Au Père Tranquille and Louis XVI : trompe l’œil or coincidence ?

Have you ever noticed…
that the sign for Paris restaurant Au Père Tranquille bears a striking resemblance to the profile of Louis XVI? … except that Louis is rarely represented with a smile.
Is this a mere coincidence, or another case of the hidden profile trompe l’œil we have seen elsewhere?
Au Père Tranquille is a veritable institution in the neighborhood of Les Halles. The brasserie has occupied this spot (16 rue Pierre Lescot, 1er) since the end of the 19th century, when a strong conservative backlash brought Catholicism and tradition back into style. (Perhaps the smile is his revenge on those republicans who had suppressed the Catholic, royalist past for such a long time?) This restaurant has seen many changes nearby, from the old market Les Halles de Paris, and the present Forum des Halles and, it appears, the Nouveau Forum des Halles to be constructed next year, despite the citizens’ complaints and demonstrations (see our article of May 2010, “Can activism save the trees of Les Halles?”)
What other restaurants–in Paris or elsewhere in France–bear signs hearkening back to revolutionary history? Stand by for more postings to come…


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