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No, I do not think I am a Francophile, Partie Trois

Continued from Partie Un and Partie Deux (Please note this isn't a "bragging session" of trinkets, but more about history, artists, and authors; and if you're a collector, some incentive and ideas to finding your own bits of France to enjoy in your home.

This topic has made me stop a few times and ponder just how much the French influence has on me, and now that I take inventory, perhaps more than I thought. My eye is fairly savvy when it comes to picking primitive Americana objects at a flea market, but other than a few family items from  Scotland, I haven't collected anything from other European countries like Italy or Germany.  Just objets de France. 

My mother had a great eye for vintage collectibles. She was an artist - a painter, and a clothes designer, and in her younger years sculpted images of the female form. One year for Christmas she gave me this alabaster statue of the Three Graces she discovered at a flea market. While the Three Graces was sculpted by Antonio Canova, an Italian artist, it was commissioned in 1812 by Josephine. Yes, Josephine Bonaparte, the Empress married Napolean. Now if that isn't French-inspired, I don't know what is.

There are a few tapestries on the walls that were woven in France (marked) that were bargains when I purchased them at separate times in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I don't think the shop owners knew that they had or perhaps didn't care, especially since the larger one was dingy and gray. I took it to the dry cleaners and the pastel colors became visible. The last two I had framed. 

Above the mantle is a large print purchased over 30 years ago. It's a very well-done print on canvas leaving an impression there are brush strokes. The "Amateur Gardner" was painted by French painter Louis Eugene Lambert (1825-1900) and is famous for his paintings and drawings of cats and dogs. He was nicknamed “Lambert of the Cats." 

Books! Books! Plenty of French-themed books. I especially loved the books by author, Peter Mayle: A Year in Provence, French Lessons, and A Good Year (which later became a movie). 
Hemingway's The Moveable Feast book was from my high school years, and speaking of Hemingway, in the stack is The Paris Wife, a historical fiction about Papa Hemingway's first wife (he was married four times). There's another historical fiction in the stack, Luncheon of the Boating Party about the Impressionist movement with Renoir and friends picnicking along the Seine. 
More books! In the stack is a biography about Mademoiselle CoCo Chanel. The Complete Claudine by the infamous French author ColetteDavid Lebovitz's The Sweet Life in Paris is a luxurious read about chocolate and pastries without calories. Another delicious read without the calories is the novel, Chocolat, by author Joanne Harris - a high school French teacher, whose family was from France. The book later became a movie.

And yes, every home should have books containing the great art in the Louvre and Musee d Orsay

And one more time, I do not think I am a Francophile.

Wine Recommendation: With the many books to read, I recommend relaxing and reading with a French rosé. It doesn't have to be expensive either. There are many fine French rosés for under $20. 


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