme & gambero rosa prawns - just a few examples of the best dishes to taste !