C atherine and Alain Bernard embody the vast whirlwind of life stirred up by great passions: Venice, parties, Paris, Deauville, polo, Cap Ferret, boats, friendship, and, of course, art in all its forms as evident in their collection.
Catherine is the granddaughter of the famous sculptor Albert Cheuret (1884 - 1966) whom she observed for hours in his Parisian studio. Catherine inherited his fervor for artifacts and his penchant for quality craftsmanship. Alain, nicknamed "zinzin" or "risk taker", is recognized for his audacity and endurance which drove his brilliant career as an investment banker as well as his passion for polo. He presided over the Deauville Polo Club for a while and received the Silver Jubilee Cup at Windsor directly from Queen Elizabeth II.
Their wedding was celebrated in Sologne, Catherine's paternal family roots. Alain, a brilliant businessman, then ran a sisal factory in Natal, Brazil for ten years. It was upon their return that Catherine became literally the "L’œil de Vogue" per the request of their friend Robert Caillé, who was its publication head. She then joined Point de Vue magazine as editor-in-chief.
The couple’s close friend Robert de Balkany lived alongside them throughout the great moments of their lives. A generous benefactor to the Vatican, he enabled Catherine to be received in private audience with Pope John Paul II. He also took the Bernards to meet Queen Margareth of Denmark, at the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen and to Cayx Château in the Lot Valley, where the couple were often invited by Henri de Montpezat.
Unless Parisian social life is keeping secrets, Catherine, whose address book is lengthy, is a true hostess who cultivates the art of hospitality like no one else. At their half-timbered house nicknamed by Catherine "the Smurf Place" in Deauville, the couple welcomes polo players after their matches and organizes Christmas Eve parties, always in the company of their Jack Russell terriers, Hortensia, Tulip and Narcissus. At their Cap-Ferret villa "L'Escarbille", built by architects Olivier and Louis Süe in 1960 and decorated with furniture designed by her grandfather Albert Cheuret, Catherine enjoys spending time in the company of her husband and relatives.
However, mostly in Paris, from Rue Cambon to Rue de l'Université, Catherine employs her talents as an interior decorator. Cultivating originality and good taste, Catherine takes care of every detail and has fun mixing styles. Alain shares with his wife this fascination for art and curiosity. The couple began looking for objects of all kinds by browsing major auction houses, galleries, fairs, and biennials. This interest in the most diverse art forms is reflected in the extraordinary collection built over the years and carefully arranged in the apartment on Rue de l’Université.
In the living room, the walls are decorated with friezes of antique Wedgwood bisque porcelains, a fabulous gilt bronze mirror, and two floor lamps commissioned from Claude Lalanne. Above the fireplace alongside a delightful drawing by Picasso, a study of three female nudes is displayed. From the corner cabinet to the dining room, paintings by Simon Hantaï are exhibited with lamps, owl mirrors, and stork wall lights by Albert Cheuret, and surrounded by a menagerie of animals of all species, rabbits, dogs, and hens in wood, ivory, and ceramic.
Sotheby’s will honour on September 23th the unique vision held by those collectors who partake of their passion for art with humor and poise.