Thursday, April 8, 2010

#193 France...Thanks Eleonore!

The 0.55c stamp with tab was issued in 2008 celebrating French Federation of Philatelic Associations Congress showing Grand Palais of Paris.

The Grand Palais ("Big Palace") is a large glass exhibition hall that was built for the Paris Exhibition of 1900. It is located in the 8e arrondissement of Paris, France.

Built at the same time as the Petit Palais and the Pont Alexandre III, four architects were involved: the main facade was the work of Henri Deglane, the opposite side the work of Albert-Félix-Théophile Thomas, the interior and the other two ends given to Albert Louvet, with the entire job supervised by Charles Girault. (All four had been winners of the Prix de Rome for architecture.) The building facade is a prototypical example of Beaux-Arts architecture, and the main roof is an expanse of steel and glass.

All of the exterior of this massive palace combines an imposing Classical stone façade with a riot of Art Nouveau ironwork, and a number of allegorical statue groups including work by sculptors Paul Gasq and Alfred Boucher. Two monumental bronze quadrigas by Georges Récipon terminate each wing of the main facade.

The building was closed for 12 years for extensive restoration work after one of the glass ceiling panels fell in 1993. It reopened on Saturday 24 September 2005.

A little known fact is that the Grand Palais has a major police station in the basement which helps protect the exhibits on show. The building's west wing also contains a science museum, the Palais de la Découverte.

The couture fashion house Chanel annually hosts many of its fashion shows here, setting up elaborate and expensive surroundings for its models and hosts.

The right comic stamp is from 2007 Happy birthday issue showing Sylvain & Sylvette.

Sylvain et Sylvette is a french comics series created in 1941 by Maurice Cuvillier. The most popular and successful series relating the adventures of Sylvain and Sylvette were drawn by Jean-Louis Pesch and are currently published by Dargaud. This is the only series still unfinished and published.

Sylvain et Sylvette, are the main characters of the comics series. Orphans, they live alone and autonomously in a house that they call their "cottage", in the middle of the forest. They live with several animals referred in the series as their "friends" and have a very simple way of life, wearing clogs and eating with picking and fishing. Sometimes they pass to Laville (literally "Thetown" in french), a small village near their house, when they need a doctor or a veterinary for example. However, four starving animals, the "comperes", who live in a cavern not far from the cottage, seek to catch their animals or to steal their food. The atmosphere of the series is largely humoristic and the so-called villains' attempt to catch animals always fails. In some albums, Sylvain and Sylvette live more adventurous situations than the usual fight against the Comperes, particularly when Tartalo, a scientist, intervenes in the story.

Sylvain is a boy who is rather optimistic and resourceful to avoid the Comperes' traps and attacks and Sylvette is a courageous and pessimistic girl who takes care of cooking, washing and cleaning.

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