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The stories of the great men of France fill the history books: Napoleon, Louis XIV, Manet and Delacroix. However there are many women that are due their own pages filled with the struggles, sacrifices and the beautiful art they created. With a new addition to the La Vie Creative podcast launched by Krystal Kenney, we hope to bring to light many of these wonderful women in history. After meeting at a party in May 2019 on the Ile Saint Louis over a few glasses of champagne, we had an instant click. Krystal and I decided to team up to bring history to you with a twist.
Every Monday, La Vie Creative – Paris History Avec A Hemingway focuses on the famous figures, artists and the women that left their mark on Paris. These aren’t the skimming versions of history; we get deep into the stories of Marie Antoinette, Rose Valland, Hadley Hemingway, not to mention the life of Coco Chanel that has been mostly kept hidden.
Our first episode was about Suzanne Valadon; she started her life as the model of some of the biggest artists of the 19th century and later became an artist herself. The muse of Renoir started out as a model to get the best on the job training one could have. Soaking in the techniques of Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec and Jean-Jacques Henner, she counted Degas as her personal mentor. Valadon would become an accomplished painter of her own and her son Maurice Utrillo– although having his own demons to fight– would paint fantastic views of his streets of Montmartre and Paris. A fascinating life hidden behind the male artists of the time deserves its own attention.
Marie Antoinette, one of the most famous women in French history, has been discussed at length in movies and books. Her life has fascinated people for over 200 years, with its many myths and legends. She never said “let them eat cake”, or brioche if we want to get the myth more factual, and she wasn’t the one that drove the state into debt. Marie Antoinette wasn’t perfect but she wasn’t the horrible figure they made her out to be. The scapegoat queen that came to court as a child and was never accepted would turn into a noble woman in those final years held in the Temple prison. In a multipart series we cover her life and end with the only surviving child to make it out of the prison and helped to build a monument to her parents.
The list is endless; there are many lovely ladies we can talk about and look forward to sharing some you may not even know. La Vie Creative podcast by Paris photographer Krystal Kenney was born during the pandemic to give a voice to the many creative people
that make up Paris. Every Wednesday a new episode features authors, singers and artists who share their inspiring secrets of how to find that spark. Hear about the living artists of Paris each Wednesday and the ladies left behind every Monday.
“Excellent! Honestly I love the podcast because it’s quality, not pompous, not stuffy but stuffed full of facts and totally relatable”. “So entertaining” and “It’s like sitting with two girlfriends chatting over wine”. Just some of our kind reviews from listeners. Grab
a glass of champagne and tune in every Monday as we focus on the women who created the Paris that we love. And if you have some women you want us to add to the list, let us know!
Lead photo credit : Valadon, Suzanne. Joy of Life (1911), Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo credits: Wikipedia, public domain
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