Charles Matton crafted a miniature version of his favorite hangout.
Café de Flore’s long and storied history as a gathering place for writers, painters, intellectuals, and movie producers makes it a treasured spot for Parisians and tourists alike. In 1939, Jean-Paul Sartre had this to say about it:
“We settled into (Café de Flore) completely : from 9am to noon, we worked there, then we went to eat, at 2 o’clock we returned and we engaged with those we met until 8 pm. After dinner, we held meetings there. That may seem bizarre to you, but we felt at home in Café de Flore.”
On my first trip to Café de Flore, I found myself sipping an over-priced though delicious hot chocolate, crammed between an American family on vacation and two French men in suits whispering furiously about Israeli politics.
I tuned out their conversation and soaked in the café’s Art Deco style, which hasn’t changed since World War II. Then, feeling nice and warm from my chocolat chaud, I climbed the staircase to the second floor in search of the real reason I was there: a miniature replica of the café made by Charles Matton.
Created in 1/7 scale, the miniature scene mirrors the café’s Art Deco design, down to details in the lights and flooring. Matton adorned the walls with tiny black and white photos of famous individuals that frequented the establishment.
Charles Matton was an artist, painter, sculptor, writer, photographer, and movie director who passed away in 2008. In 2006, he created this miniature replica, noting that “with all certainty, the Café de Flore is part of my life, it is a piece of me.” He explained:
“What gives Flore its charm is the certitude that, no matter what time, we’ll see faces there, known or unknown, that feel like neighbors, with a concern for elegance, humor, and most of all, tolerance.”
He titled the piece “Petit Matin du Flore”, or “the early morning of Flore.”
The tiny screen in the back plays a repeating video of cars driving by on what looks to be a wet, cold morning.
Charles Matton made an entire series of miniatures, many of which were reconstructions of real places. Here are more examples of his work:
You can check out his website for more beautiful miniature artwork, and don’t forget to stop by Café de Flore next time you’re in Paris.
Via Messy Nessy Chic