“LOVE LESSONS” FROM MONTECARLO TO LONDON
A word from the editor. Dear followers, on December 26th 2017 a mean hacker attack invalidated the entire Montecarlotimes.com. Today we are happy to re-publish some of the most liked posts. Yours truly, Ilio Masprone – Knight of the Principality of Monaco for cultural merits, with the Team.
by Arianna Caracciolo LONDON. For the first time of its history the Monegasque Cultural Association AIDA has been in London on the occasion of the exhibition “Love Lessons” “Leçons d’Amour”. The Fine Art Photographer Calypso de Sigaldi revisited the state of mind of the French Writers & Philosophers of the XVIII° Century. AIDA, founded in the summer of 2015 by the musician Mykhail Kulyniak and Calypso Sigaldi is already a “must” among VIPs and celebrities who visit the Principality. AIDA aims to explore all facets of art, both classic and contemporary, and intends to build cultural projects in the Principality of Monaco, to be exported internationally. The obvious demonstration of the effectiveness of this policy has materialized through the creation of coherent cultural programs, interspersed with private and strongly elitist events. After the launch in 2015, there were events such as “La Mode 1948- 2002 vue par René Grualt”, “Le centième anniversaire de Yehudi Menuhin” and “Les Hirondelles d’Hiver”; in 2016, the year dedicated to the “Belle Époque” AIDA organized the first “Bal de la baronesse Béatrice” and ” La Belle Époque des Courtisans “. In 2017, the Orient was the main theme with “The Orientalism and the influence japonaise dans tous les arts”, “Passion Exotique” and “Fantasmes d’Orient à travers leurs célèbres défenseurs.” Also the theme of the second ” Bal de la baronesse Béatrice” was on the Orient and Japan. The last event of the year 2017 has taken place Tuesday, December 19th between 5 pm and 10 pm for a cocktail dinner at 38 Park Street Business Offices, in the cultural and central district of London Mayfair.
The exhibition revisited the imaginary and literary thinking of eighteenth-century French period, commonly known as “The Age of Enlightenment”. An essential page of Francophone culture, the aesthetics of its architecture, its furniture, its painting, as well as its philosophical thought, remain closely linked to what is perceived as the “French touch”. Through a skilful mixture of photos and quotes from philosophers and eighteenth-century libertine writers, AIDA has chosen to revisit that “classic” moment through a series of cultural events that will be distributed throughout the year. This exhibition marks also the launch of the Cultural Season 2018 of the Association AIDA that has chosen to revisit, during the course of several events which will spread throughout 2018, the spirit of the “Fêtes Galantes” of the 18th century.
These open-air receptions, highly prized by the French High Aristocracy between 1715 and 1770, were the occasion to practice a new state of mind advocating the freedom of the body and the mind, and letting the spontaneous instincts of the human condition express themselves in a bucolic environment. Gardens, groves, fields, river beds were as many playgrounds for seduction to happen between hide-and-seek games and blind man’s bluff. Friday 6th of July 2018, the association’s flagship event “The Baroness Beatrice Ball”will be hosted in the sumptuous setting of Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. The Ball wish to taste the spirit of those “Fêtes Galantes” through a costumed ball. Numerous artistic performances will highligt the freshness and the happiness of an era when the seduction wants to be playful and easy.
About Calypso de Sigaldi, this photographer of art, with a background in fashion photography has always defended the values of the romantic aesthetic in her artistic expression. She wished to revisit this libertinist 18th century to find again the spice of suggestion, by an exercise of style where one speaks of the act of loving, without ever revealing any of this nudity so common these days. By adapting her photographic style to the imagery of the painters of the “Fêtes Galantes” (Watteau, Boucher, Lancret, Fragonard, etc.), the photographer wished to rediscover this style often un- fairly assimilated to insipid prettiness. The theme of seduction is recurrent in the work of the artist. She expresses her vision of a woman who leads her life choices by herself; a naughty, mutinous and playful woman, while remaining romantic, tender and decent. On eleven frames, the exhibition travels through the 18th century to find the source of libertinism, with Ninon de Lenclos, whose salon was frequented by the Duke of Orleans, the future Regent of the early reign of Louis XV of France and most influential thinkers of this time of innovation. Beaumarchais, Voltaire, Diderot, Jean-Jacques Rousseau or libertine authors such as Casanova, Abbé Prévost or Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, author of the “Liaisons dangereuses”, the exhibition revisits all the literary currents of the Enlightenment, around the art of seduction and that of loving, without forgetting Marivaux’s exquisite marivaudage or the beginnings of the fantastic literature by Jacques Cazotte. Here we embrace a state of mind which will install for a long time the codes of what has ever since been called “the French seduction”. It is surprising to see a certain form of moralism among those who were believed to be the most misguided. There is a notable and unexpected absence: … The Marquis de Sade, which, far from being recognized by the thinkers of his time, was perceived as the deranged son of the very appreciated Comte de Sade, a friend of Voltaire. By accompanying her photographic message with quotations of thinkers with ideas clearly defined as free, Calypso de Sigaldi wishes to recall that the libertinist current itself was framed by moral boundaries in which the game of seduction goes first through the intellectualization of feelings and respectful complicity. The quote “” L’amour n’est que le roman du coeur, c’est le plaisir qui en est l’histoire … “( “Love is no more than the story of one’s heart; pleasure is the reality.”) belongs to the French writer Pierre-Augustin Caron Beaumarchais (1732-1799), author of the theatrical comedy “Le mariage de Figaro”. As soon as it was published in 1778, the work caused quite a stir, as the idea that a mere servant could plot against his master and achieve his goals successfully was new, and, for nobility, dangerous. From that moment on, the royal censorship committee prohibited the performance of the show and Beaumarchais was jailed because it was considered subversive for the political regime of the monarchy, but almost immediately was released. Two years after its publication, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart succeeded in convincing the Austrian emperor Joseph II to use the piece as a libretto to compose one of his most famous operas, The Marriage of Figaro.
Concerning the citation of the Venetian Casanova (1725-1798): “Une fille qui, par le peu qu’elle laisse voir à un homme, le fait devenir curieux de voir le reste, a déjà fait trois quarts du chemin qu’il he faut faire pour le rendre amoureux … “- (A girl revealing something of her body to a man turns him in an eager love servant…), is taken from his famous memoirs. The adventurer was abbot, military, historian, antiquarian, literary, poet, violinist, chemist, magician, spy and even industrialist. In spite of his cynicism and his too often crudity of language while he tells his follies, his superficial love, his unhealthy adventures, the Memories of Casanova are considered as the true encyclopedia of the eighteenth century.
The quote by Voltaire (1694-1778) reported by Calypso “La beauté plaît aux yeux, la douceur charme l’âme …” (‘Outer beauty pleases the eye. Inner beauty captivates the Heart.’) is magnificent. What to say more about Voltaire, besides being one of the greatest French writers, playwright, satirical polemicist, philosopher, historian, moralist and poet … Voltaire’s life and work also reveal his thoughts towards the women. Actually he has had an interesting and cultured woman like Emilie du Chatelet beside him, to whom he owes his happiest years.
The last quote, “L’amour est violent; the east injuste, the east cruel, the east capable of tous les exces, and the s’y livre sans remords. (Love is violent, unjust, cruel, capable of all Excesses, and gives into them without Remorse.)belongs to the work of Abbé Prevost (1697-1763), writer, historian, journalist, translator and man of the French church. A lucid moralist with no indulgence, Prevost is also the author of the famous novel “History of the Knight Des Grieux and of Manon Lescaut” more commonly known as Manon Lescaut. Moving from one day to another from wealth to misery, from salons to jail, from Paris to deportation, from exile to death, Des Grieux and Manon have but one excuse: love. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHbl2JL6MsQ