Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bring back the Salon

I've been spending a lot of time with extended family these past few weeks and after one rather scintillating afternoon luncheon, I wondered why we ever gave up the concept of "The Salon".

Jean François de Troy (Paris 1679 - Rome 1752), Reading from Molière around 1728, Oil on canvas, 72.4 x 90.8 cm; Collection late Marchioness of Cholmondeley, Houghton
"A salon is a gathering of stimulating people of quality under the roof of an inspiring hostess or host, partly to amuse one another and partly to refine their taste and increase their knowledge through conversation and readings, often consciously following Horace's definition of the aims of poetry, "either to please or to educate" ("aut delectare aut prodesse est"). The salons, commonly associated with French literary and philosophical salons of the 17th century and 18th century, were carried on until quite recently in urban settings among like-minded people of a 'set': many 20th-century salons could be instanced."

I would love to have a Salon like this where you could languish in those wonderful chairs. The latest attempt at "Book Clubs" is just not the same.

3 comments:

  1. First things first. Those wonderful chairs are so needed; I cannot languish on anything less :-)

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  2. I agree...I am sure I ran a salon or two in a previous french life.

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  3. Such a civilized way to pass the time - not sure how I would look in satin breeches, may have to relax the dress code ever so slightly.

    David

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