It was love at first sight…
On a rainy November day, we were all too happy to leave the crowded Chelsea Market as holiday shoppers packed the charming former Nabisco facility now home to various upscale shops. The hushed quiet that welcomed us at Hermes just a couple of blocks south, was a wonderful and welcomed change. Sipping our lattes, we simply could not wait to see the by now much talked about La Cite Cavaliere. As a fan of maps and even a bigger fan of Paris, I immediately delighted in the masterfully executed fantasy map by Octave Marsal, a young French graphic artist, who took his inspiration from an ancient engraving.
At the time of our little shopping spree, there were still several color options available. But among the reds, the orange, green, pink and blue, this steel blue and clay green beauty just stood out.
Overstimulated, I asked to put it on hold with a few other Must-Haves. Braving the cold rain, we ran back to my daughter’s cozy (and warm) apartment.
Well the next day, I could hardly wait for eleven o’clock to come around…
Strolling down Marsal’s avenues, I discover something new around every turn. There is so much to see and explore in this fantasy Paris, it is no wonder the La Cite Cavaliere has already become one of my favorites.
The story behind
Inspired by a 17th-century engraving depicting a bird’s eye view of Paris, Octave Marsal reinvents the French capital’s streetscape. The original design was the work of Matthäus Merian the Elder, a Swiss-German copperplate engraver and publisher noted for his numerous editions of maps. With artistic license, Marsal maps the course of the Seine, the city walls and monuments of a dreamlike Paris, creating a Cité cavalière with the silhouette of a horse at its heart. The landmarks and the coat of arms of this imaginary city are clear to see, but a few secrets remain to be discovered… Can you spot the Faubourg store, the Colossus of Rhodes, a saddle, and a reference to the iconic Brides de gala?
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