Blue stairs...

When I was in the area, visiting the « Cité Fleurie », see preceding post, I actually wanted to visit another little artist’s haven. Again, I had to wait until a kind person let me in. This place, much smaller, is referred to as the “Cité Verte” and if it still exists some 120 years after its creation, surrounded by modern apartment buildings, it’s thanks to the same artist who saved the “Cité Fleurie”, his name was Henri Cadiou… and once again the intervention by a French President, this time Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, was needed.  

I had a special reason to visit the place. My friend Christina Björk wanted me to go there and check something. Christina is the author of a great number of mostly children’s books, including the bestseller “Linnea in Monet’s Garden”, translated into some 20 languages, filmed (see my post here and another one here)… and she is also a specialist on “Alice in Wonderland” and… on Tove Jansson, famous especially for the Moomins, with whom Christina had a first letter exchange when she was only 12 or 13 and on whom she later wrote a book.

Tove Jansson (1914-2001) spent about a year in Paris in 1938, when she was 24, to study art. She went to different art schools, but especially to this place, where she climbed the blue stairs to the studio of the Swiss painter Adrien Holy (1898-1978). She talked a lot about it in later published letters to parents and friends. The self-portrait by Tove in a blue hat, was painted in 1938.
Christina is going to talk about Tove and the year 1938 at the Paris Swedish Club in February, and she wanted me to help her with some illustrations…  


Lucy said...

Thank you


Anonymous said...

Buenos días Peter.

Hoy amanecí en mi modo Sudamericano...por lo tanto este comentario va en español:
Le deseo a la señora Christina toda clase de éxitos en su disertación. Tu aporte fotográfico, sin duda alguna, le ayudará aún más.
Poder fotografiar lugares tan hermosos como este debe ser un enorme placer para ti.

¡Mil gracias!
¡Ese gato/gata es una belleza!

Jeanie said...

I'm envious you know Christina Bjork. I love her Linnea books. They are enchanting.

And so too is that magnificent blue staircase. You always find the best things!

joanna said...

I love this post about both women, and the beautiful photo's ( Blue Stairs) Paris never ceases to amaze me with all it's beauty and rich culture, it is truly a mecca or haven for the gifted and talented.
It is wonderful that Christina Bjork gets to talk about one of the most unique and beloved children's authors of the 20th century, the creator of the Moomins, Tove Jansson
Christina Bjork "Linnea books and doll was something of a phenomenon back in the late 80's. I could not resist so I bought the lot, and the Linnea doll still stands proudly on my book shelf that houses the delightful charming, enchanted & whimsical book collection. Yes Lewis Carroll's books are there as well.
Pardon me for such a long comment, I could not resist. Thank you Peter,,,