Les Lalanne à Trianon Versailles
It feels like everyone is in Paris right now or just returned like my friend interior designer Andrew Brown. He and his partner Kip took a last minute trip to celebrate Andrew’s birthday. While they were in the City of Light, they took a day trip to Versailles where they quickly toured of the chateau so they could spent the rest of the day in the gardens with a luxurious lunch break at the new Le Grand Controle hotel to sustain them. The reason they spent most of their time in the jardins was to see the new exhibition Les Lalanne à Trianon which runs through 10 October 2021. Andrew was kind enough to share his photos with me for this post.
The Lalanne at Trianon is partnership with Jean-Gabriel Mitterrand of Galerie Mitterrand and Laurent Salomé Director of the National Museum of the Palace of Versailles and Trianon. With the patronage of Dior. The exhibition presents works by sculptors Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne along a visit route that leads from the gardens of the Petit Trianon to the Queen’s Hamlet. Andrew said that there wasn’t a map of the locations so it was like a chic treasure hunt to find the over 60 sculptures on display, many came from the Lalanne family or private collections.
According to Versailles, “The choice of location is ideal for showcasing the couple’s sculptures on nature seen through fauna and flora. It was here that Marie-Antoinette dreamed of building the hamlet, nestled in a corner of the English Gardens. She built a series of small thatched pavilions designed by the architect Richard Mique, perhaps inspired by the tales of Perrault or the fables of De La Fontaine during the reign of Louis XIV, or the Pre-Romantic walks of Jean-Jacques Rousseau in her own time.”
“For this exhibition we first had to visit the park, gardens, and pavilions many times,” said Mitterand. “We came to the conclusion that each sculpture had had its own place for as far back as three centuries ago!”
If you can’t make it to Versailles to see the exhibition, the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, has an exhibition Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne: Nature Transformed running until 31 October 2021. “The selection of work focuses on the ways both artists transformed nature through surreal combinations of flora and fauna, shifts of scale, and flights of fancy, creating hybrid objects that are at once sculptural and, often, functional. Combining technical expertise with wild inventiveness, the Lalannes created art that celebrates the world in which we live.”
Better start planning a pilgrimage to both this year.
All photos by Andrew Brown for Habitually Chic.