New Book ‘Timeless Paris’ is a Stroll Through the City’s Storied Ateliers
It’s perfectly understandable that every first-time visitor to Paris makes a beeline for the iconic landmarks. But once one goes beyond the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, they begin to see the city’s true beauty – and, in that very French way, it’s all in the details. From fastidiously snipped topiaries to the way a jambon-beurre sandwich is wrapped and presented like a gift, there’s artistry in almost everything Parisians touch.
This rich heritage and legacy of craftsmanship is the subject of a new book, Timeless Paris (released October 5 via Flammarion), by artist and designer Marin Montagut. Inside, he takes readers on a journey through nineteen hidden ateliers and emporiums throughout the City of Light. Told through Montagut’s charming watercolor illustrations and breathtaking photography, it captures a kaleidoscopic world of rare and extraordinary objects found in Paris’ inimitable old-world emporiums.
The tome opens with a tour of the author’s eponymous boutique in the city’s 6th arrondissement. Charming and unpretentious, the shop is filled with delicate, hand-painted tableware, etched glassware, and playfully quirky artwork, which are themselves an ode to the legacy of artisanal expertise showcased throughout the book.
Along the way, Montagut introduces readers to the ateliers and workshops that he describes as the “soul” of Paris. Their history and time-honored traditions for handcrafting goods with the most minute attention to detail inspired each of his selections.
Step back in time at La Maison du Pastel, a boutique solely dedicated to crafting pastel crayons for the likes of Edgar Degas and other notable artists since 1720; vibrant, velvety pigments are hand-blended according to an ancient recipe with scrupulous attention to detail. All-natural curatives can be found at Herboristerie de la Place Clichy; established in 1880, this apothecary blends plant-based proprietary remedies for every ailment. Bouclerie Poursin, founded in 1830, has produced everything from saddle accessories for use by the French cavalry to leather goods for Chanel, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton. Other chapters are dedicated to shops that specialize in curating rare rocks and minerals, antique books, and, preserving the art and science of taxidermy.
Timeless Paris is a beautifully atmospheric stroll through France’s unsung aesthetic treasures. Montagut honors the artisans and their dedication to their trade, and succeeds in arousing the desire to visit each and every one of them. Considering we’ve been mostly cut off from travel to Europe these last nineteen months, it’s just the inspiration we need to return to the French capital much sooner than later.