The construction of the Grand Palace, which dates from 1897, was decided on the day they voted to demolish his predecessor. The Grand Palace was part of an overall project that included the drilling of a broad avenue named Nicolas II to celebrate the Franco-Russian and bordered by two architectural buildings, culminating with the new bridge Alexander III, was extend the view of the Invalides to the Champs-Elysees.
The work, which had lasted three years and whose cost was $ 25 million gold francs, were completed in 1900. The Grand Palace opened its doors on opening day of the Expo, with two events still famous: the Centennial (living will confirm the success of the Impressionists) and the Decennial International Fine Arts.
After that and to be faithful to its vocation, the Grand Palace, as Moloch, swallowed whole. First, painting and sculpture that followed each year with the seasons, the show of French artists, temple of traditional painting quickly dubbed by the avant-garde "fireman style" and the Salon d ' Fall, head of the Young Painters (1905, the Fauves, 1906, Paul Gauguin, 1907, Cézanne). Finally, the Salon des Independants, the most revolutionary of all, where Cubism gave itself as triumphant leader a young unknown painter from Spain: Pablo Picasso.
The war would stop all these arts. Silence fell heavily on the bus became a military hospital and schedule multiple administrative services. But four years is a new world was born, eager for luxury, entertainment unpublished. Aspirations would be realized in an important event that unfolded its splendor in and around the behemoth stone and steel hub promoted a show like Paris had not seen for a quarter century: the International Exhibition Decorative Arts, which was to be born April 8, 1925.
Here was born the style "Art Deco" successor to Felix Faure - Henry II, the Carnot-Pompadour that everyone had seen enough, and to dethrone him, but only for a while, style noodle price to Guimard and is now so sought after. The tapestries Dufrene, the furniture of Sue and Marre, Ruhlmann, glassware of Lalique; lacquers of Dunan and Frantz Jourdain sets, Pierre Sardou of Foliot, in short everything that needed help to become, in the interwar period, the scenery of daily life, found himself met for six months under the canopy of the brand new Grand Palais.
And then there were the horses! Each year, in spring, the track sanded and restored to its original purpose, became the scene of an event which had in Parisian life: the horse show. At the sound of an orchestra suspended between heaven and earth, amazons red jacket and top hat, officers, flower of the stirrup and gentlemen-riders, featuring American, the Cadre Noir de Saumur , evolved, jumping fences, returning at a gallop, raising the applause that punctuated assistance each year in one word: "Beautiful!" All this ended with an apotheosis of gunners trained their tanks crossed the track in its entire length, removing a breakneck prolong artillery guns and 75, an exercise that raised the enthusiasm ... and clouds of dust.
The Grand Palais, for many Parisians, provincials, foreigners, was also there not long ago, the show where, at the onset of autumn during the first half of October, the Champs Elysees is covered with a crowd constantly renewed, where roads became impassable thickets and transformed into a giant garage. This was at the Geneva Motor Show, before 1914, that big De Dion Bouton, and Amedee Bollee, the Renault at high red-legged and flat nose had entered the world, ahead of the chandeliers great victor in this post-war: Citroen 5 CV Clover, in turn, should give way to newcomers. It was finally the Ideal Home Exhibition.
Now it's over, we will not see the crowd of onlookers jostling around the stands of the main hall. The auto show has migrated westward, leaving room for more peaceful demonstrations where the university, culture, art has the priority, as the Fair antiquarians, the book fair or that the Philately.
Find all the events of the Grand Palais on their website.