François Gérard @ the Château de Fontainebleau

Thomas_Lawrence_-_Francois_Gerard        Thomas Lawrence [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Student of Jacques-Louis David, François enjoyed a big success for his history and portrait paintings. He became a painter of the court under Napoleon Bonaparte, first painter of Joséphine de Beauharnais, and of the King of the restoration, during Luis XVIII and Charles X reign. His reputation made him so famous, that frontiers opened for him  with the major sovereign families of Europe, pushing themselves to get a portrait painted by the Gérard.

Gerard_-_Napoléon_II_Roi_de_Rome       François Gérard [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

With the perfect mix of elegance and psychological depth, his early works introduced the Gérard to a clientele who were always looking  for recognition. Starting 1800, Napoleon’s commissions gave him an official position: Baron.

gérard-hortensetfils-font2 copie   Hortense de Beauharnais and her son, the Crown Prince of Holland, 
            Gérard, 1807. Photo: © Château de Versailles.

Since 1795, and until he died, he produced images of his contemporaries, and achieved a grade of success that only a few other artists of his time were able to gain.

Reuniting more than 70 works from private and public collections in France and from several European museums, this retrospective finally pays homage to the master who was known to his contemporaries as “the painter of kings and the king of painters.”

Dates and times:
Every Sun, Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat
From: Saturday 29 March To: Monday 30 June 2014

Event Location:
Musée national du château de Fontainebleau ,
Château de Fontainebleau
77 Fontainebleau, 77300
Metro: Pigalle

For a  visit to Fontainebleau and Barbizon for 4 1/2 hours, Including hotel/apartment pickup and return inside Paris, go here.


Opera Garnier is a must while in Paris?

YES IT IS! Being one of the most magnificent buildings in Paris, also full of history, beauty, ballet dancers, opera singers and unique masterpieces Le Palais Garnier is one piece of history in the middle of Paris.

800px-Opera2I, Tetraktys [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Known as one of the most characteristics buildings of the 9th district (9th arrondissement) of Paris, it was Napoleon III who actually ordered its construction to the architect, Charles Garnier, who designed it under the Neo-baroque style.

Inaugurated in 1875, the name remained National Music Academy – Opera Theater until 1978, when it was renamed as “National Opera Theater of Paris”. In 1989 the Opera Company moved to the recently build Bastille Theater and its old placing got the name of Garnier Palace (Palais Garnier), where the National Music Academy remains.
Even they moved from this building, Palais Garnier is still known as Opera de Paris. It is a MUST for the music lovers around the world.

Le_grand_foyer-2By Photograph: Eric Pouhier, Modifier: Rainer Zenz, Niabot (last mod.) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Curious facts, the Palace and the subterranean caves were the places where part of the novel from Gaston Leroux, “The Phantom of the Opera” took place at, also leading to a musical and several movies.

The Rio de Janeiro National Theater was inspired by the lines and forms from Opera Garnier.

The “Phantom Theater”, at the Hotel The Venetian in Las Vegas was build in the likeness of the Opera Garnier.

Maria Antonieta” from Sofia Coppola uses the principal access and majestic stairs en the scene from the masks. Curious part is, Opera Garnier still didn’t exist at Queen’s Maria Antonieta era, and it was only finished at 1875.

The 2nd Theater of Victory of Valparaiso, Chile, was build in 1886, inspired by Opera Garnier, being a smaller version of it. Shamefully, it was destroyed by an earthquake on August 16th, 1906.

800px-Academie_Nationale_de_Musique_(8735055339) By Juanedc from Zaragoza, España (Academie Nationale de Musique Uploaded by juanedc) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Now, if you would like the “ultimate ride” at the Opera  Garnier, but you still can’t travel to Paris, this is your best chance on have a trip inside it, were YOU will be the tour guide!

Click on the picture below:

© 2014 Google
@ Opera Garnier

. You can reach the Palais Garnier’s bookshop/gift shop from Rue Halévy or the theatre’s public areas every day from 10 am to 6.30 pm and until the end of performances on days when they take place. Information: 01 53 43 03 97
. The online shop:


Enjoy a meal by the starred chef Christophe Aribert in a décor designed by architect Odile Decq at the Palais Garnier’s Opéra Restaurant. Open every day from 7am to midnight.

Reservations: 01 42 68 86 80 or

I hope you will have the chance on visiting this iconic and incredible building while in Paris, of course, if you need any help for transport and activities during your trip don’t  hesitate to look around at our site HERE.