Royal Gardens of Paris with Marie Dessaillen

Royal Gardens of Paris with Marie Dessaillen


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It is impossible to stay away from Paris' colorful and perfectly designed gardens. The favorite pastime of Parisians and tourists alike is lazing on a sunny afternoon in the Jardin du Luxembourg. However, there is more than meets the eye to these manicured lawns. Political symbolism has infused the creation of gardens since the Renaissance, and as those in power changed, so did the message and structure of their gardens.

Led by historian and art historian Marie Dessaillen, this interactive discussion will delve into the many layers of secrets of the Jardin des Tuileries, demonstrate the perfect mastery of nature by man in the Jardin du Palais Royal, and explore how visitors even breathed differently as they strolled over the bridges and down the winding paths of the Parc Monceau. Gardens used to systematically accompany a building: a king's palace, an aristocratic house, places that have unfortunately sometimes disappeared. We will put those gardens back into their original contexts using historical documents (paintings, tapestries, engravings).

Finally, we will study the metamorphosis of private gardens into public parks after the French Revolution. In the 19th century urban planning that gave Paris its iconic esthetic, the democratization of leisure and the pleasure of nature replaced the complex symbolism originally created for the aristocratic elites - and these scenes of leisure soon became a favorite subject among the Impressionists.

The daughter of a sculptor, Marie has been surrounded by art ever since she was born. A native Parisienne, she holds an undergraduate degree in history and art history, with a specialty in iconography and French and Flemish paintings from the 16th to the 18th centuries. She also holds a Master's degree in museology from the Ecole du Louvre and one in Art History from the Sorbonne.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.