Michèle Mercier: French Italian Screen Goddess Known As Angélique.

Michèle Mercier
Michèle Mercier (born New Year’s Day 1939) is a French actress perhaps best known for playing the lead role of Angélique in the mid1960s film series of the same name based on the 1956 sensational novel Angélique, the Marquise of the Angels by husband and wife writing team of Anne and Serge Golon.  Their mid-17th century character was based on a real life Suzanne du Plessis-Bellière who was one of France’s most famous women from the time of Louis XIV, the Sun King. The historical Suzanne first appeared in a French novel in the mid-nineteenth century, one by Alexandre Dumas, père, called Le Vicomte de Bragelonne, ou Dix ans plus tard. Similar to these 5 films inspired by the Golons’ novel of (by 1961) six books — Angélique, the Marquise of the Angels which is the first book published in 1957 (the novel expanded to 13 books after the 1964 film’s release) — Dumas’s novel, the third of his d’Artagnan trilogy, was also serialized in popular media from 1847 to 1850.

But this post is not simply about Michèle Mercier as Angélique, but a modern French Italian beauty who entered the pantheon of screen goddesses out of that legendary five-film role that stretched from 1964 to 1968. Michèle MercierMichèle Mercier

Michèle Mercier1
Michèle Mercier

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Michèle Mercier

For the part of Angélique, many other beautiful and more famous actresses were approached before Michèle Mercier who was little known in the French cinema at the time. Seasoned French film producer Francis Cosne (1916-1984) wanted sex symbol Brigitte Bardot to play the part, but she rejected the offer. Young Catherine Deneuve was considered perhaps too naive for the lusty role. American Jane Fonda spoke French but could any American really play well this quintessentially French role? Italian beauty Virna Lisi was too busy doing Hollywood films. Not being already famous eliminated statuesque Danish actress Annette Stroyberg from the running until ultimately Michèle Mercier was decided upon after almost losing the part to French actress Marina Vlady who at the last minute didn’t sign the contract.

Angélique
Michèle Mercier as Angélique

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Michèle Mercier

Michèle Mercier

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Michèle Mercier

When the opportunity of Angélique presented itself to Michèle Mercier, she was a relative newcomer to the French cinema – but this was not the case for her either in French theatre arts or Italian films where before 1964 she had acted in over 20 of them. With a father who was French and mother who was Italian,  Michèle Mercier from her early teens growing up in Nice, France, was determined to be a professional ballet dancer. In 1957, at 17 years old, she moved to Paris which was a decision that changed her life. By 1960, when she was just 20 years old, she was acting in French New Wave film director François Truffaut’s second film, Shoot The Piano Player. 

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Michèle Mercier3

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Michèle Mercier

Michèle Mercier2

After Angélique, the Marquise of the Angels was released — an unlikely heroine’s role where Angélique’s singular flaming red-haired beauty is acknowledged throughout — the role became a blessing and a curse for the budding actress Michèle Mercier. It catapulted her to instant stardom so that her fame rivaled sex symbol Brigitte Bardot in celebrity and popularity, but the role in 5 popular films typecast her and effectively ended her film career almost as soon as it started. Following the first Angélique film in 1964 Michèle Mercier starred in four sequels that includes Merveilleuse Angélique in 1965, Angélique et le Roy in 1966, Indomptable Angélique in 1967 and Angélique et le Sultan in 1968. All these films in the series were directed by French film director Bernard Borderie (1924-1978) and starred Michèle Mercier which bestowed upon the stories a consistent filmic world but also encased the beautiful star in a popular role that was virtually impossible to escape from.

Following the fifth and final film of the Angélique series in 1968 the French Italian beauty went on to make six more films before her career ended in 1972. Although Michèle Mercier had always appeared in a variety of film genres – the actress played dozens of other women besides Angélique – it was for this 17th century fictional character in five memorable films in 1960’s France that has affixed her into the pantheon of screen goddesses for which she receives enduring adoration today.

©John P. Walsh. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, which includes but is not limited to facsimile transmission, photocopying, recording, rekeying, or using any information storage or retrieval system.

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EXPO Chicago 2017, September 13-17. Sixth Annual International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art. (34 photos).

Expo Chicago/2017 is the 6th annual exhibition of international contemporary and modern art held in Chicago at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. It took place September 13-17, 2017. Expo Chicago/2017 presented 135 galleries representing 25 countries and 58 cities from around the world.

This post’s 34 photographs are of that event.

Expo Chicago 2017
Expo Chicago 2017.

Brian Calvin, Momentary Monument, 2017
Brian Calvin, Momentary Monument, 2017, acrylic on canvas, Anton Kern Gallery, New York. Expo Chicago 2017.

Expo Chicago 2017Admissions, Expo Chicago 2017.

Expo Chicago 2017
Information desk, Expo Chicago 2017.

Lara Schnitger, Suffragette City, 2015-2017.Lara Schnitger, Suffragette City, 2015-2017, Cotton, and linen, quilted and bleached, Anton Kern Gallery, New York. Expo Chicago 2017.

The War We Won, Roger Brown, 1991
The War We Won, Roger Brown, oil on canvas, 80 x 120 in., Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago. Expo Chicago 2017.

Doug Argue, Dream Song 12, 2017
Doug Argue, Dream Song 12, 2017, oil on paper, 40,x,60 in., Marc Straus, New York. Expo Chicago 2017.

CarrerasMugica Contemporary Art Gallery, Bilbao
CarrerasMugica Contemporary Art Gallery, Bilbao. Expo Chicago 2017.

Galerie Gmurzynska, Zurich, SwitzerlandGalerie Gmurzynska, Zurich, Switzerland, with booth design by Antonio Manfreda. Expo Chicago 2017.

Matthew Monahan, Hurricane Nickel, 2016 and Aquarius Gemini, 2016.
Matthew Monahan, Hurricane Nickel, 2016, and Aquarius Gemini, 2016, Anton Kern Gallery, New York. Expo Chicago 2017.

Anton Kern Gallery, New YorkAnton Kern Gallery, New York. Expo Chicago 2017.

Rita McBride, Halicarnassus and Pantheon 2.
Rita McBride, Halicarnassus, 2010, bronze and grey limestone, and Pantheon 2, bronze and markina marble, CarrerasMugica Contemporary Art Gallery, Bibao. Expo Chicago 2017.

Wardell Milan
Wardell Milan, The New Sun Will Warm our Proud and Naked Bodies, 2016, charcoal, oil, oil pastel, pastel, gesso, acrylic, color pencil, cut paper on paper, David Nolan Gallery, New York. Expo Chicago 2017.

Meleko Mokgosi
Meleko Mokgosi, Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles. Expo Chicago 2017.

John SealJohn A. Seal, König Galerie, Berlin. Expo Chicago 2017.

Alan Stone Projects, New YorkAlfred Leslie, Oval Collage, 1959, Diana Moore, White Head, 1988  and Willem de Kooning, 1965, charcoal on paper, Alan Stone Projects, New York. Expo Chicago 2017.

Expo Chicago 2017Thinks I, To Myself. Expo Chicago 2017.

Expo Chicago 2017.
Expo Chicago 2017.

Expo Chicago 2017
Expo Chicago 2017.

Rhona Hoffman Gallery Expo Chicago 2017Jackie Saccoccio, Portrait (Bomba), 2017, and Faheem Majeed, Hopscotch I,  2011, and Pause, 2010, Rhona Hoffman Gallery Chicago. Expo Chicago 2017.

Expo Chicago 2017
Expo Chicago 2017.

Garth Greenan Gallery New York
Garth Greenan Gallery, New York. Expo Chicago 2017.

Iva Gueorguieva, Listen, 2017
Iva Gueorguieva, Listen, 2017, acrylic oil collage on canvas, Miles McEnery Gallery, New York. Expo Chicago 2017.

Hayal Pozanti
Hayal Pozanti, 70 (million m.p.h that the earth orbit around the sun), 2017, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 132 in., Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, California. Expo Chicago 2017.

Lavar Munroe, Instinctual, 2017
Lavar Munroe, Instinctual, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 42 in., Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco. Expo Chicago 2017.

Expo Chicago 2017
Expo Chicago 2017.

Peres Projects Berlin
Peres Projects Berlin. Expo Chicago 2017.

Ransome Stanley, Untitled, 2017
Ransome Stanley, Untitled, 2017, oil on canvas, 59 x 78 in., Gallery MOMO, South Africa. Expo Chicago 2017.

Expo Chicago 2017
Booth 839, Expo Chicago 2017.

Caroline WalkerCaroline Walker, Grimm Gallery Amsterdam New York. Expo Chicago 2017.

Expo Chicago 2017
Expo Chicago 2017.

Nicolas Africano
Nicolas Africano, Untitled, 2017, cast glass, Weinstein Gallery Minneapolis. Expo Chicago 2017.

Paul Kasmin Gallery New YorkPaul Kasmin Gallery New York. Expo Chicago 2017.

Miro 1925Artist’s Signature (Miró). Expo Chicago 2017.

©John P. Walsh. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, which includes but is not limited to facsimile transmission, photocopying, recording, rekeying, or using any information storage or retrieval system.

Braddock Road: Twelve Springs Camp, Pennsylvania.

National PikeThe Braddock Road, south-central Pennsylvania, March 20, 2010.

The Braddock Road was a military road built in 1755 in what was then British America and is now the United States. It was the first improved road to cross the barrier of the ridge lines of the Appalachians. It was constructed by about 2,500 troops of the Virginia militia and British regulars commanded by General Edward Braddock (1695-1755), part of the expedition to conquer the Ohio Country from the French at the beginning of the French and Indian War (1756-63). George Washington, who was aide-de-camp to Braddock, had pioneered this route a year earlier when he traveled into the Ohio Country and met Native American leader, Tanacharison (1700-1754).  The expedition gave Washington his first field military experience as well as other American military officers whose numbers profited from this military outing later during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783).

Braddock’s men had to cut a road wide enough to accommodate the wagons and draft animals that accompanied them, as well as the siege artillery that they brought along to use against the new Fort Duquesne established by the French in 1754 at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers.  Progress was painstakingly slow until Braddock split the force into a lead column of about 1,500 men and the rest as a support column to drag artillery and supplies. The flying column made rapid progress, and with each day, the distance between it and the support column increased. This marker is on the (later) National Pike (Route 40) between Elk Park and Farmington, Pennsylvania.

Henry Moore, Large Interior Form, 1982. Art Institute of Chicago.

ART OUT OF DOORS. Photographs ©John P. Walsh.

Henry Moore, Large Interior Form, 1982. North Stanley McCormick Memorial Court, Art Institute of Chicago.
Henry Moore, Large Interior Form, 1982. North Stanley McCormick Memorial Court, Art Institute of Chicago. November 5, 2017.

Large Interior Form (1982) by Henry Moore (British, 1898-1986).

“Henry Moore’s towering 16-foot sculpture Large Interior Form is among his more mature works, made when the artist was concerned with the construction of three-dimensional space, internal forms within solid volumes, and placing his work in a natural setting. Early in his career, Moore worked primarily in stone but shifted to modeling and bronze casting once these formal concerns took hold. Large Interior Form plays with mass and void, gravity and growth…and juxtaposes its natural-looking shape with its man-formed substance.” (see http://www.artic.edu/north-stanley-mccormick-memorial-court – retrieved July 9, 2018).