France Virtuelle

France Virtuelle: April 2022 Edition

Now that the podcast has launched (whew!), I can expand my focus back to the blog! 🙂 

For the April 2022 France Virtuelle, we have a mix of art, architecture, Notre Dame, and a short and sweet visit to Montmartre!

David on Display

We start a bit outside of Paris, with the new Met exhibit “Jacques Louis David: Radical Draftsman” in New York City.  Love David‘s works? Enjoy seeing how artists develop their skills and masterpieces? Check out this behind-the-scenes look at the new exhibit!

I never thought about how difficult it would be to navigate all of the twists and turns of revolution and empire as an artist!

If you are in the New York area, the exhibit runs through May 15. 

The Story Behind the Élysée Palace

I have been watching the French Presidential Election with interest and some alarm. When this popped up in my feed, it seemed the perfect way to acknowledge the potentially monumental 2022 election and not get lost in the mire of French politics. Well, at least modern French politics. 😉

The French Presidential home, the Palais de l’Élysée or the Élysée Palace (their version of the White House) is a beautiful 18th-century mansion off the Champs-Élysées.  The former home of Madame de Pompadour, Joachim Murat (Napoleon’s brother-in-law), and Napoleon himself, it is now the center of French presidential politics. 

Here we have the history of the palace and how you make a 300-year-old aristocratic mansion secure enough for the highest elected official in the land.  Caveat:  It’s a full TV show, so 53 minutes long! 

Can’t see the palace in person? They have a virtual tour (select English at the bottom) available on the website.

Have you ever visited the Élysée Palace when it is open to the public?  Share your story below!

Notre Dame: 3 Years Later

To keep going with this month’s focus on Notre Dame (see the first two podcasts for more!), I wanted to share FRANCE24‘s annual check-in with Our Lady:

The sheer size of the trees is incredible!  I like the idea of a “sawmill of giants.” 😄 Also, I was unaware of the salination factor of wet limestone.  We learn something new every day! 

Montmartre in Under Seven Minutes

Now for something a bit less educational!  Oliver Gee, aka The Earful Tower, and his family are exploring and rating an arrondissement per week on his podcast.  They are also sharing sweet little videos of their adventures on YouTube.  At the end of March, Montmartre was their destination de la semaine.  It’s bit rainy but is still a wonderful escape to Paris!

Do you have a favorite arrondissement?  What do you love about it?  Let us know in the comments!  My favorite seems to flip-flop depending on what I want from Paris:  the grand boulevards and comfort of the 7th, the fun but touristy 5th and 6th (bookshops galore!), the mix of history and hip in the Marais—it’s too hard to choose! 

What did you think of this month’s selections?  Did you find them intriguing or ennui-inducing?  Please let me know! 

Merci and à bientôt!


To support PGB with a donation, you can buy me a (virtual) coffee through this magic button:

You can also follow along on Instagram and YouTube.

Simply want more history? Check out all the blog posts or the podcasts. Even your curiosité helps!

Looking for a new book or gift for a Francophile Friend? Browse the Boutique!

For more support ideas, check out the Support Page!

Lastly, if you would like to learn more and stay up-to-date, please sign up for the newsletter!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *