Paris! I love this city and never tire of visiting. This time, I was fortunate to be staying at a friend’s very charming apartment on the Île Saint-Louis. This is the little sister island next to the Île de la Cite, where Notre Dame has been standing guard over Paris for the past 850 years. Connected by bridges to the “continent”, as the locals call the rest of Paris, this tiny island has a definite village feel and it is very easy to forget that one is in fact in a major metropolitan city.
Yesterday, I stumbled upon the Musée Carnavalet in the heart of Le Marais. This free museum houses an impressive collection of art, artifacts and furnishings and traces the development of Paris through the ages. Over 100 galleries offer something for everyone.
I was particularly pleased to find several characters from one of my favorite Hermès scarves, the La Comédie Italienne, here.
La Comedie Italienne Hermes silk scarf (100% silk jacquard) – GRAIL was designed by Philippe Ledoux in 1962
Below I found some of the Characters as Statues from these popular plays and my beloved scarf:
The Arlequin, possibly the most popular of the Commedia dell’Arte characters, the Harlequin a fun unpredictable character who brings laughter and simplicity with burst of sheer brilliance. But always very unpredictable and entertaining.
and Pantalon, a cunning and rapacious yet often deceived Venetian merchant
Brighella, the skillful plotter.
In 1797 the Commedia dell’arte was outlawed during Napoleon’s occupation of Italy as critics of the regime used their carnival masks to hide their identities while criticizing Napoleon’s regime and fueling political agendas. It would take almost two hundred years for the Commedia dell’arte to be reborn in Venice in 1979.
The the Commedia dell’arte not only influenced theater, politics and history, but music including Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Schumann’s Carnaval and Stravinsky’s Petrushka and of course, Philippe Ledoux!