A saucy, light-hearted look at life in Paris before the Great War when life was enjoyed to the full and the pursuit of the grisette, actress and artists' model was high on the list of male preoccupations."La Vie Parisienne" was a magical name which proclaimed itself proudly as the masthead of a way of life in which frivolity, wit and satire were as important and as relevant as literary and political intellectualism. This very popular journal attempted a fresh mix of humorous cartoons, short stories, sharp little tales of fashion-folk, up-to-the-minute gossip about prominent persons whose names are almost never fully spelled out or are given pseudonyms; columns of aphorisms on such subjects as marriage ("Marriage is the only painful operation for which no anaesthetic is allowed") or love ("Without jealousy the most violent passions would not last a week"); fashion-orientated, sophisticated banter set out as pages of dialogue; and acid comments about all and sundry, music, art, theatre, the races, sports, and the stock exchange. Founded in 1863, Parisians bought it in sufficient numbers week after week to ensure its survival for over a century.
Victor Arwas is an acknowledged authority on the fine and decorative arts of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In over twenty published books he has explored various movements, and written exhibition catalogues and monographs on individual artists and groups. Several of his books are the standard works on their subject.