Jardin Turc

Jardin Turc

The "Jardin Turc" ("Turkish Garden") in the boulevard du Temple, Paris, was a celebrated café and music garden that was a popular rendezvous in the city's Marais district from the time of the First French Empire throughout the nineteenth century. From four in the afternoon until eleven at night, one might enjoy its exotic decor with kiosks of coloured glass, hanging lanterns and a Chinese bridge, [Marvin Carlson, "The Golden Age of the Boulevard" "The Drama Review: TDR" 18.1, Popular Entertainments (March 1974:25-33 ) p. 28.] expressing a recurrent whimsical fad of "turqueries", [The growing interest in things Turkish about 1840 is discussed in Ralph P. Locke, "Cutthroats and Casbah Dancers, Muezzins and Timeless Sands: Musical Images of the Middle East" "19th-Century Music" 22.1 (Summer 1998:20-53), especially p. 29f.] a sub-set of "chinoiserie". Octave Uzanne [Uzanne, "Les Modes de Paris 1797-1897" (1898) ( [http://www.paris-pittoresque.com/costumes/5-4.htm On-line text] )] recalled with only a trace of condescension its bourgeois clientele drawn from the world of business, its family groups and pomaded dandies promenading in its formal allées [The fastidious Alfred de Vigny took his Julia there in May 1838 as their romance blossomed. (Blanche A. Price, "Alfred de Vigny and Julia" "MLN" 77.5 (December 1962:449-462) p. 450).] and enjoying foaming beer in the "cabinets de verdure" that were surrounded by well-clipped greenery, which one might reserve for a private party. ["The old Jardin Turc is now a restaurant, kept by Bonvallet, and much frequented. To obtain a cabinet, it must be secured days beforehand." ("Sketches of life in Paris," from "The New Monthly Magazine", in "Littell's Living Age" Series iv 8 January-March 1868:. ] Street entertainers were another draw for the Parisian middle classes: "Vaudeville and harlequinades are offered all over the garden," a contemporary journalist remarked. [The "Tribune Volatile", quoted in Carlson 1974:28] "The refreshments are not particularly good, but the musicians and actors must be paid somehow." In 1835-38 Louis Antoine Jullien . [Louis-Antoine Jullien (1812-1860) was a very eccentric conductor and composer, popular in France, then in the U.K and in the USA. See the [http://louisjullien.site.voila.fr Louis Jullien site] (in French) introducing the 1st biography ever published on him] conducted the band assembled by Auguste Tolbecque at the "Jardin Turc" during his youth, performing the quadrilles, of eight figures danced by four couples, that were the means by which most Parisians heard the tunes of the latest operas in the 1830s and 40s in simplified versions; [Maribeth Clark, "The Quadrille as Embodied Musical Experience in 19th-Century Paris" "The Journal of Musicology" 19.3 (Summer 2002:503-5260.] his quadrille based on "Les Huguenots" was perennially popular. [J. G. Prod'homme; Theodore Baker, "Wagner, Berlioz and Monsieur Scribe: Two Collaborations That Miscarried" "The Musical Quarterly" 12.3 (July 1926:359-375) p. 369.]

Victor de Jouy described "Le jardin turc" in an essay (volume vi). Léopold Boilly painted "L'entree du Jardin Turc" ("The Entrance to the Turkish Garden Cafe") in 1812, and showed the genre piece at the Paris Salon that year. [John Stephen Hallam, "The Two Manners of Louis-Léopold Boilly and French Genre Painting in Transition" "The Art Bulletin" 63.4 (December 1981:618-633) pp 629-32. ] . In Boilly's painting, the café's demure façade offers little in a very recognizable Turkish vein to the boulevard save the device of the crescent moon. Opposite the entrance in boulevard du Temple, General Mortier was killed, 28 July 1835, by the "infernal machine", a bomb intended for Louis-Philippe, with whom he was riding. The proprietor of the Jardin Turc, Bonvallet, was among the Marais citizens who strenuously objected to Louis Napoleon's "coup d'état" of 2 December 1851, calling themselves "Montagnards" to recall the heady days of the First French Republic. One harangued the people in the boulevard from a balcony of "citoyen Bonvallet, restaurateur", declaring that président Napoléon had placed himself beyond the law; the police soon appeared, and the radicals beat a hasty retreat. [Victor Schoelcher, "Histoire des crimes du deux décembre". (London 1852) p. 141.] . Bonvallet continued the café of the "Jardin-Turc" into the years before World War I. [It is listed in the 1904 Baedeker guide, "Paris and Environs: With Routes from London to Paris : Handbook for Travellers", p. 22]


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