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  • Lisa

Mme de Pompadour, the French President, & me

Improbable Walks, Season 4, Episode 8: In this episode, we visit the French President's palace, the Élysée (that first photo is me, in the President's very elegant office.) Below, the palace in the 1700s, and some of the personalities who have lived in the house: Mme de Pompadour (born in 1721, died 1764); Caroline Bonaparte (1782 - 1839); and her husband Murat (clearly, she fell in love with the much older officer because he had great hair). Plus a few different shots from the walk through the palace & gardens, including the delirious swoopy 1972 salon, designed by Pierre Paulin. (More about this iconic French designer of the Swinging Sixties here.) Notice the President's office has a very work-friendly but elegant modernist desk, and comfortable couches looking out over the gardens (probably used for napping between stressful political meetings... Madame de Pompadour would approve.) Finally, a Jean Béraud painting showing people strolling on weirdly-glass-like mud, between the brand new Grand & Petit Palais, c 1900, which is just around the corner from the Élysée.


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