Ambassades à Paris

Elisabeth Martin de Clausonne, Hermine Cléret

To be an ambassador in Paris is, in a way, like being a blue-blooded prince or a cousin of the Emperor’s. One does not sleep scot-free in the sheets that belonged to Pauline Borghese or to Talleyrand… It is in any case what happened to the diplomats who had the privilege of living in these private homes charged with history, many of which are located on the Faubourg Saint-Honoré or Saint-Germain. This greatly illustrated book allows us to get near these exceptional homes and to admire their decorative elements: mind-spinning staircases like the one designed by René Sargent in the hotel de Lévy (the Portuguese embassy), Hungarian point parquets, chandeliers from Venice or Art deco (Mexican embassy), moldings and stucco, frescoes (from Sofonisba Anguissola to Jean-Baptiste Huet and Proudhon) and Gobelin tapestries. We only regret there is not a map that would allow us to visualise the locations of these temples of good taste in the Parisian geography. As for actually entering these embassies, one will have to be patient and wait for the National Heritage days and stand in endless lines …

Ambassades à Paris by Elisabeth Martin de Clausonne, photographs by Hermine Cléret, published by éditions Nicolas Chaudun, 2009, 192 p., 45 €, ISBN: 978-2-35039-076-5

Ambassades à Paris - Elisabeth Martin de Clausonne, Hermine Cléret

Review published in the newsletter #160 - from 4 February 2010 to 10 February 2010

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