Last Sunday I met a friend at the Petit Palais to see the almost over exhibition called “Paris Romantique 1815 – 1848”.

 

I don’t know if I believe in reincarnation or if I even like this potentially frightening idea, yet, have you ever felt so irrationally drawn to a person, a place, a language, a culture (if you’re reading this my sense is that oui!), a civilization, an author, or even… a century? Pour moi, c’est le 19ème siècle.

 

Most of my favorite art, music, literature, architecture, were created in 19th century France, actually, let me go slightly over this period and go all the way to the end of la Belle Époque en 1914. Disons un 19ème siècle qui dépasse un peu! Not to mention the drastic and fascinating political, economical, social, societal changes which took place in 19th century France.

 

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A few examples…

 

– Seven political regimes: 1ère république, 1er empire, restauration de la monarchie absolue, monarchie constitutionnelle, 2ème république, 2nd empire, 3ème république! So hectic it blows my mind! Best history classes ever.

 

– Explosion of capitalism along with the 2nd industrial revolution, giving birth to inventions which changed everything. Imagine this: wealthy people used to pay artists to paint their family, their home, as realistically as possible of course until… the camera was invented! Now “la peinture” no longer needs to reproduce reality exactly and is finally free to be truly creative, explore brand new horizons… “l’impressionnisme” was born! Ever thought about that?

 

Jean-Léon Gérôme with his painting “Réception du Grand Condé à Versailles” depicts this scene in Versailles as realistically as possible. It is so precise it could almost pass for a photo, don’t you think?

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Camille Pissarro is clearly exploring new creative possibilities with the gorgeous “Boulevard Montmartre, effet de nuit”

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I love both paintings and styles, and you don’t have to choose either!

 

– Decline of the aristocracy vs the rise of the bourgeoisie (the best description of this fascinating phenomenon is clearly “À la recherche du temps perdu” by my beloved Marcel Proust) which of course politically corresponds to the constitutional monarchy controlled by the bourgeoisie kicking out the previous aristocratic regimes in place since pretty much the fall of the Roman Empire. Can you imagine???

 

Back to the Petit Palais

 

But I am, as always, digressing, parce que j’adore ça! Donc maintenant, retournons au Petit Palais!

 

 

Dimanche dernier, I left my apartment early, giving myself plenty of time to walk all the way there while creating opportunities to stop, look, compare, memorize, turn left or right here and there, read, explore, take pictures, and still arrive two minutes early!

 

It was my first time at the Petit Palais, this absolutely stunning musée des beaux arts built in 1900 by French architect Charles Girault. Regardez cette entrée sublime, sublimissime même!

 

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Even though I was dying to see the whole museum, we decided to focus on the reason for our visit: “Paris Romantique 1815 – 1848”, which took us 4 hours and somehow still felt rushed. J’aime prendre mon temps et tout lire dans les musées! Une petite question pour vous: Are you wondering why the museum picked those specific dates? That’s because they correspond to pivotal moments of French history, which I briefly mentioned above… alors, alors, à quoi correspondent ces dates??

 

1815: The 2nd and last fall of Napoléon Ier. In other words, l’empire remplacé par la monarchie (Louis XVIII, brother of slightly less lucky previously decapitated Louis XVI. Yikes.) getting back on the throne, that’s why we call this period “la restauration”.

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1848: Vive la révolution! Everyone just pictures 1789 when they think of la révolution française, but the truth is we are a rebellious people and therefore count many revolutions. Don’t forget that the 19th century also corresponds to the development of Socialism all over Europe. However, this was yet another revolution won by the Bourgeoisie, leading to the 2nd republic menée par un certain Louis Napoléon Bonaparte… sounds familiar? Et oui, Louis Napoléon Bonaparte était le neveu de Napoléon Ier, and soon decided being président de la république wasn’t quite cool enough, so, after a shameless coup d’état in December 1851, he became l’empereur Napoléon III. Et voilà!

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I’m going to share with you some of the elements I found the most striking. I apologize in advance for the not always so great quality of my photos. My phone was literally in the process of dying (pauvre petit téléphone que j’ai fait tomber par terre quelques heures auparavant… oops!) and I spent my Monday afternoon at the Apple store, failing to fix it and therefore having to buy the latest one, which takes amazing photos!

 

Les restaurants du XIXe siècle

 

Check out the size of this menu from le restaurant Les Trois Frères Provençaux! Tellement de plats c’est fou!!!

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Et un petit close up sur la partie la plus intéressante… les desserts!

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La mode du XIXe siècle

 

Regardez la finesse de ces chaussures! Nowadays we just take for granted that there is a left shoe and a right shoe, since, well, we have a left foot and a right foot! Logique! Not so logique then! So shoe designers not only added their name / signature inside the shoe, they also indicated “gauche” & “droite” for a better customer experience! I know it’s tiny but can you see it? (as well as my slightly less elegant foot in the middle ha!)

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Un éventail tellement délicat, hand painted on see through silk:

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Mesdames, which chapeau would you pick for your next date?

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Messieurs, don’t worry, we have something for you too! And in fact let me tell you something: to me 19th century “romantique” fashion for men is the sexiest EVER! Oh how I wish men still dressed like this. But they don’t. Sigh.

 

And since it’s hard to really picture the full style with a few photos, why don’t I share with you one of my favorite movies called “Les enfants du siècle” describing the “romantique” period, lifestyle, and the destructive passionate burning love story between two 19th century French literature super stars: George Sand & Alfred de Musset. Just how ridiculously hot is the actor dressed as Alfred de Musset?!! The hair, the shirts, the colors, the frills, the fabrics, the textures, aaaaaah everything! I can’t take it j’adoooooore!!! Admire the trailer and see for yourself (it’s in French!)

 

 

It. Never. Gets. Old. Seriously, watch this movie. You’ll learn so much about French culture & mentality…

 

Voilà pour vous messieurs! Superbe, n’est-ce pas? The detail of the fabric and the designs… I stared at these for about 20 minutes, precisely picturing Alfred de Musset (one of my beloved fiery authors in case you hadn’t guessed yet) wearing each and everyone of these. Vivid imagination = endless fun!

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What a pleasant surprise to find myself in front of George Sand (played by the stunning Juliette Binoche in movie mentioned above) later on near the end of the museum exhibition! She used a man’s name and sometimes dressed as a man so that she could act more freely and see more doors open before her, but she soon became so successful and popular as a writer that everyone knew George was a woman!

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Et pour finir en musique, je vous présente le sublime, le grand, le magnifique, le ténébreux Franz Liszt, also hanging out in the Petit Palais near his friend George!

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Now that you have a better feel for French 19th century vibe, why not listen to some of Franz’s music, interpreted by the sublime Khatia Buniatishvili. Enjoy!

 

Ok ok, one more before we’re done for this week!

No comment.

You’re welcome.

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That’s it for this week but more to come in the next blog posts! I love this new Paris theme, what do you think?

 

Did you know you could receive lots of free help from me every week? All you need to do is click on this link and get your free 3 step mini course to help you become a little bit French at the same time! 

 

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FRENCH IMMERSION COURSE – WEEKEND IN SEATTLE MARCH 2020

 

 

SEATTLE US
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FRENCH IMMERSION COURSE – WEEK IN PÉLUSSIN APRIL & JULY 2020

 

 

PÉLUSSIN – FRANCE
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If you’re unsure about your level, contact me to schedule a free Skype call

 

100% French Experience

 

What inspired me to create this French Immersion Course? C’est très simple: how best to improve your French conversation skills than by being in France, surrounded with French culture and French people who will ONLY speak French to you? Yet so many times I have heard visitors express their disappointment at not really being given the chance to practice their French. Why? Because more & more French people, especially in big cities, speak English fairly well and are just so excited to practice their new skills with you! This ends up being nice and comfortable for you but not so satisfying or helpful for improving your French speaking ability! So to fix this and make sure you have the most enjoyable, and at the same time profitable, French learning experience, I decided to create the perfect environment for you by organizing this hands-on French Immersion Course.

 

Daily French Classes & Activities

 

This is the reason why I have created this 7 DAY FULL FRENCH IMMERSION COURSE for you, filled with daily classes & enriching adventures with French people who will only speak French with you. No English! It’s amazing how much you can learn and retain in such a conducive atmosphere in as little as 7 days. Mornings will be dedicated to French language classes and afternoons will be filled with interesting activities such as: visiting local artists or entrepreneurs workshops, meeting with local wine makers and farmers, guided hike in nature, cooking class, painting class, cinema, & museum… all in French!

 

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Join French Truly’s online school, either by buying the French online course(s) of your choice or by becoming a monthly member. See more details about the membership at the bottom of this page 🙂

Each French online course is packed with video & audio files along with written material, to make it as fun, easy, and user friendly as possible for you! Come and learn French online with me!

 

French online course #1: 600 WORDS

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In this course, you will find 15 videos (+ 10 bonus ones) to help & accompany you every step of the way through the course + for each word, each sentence, each expression, each conjugated verb, I have created an audio file of my voice, slow and slightly faster speed. Your French language learning experience has never been so easy, fun, and fruitful. You can learn French online and benefit from the flexibility working at your own pace offers, while having me with you the whole time.

 

Did you know…

You can converse (speak + understand) in French with only 600 WORDS?

The average French person only uses between 300 & 3,000 WORDS?

This means that if you can master a relatively short list of words, you’ll be able to express yourself like the average French person! Plus you’re much more likely to understand the French when they talk back to you!

 

This course will teach you…

1- How to speak French

2- How to pronounce French

3- How to make French sentences

4- How to conjugate all the most common French verbs

5- How to polish your results

6- How to self evaluate your French

More info HERE

  • It should take you about 30 hours to complete this course, which is made up of 10 lessons
  • This course is designed for a beginner / intermediate level. If you are intermediate but feel like you could really reinforce your foundations, you will love it.
  • You can join whenever, either by buying the course or by becoming a monthly member giving you access to my French online courses from $10 / month. See more details about the membership at the bottom of this page 🙂

 

Online course # 2: PERFECT PRONUNCIATION

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In this course you will find 11 videos + 150 audio files + 92 pages PDF format to help & accompany you every step of the way throughout the course. In some parts of the videos, my face will appear close up and profile so you can easily see how I make these sounds with my mouth. The 150 audio files are composed of the 100 most popular French words and the 50 most common French phrases. They are recordings of my voice, speaking slowly enough so you can easily grasp every syllable. Your French language learning experience has never been so easy, fun, and fruitful. You can learn French online and benefit from the flexibility working at your own pace offers, while having me with you the whole time.

NB: if you are the proud owner of my previous French online course 600 WORDS, don’t worry, this is not a repeat as we are now exploring 1 letter words and up, whereas in 600 WORDS we began at 4 letter words and up.

 

Combine knowledge with confidence…

For you to be able to have a pleasant and efficient conversation with a French person, one thing is key… can you guess what it is? Confidence! How well do you think you will communicate in French if you don’t feel confident about your accent? If you are scared that people won’t understand you? Or even worse if you think someone might make fun of you? Without a minimum of confidence there is no room for communication. Yet if you feel confident, you can afford to make a few mistakes here and there because people will still understand you. What prevents a conversation from happening isn’t just a lack of knowledge, it’s also a lack of confidence. You need to have both to make it work, not to mention, to make it fun!

 

This course will teach you…

1- How to pronounce every letter of the alphabet

2- How to pronounce every digraph & trigraph

3- How to make every French sentence flow

4- How to pronounce the 100 most popular French words

5- How to pronounce the 50 most popular French phrases

6- How to avoid the pronunciation mistakes everyone makes

More info HERE

  • It should take you about 20 to 2 hours to complete this course, which is made up of 11 lessons
  • This course is designed for a beginner level. If you are intermediate but lack confidence when it comes to talking and feel like you could really benefit from focusing on pronunciation, you will love it.
  • You can join whenever, either by buying the course or by becoming a monthly member giving you access to my French online courses from $10 / month. See more details about the membership below 🙂

 

Become a monthly member!

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My goal is to transform your French language learning experience. This is why I’ve decided to offer you a new way to learn French online and gain access to the French Truly Online School! Actually, more than 1 new way, you’ll have 3 plans to choose from so come and learn French online with me!

 

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