After mingling with Monet, head to the Bulgari exhibit around the block on the grander side of the Grand Palais: the entrance facing the Place de la Concorde.
The architectural space is evening more breathtaking than the exhibit to come. Built in 1900 for the Paris Exposition, the wrought-iron and glass ceiling is a masterpiece of the industrial revolution. Covering an area larger than two football fields, this is a contemporary cathedral to art and industry.
The exhibition is the largest retrospective of Bulgari jewelry the world has ever seen. “La Dolce Vita,” “81/2” and familiar themes accompany the collections and costumes of Elizabeth Taylor, Gina Lollobrigida, Ingrid Bergman, and Isabella Rossellini. The exhibition is a history of cinematic style. The only question with jewels this large: wardrobe or props department?
In 1857, Sotiris Boulgaris was born in Paramythia, Greece. In 1881, he moved to Rome, Italianized his name to Sotirio Bulgari, and three years later opened his first jewelry boutique on via Sistina.
Richard Burton said he introduced Elizabeth Taylor to beer, and she introduced him to Bulgari. Andy Warhol said the Bulgari store was “the most important contemporary art museum.”