Paris In Focus

A Visionary Photographer Trains His Lens On The City Of Light

Jean-François Rauzier

Hyper-Photographer, World Traveler

Paris-based digital photographer Jean-François Rauzier is a creator of invisible architectures—digital photomontages of some of the world's most recognizable cityscapes rendered into surrealist topographies set somewhere between fantasy and reality.

He is the inventor of "hyper-photo," a kind of trompe l'oeil photographic technique that creates a single monumental image out of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of individual digital photographs.

A portrait of Jean-François Rauzier by ©Marc Rosaz. Represented by Waterhouse & Dodd, www.waterhousedodd.com/rauzier

Local Recommendations

Explore Paris With Jean-François Rauzier

While the final version of Balade de Paris remains a work in progress, our photographer continues to explore Paris with new eyes. From the city's loveliest parks, to noteworthy sites from the Impressionist movement, and inspiring feats of architecture, we join Jean-François Rauzier as he explores a familiar city from a decidedly unique vantage point.

Read on for his favorite Parisian sights, both on and off camera.

Sources of Inspiration

Sometimes You Just Need To Look Up

Architecture is one of Rauzier's greatest influences, which is particularly evident in his series, Ideal Libraries. To experience the grandeur of one of his muses first hand, stop by the Palais du Luxembourg (19 rue de Vaugirard, 6th arr.), which serves as the seat of the French Senate.

Once inside the elaborate Italianate edifice, commissioned in the early 17th century by Queen Marie de Medici, make your way into the library and look up. In the cupola towering above the stacks of 370,000 rare tomes and precious manuscripts by the likes of Voltaire and Victor Hugo, there is a magnificent fresco by the great French Romantic painter, Eugène Delacroix. Painted between 1840 and 1846, the fresco depicts Limbo as described in Canto IV of Dante's Inferno.

In The Footsteps Of The Impressionists

An Afternoon At Île De La Jatte

Imagine standing in the exact spot where unknown painters of the 19th century stood sketching out canvases that would later become icons of a groundbreaking new artistic movement. Île de la Jatte in Neuilly-sur-Seine is an island in the River Seine that became a fashionable 19th century retreat for pleasure-seeking Parisians, as well as artists like Claude Monet and Georges Seurat, whose A Sunday on La Grande Jatte—1884 brought the isle, and the artist himself, to world renown. Rauzier encourages a stroll in the artist’s footsteps along Le Parcours des Impressionnistes (Île de la Jatte, Neuilly-sur-Seine), a leisurely four kilometer walk that retraces the footsteps of artists like Seurat, Monet, Van Gogh, and Sisley and features reproductions of the works they created on display in places they were first conceived.

Park Life

Explore The City's Enchanting Pleasure Gardens

Parisian life unfolds in the city's thoughtfully planned parks and green spaces. If you're in search of respite from the hustle and bustle of city life, make your way up to Parc des Buttes Chaumont (1 rue Botzaris, 19th arr.), a hidden gem nestled at the top of a steep hill on the site of a former gypsum quarry. It is one of the city's largest green spaces, and a favorite among in-the-know locals and visitors thanks to its sweeping views of Paris.

For something a bit closer to the action in town, plant yourself at the Parc de Bagatelle botanic gardens (Route de Sèvres à Neuilly, 16th arr.), situated in the northwest corner of the Bois de Boulogne. Spend the afternoon enjoying the park's lush gardens and trees, fragrant rose bushes—there are more than 10,000 of them—roving wild peacocks, and Nymph Pond covered in water lilies that recall some of Monet's most memorable canvases.

Historic Plates

Visit The Gathering Place Of Emperors, Writers, And Philosophers

You needn't shell out hundreds of euros for pricey Michelin-starred dinners to immerse yourself in French culinary culture. Enter Le Procope (13 rue de l'Ancienne Comédie, 6th arr.), an historic French dining room operated on and off since 1686. Over the years, the restaurant has served masters of French literature, philosophy, and politics such as Jean de La Fontaine, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Victor Hugo, and legend has it that while serving as a junior officer, Napoleon Bonaparte could not settle his bar tab one night and left his bicorn hat with the proprietor as collateral.

And the food? Classic French cooking fit for a king: garlicky escargot, savory coq au vin, and towering seafood platters of Breton oysters, mussels, and langoustines.

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