J is for Jeu de Paume

The Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume is a museum of contemporary art in the north-west corner of the Tuileries Gardens in Paris. (We will return to the Tuileries on another day to sail our boats... on "T" day next week... start stitching your sails!)


The building was constructed in 1861 during the reign of Napoleon III. It originally housed real tennis courts; the name of this game in French is jeu de paume.

Jeu de paume was originally a French precursor of tennis played without racquets. The players hit the ball with their hands, as in palla, volleyball, or certain varieties of pelota. Jeu de paume literally means "game of palm". In time gloves replaced bare hands. Even when bats, and finally racquets, became standard equipment for the game, the name did not change. It became known as "tennis" in English (see History of tennis), and later "real tennis" after the derivative game of lawn tennis became the more widely known sport.


The term is used in France today to denote the game of real tennis or a court in which the ancient or modern game might be played. The indoor version is sometimes called jeu de courte paume or just courte paume (short palm) to distinguish it from the outdoor version, longue paume, played on field of indefinite length.

The painter Jacques-Louis David's famous sketch, le Serment du jeu de paume ('the Tennis Court Oath') now hangs in the court of the Palace of Versailles. It depicts a seminal moment of the French revolution, when, on 20 June 1789, deputies of the Estates-General met at the court and vowed that they would not disband before the proclamation of a formal Constitution for France.

Jeu de paume was a medal event in the 1908 Summer Olympics. American Jay Gould won the Gold medal.
Jeu de paume has a world championship, since 1740. It is held each year in September. It is the oldest active trophy in international sport.

(image circa 1947)

The Jeu de Paume was used from 1940 to 1944 to store Jewish cultural property looted by the Nazi regime in France (see Rose Valland). Some of the art was destined for the Fuehrermuseum in Linz, while the Nazis attempted to sell so-called 'degenerate art' (modern art "unworthy" in the eyes of the Nazis) on the international art market. Unsold art (including works by Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali) were destroyed on a bonfire in the grounds of the Jeu de Paume on the night of 27 July 1942. (all information & images above via Wikipedia)


Today... the Jeu de Paume is "A leading pole for the exhibition of photographic and other images whose resolutely open approach embraces all periods (from the 19th to the 21st century) and practices (photography, cinema, video, installation, etc.), Jeu de Paume produces, coproduces and hosts exhibitions as well as film programmes, symposiums, and public activities, and also pursues a publishing programme..." (information and images below via the Jeu de Paume site) 

Current Exhibits are...

Lisette Model... from 09 February 2010 until 06 June 2010

Esther Shalev-Gerz... from 09 February 2010 until 06 June 2010...


Mathilde Rosier : "Find circumstances in the antechamber" Satellite programm 3 / Curator: Elena Filipovic
from 09 February 2010 until 06 June 2010...


anddddd 3 of my favorite photos from other exhibits of the Jeu de Paume...... from left to right below...

  • Denise Colomb, Portraits of Artists Musée Départemental Rignault.Saint-Cirq-Lapopiefrom 20 March 2010 until 06 June 2010

  • Willy Ronis, Centre Atlantique de la Photographie. Brest from 19 March 2010 until 22 May 2010

  • Paris City of Photography 1920-1940, Collection Christian Bouqueret Fratelli Alinari Fondazione per la Storia della Fotografia Firenze from 14 January 2010 until 11 April 2010 (this one just ended)

I found all 3 of these images so inspiring and turned them into paintings (all paintings are available)...




Enjoy your week and remember to visit other A to Z Challenges!!!

K = A Fashionable restaurant with a view AND a GREAT DAY for BIG GIVEAWAYS!!!
L = Louvre
M= Montmartre
N & O = ??? Still searching... any suggestions bring them!


Many of my Paris paintings including ones painted over the week-end of the îles de Paris...



and more subject, bien sûr, are on SALE in my Bargain Gallery... don't miss out... and PRINTS are available of ALL Original paintings... go shopping!!! 
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