Not only the Metropolitan Museum is showing two big exhibitions related to France, "the Americans in Paris" and "Cezanne to Picasso:Ambroise Vollard, the patron of the Avant-garde", that I highly recommand, but its store itself is a treasure box for books related to French culture or French artists.
If you are looking for last minute gifts for francophiles friends, go to www.metmuseum.org
1. One Hundred and One Beautiful Small towns in France, by Simonetta Greggio
From Avignon to Vezelay, 101 distinctive and historic small French towns dominated by castles, fortresses, and half-timbered inns, withseascapes and culinary specialties...
2.Van Gogh's Table at the Auberge Ravoux, by Alexandra Leaf and Fred Leeman
Recipes from the artists's last home and paintings of Cafe Libre. This cookbook/art book evokes life in the artists' cafe and offers traditional recipes ranging from hearty, peasant fare to regional produce-centered dishes to the Cuisine Bourgeoise served at the home of Van Gogh's friend Dr Gachet
3. Exhibition catalogue "Cezanne to Picasso'
Devoted to Ambroise Vollard, Parisian art dealer who played an important role in transforming the late-19th century art world. Vollard promoted Cezanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Deags, Matisse and Picasso in major exhibitions in Paris
4. Exhibition Catalogue "Americans in Paris"
American artists moved to Paris from 1860s to 1900 for training and inspiration, and to absorb the developments of Impressionism.
5. The Art and Spirit of Paris, by Venceslas Kruta
The entire history of the arts in Paris -painting, sculpture, architecture, design, photography, fashion, theatre, opera - from Renaissance to to the Modernist movement.
6. Strapless: John Singer Sargent and the fall of Madame X, by Deborah Davis
John Singer Sargent's Madame X is one of the world's best-known portraits. "Madame X" was actually a twenty-three-year-old New Orleans Creole, Virginie Gautreau, who moved to Paris and quickly became the "it girl" of her day. All the leading artists wanted to paint her, but it was Sargent, a relative nobody, who won the commission.
Unveiled at the 1884 Paris Salon, Gautreau's portrait did generate the attention she craved-but it led to infamy rather than stardom. Sargent had painted one strap of Gautreau's dress dangling from her shoulder, suggesting, to outraged Parisian viewers, either the prelude or the aftermath of sex. Her reputation irreparably damaged, Gautreau retired from public life, destroying all the mirrors in her home so she would never have to look at herself again.
Order the book on www.amazon.com