Mingling with Giants
"[My painting 'Paolo Veronese in Venice'] allowed me to enter the circle of
classified artists of France and with that title I could make interesting
acquaintances among the most eminent men of art and letters."
Throughout his days in Paris, Juglaris kept in contact with old colleagues in Turin. His apartment and studio on Boulevard Saint-Michel quickly became a favorite haunt for Italian artists in the French capital. Among Juglaris’s visitors were the Calandra brothers, Edoardo and Davide, who emerged as durable friends and mentors.
Imbued with a strong personal work ethic, Juglaris sometimes fretted in his memoir that “friends caused [him] to waste much time,” distracting him from the art projects that he wanted to complete. At the same time, he seems to have sincerely enjoyed playing host and extending hospitality to others. Moreover, after his Paris Salon success, he was mingling with Parisians of great standing who welcomed him into their circle, including authors Adolphe Daudet, Victor Hugo and Guy de Maupassant, and the composer Camille Saint-Saens.
Keeping such company was a heady experience for Juglaris, and seemed to signal that he was on the brink of real success. At times, as he wrote in his memoir, he felt completely “content.” Yet a nagging dissatisfaction or frustration also welled up for him over the trajectory and momentum of his career. Juglaris still found Paris wonderful. There was always plenty to engage, entertain, and inspire him as an artist and man about town. But a decade had passed since his arrival in the “City of Light.” He was 35 years old and it was difficult to change the patterns of his Parisian life that hindered greater success as a muralist and a practitioner of the fine arts. Something more was needed to raise his art to another level that might approach, let alone match or surpass, the accomplishments of his more famous Parisian friends and acquaintances. “Fortuna,” or luck, as Juglaris put it, was once again calling him elsewhere.
On the Street Where He Lived
Tommaso Juglaris made his home in Paris on the Boulevard Saint-Michel. Created by the reconstruction of the French capital under Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann in the late 1850s during the reign of Emperor Napoleon III, it is one of the great streets of the city. Besides serving as the border between Paris’s fifth and sixth arrondissements, the Boulevard Saint-Michel provides the central axis for the Latin Quarter, famous for both its academic and bohemian life. It runs alongside the Sorbonne, Paris’s great university, and the Luxembourg Gardens. During the 1870s when Juglaris lived on the boulevard, a bevy of famous artists regularly walked the same street. The Symbolist poets Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud regularly met at the Hotel des Etrangers on the Boulevard Saint-Michel at the corner of the Rue Racine. Fellow Symbolist poet Stephane Mallarme and the Decadent novelist Charles-Marie-Georges Huysman preferred the Café Vachette where the boulevard intersects with the Rue des Ecoles. Juglaris enjoyed the ambiance of his neighborhood and its close proximity to the center of Paris. As an artist, he too added to the vibrancy of its street life.