Arts & Culture

Inside the Taxidermy Workshop of a Parisian Prince

Louis Albert de Broglie on his new book and his peculiar creative process.

Deyrolle isn’t your average world-famous boutique. Indeed, the Parisian shop—which bills itself as a “cabinet of curiosities” has been in operation since 1831—traffics in materials that are slightly more macabre than you might find elsewhere, but that’s precisely its charm.

Deyrolle is where you go if you’re looking for taxidermy, preserved pieces from the natural world, ghoulish artworks, or educational posters on anatomy (human or otherwise)—and have a very high taste level. In the new book A Parisian Cabinet of Curiosities: Deyrolle, the shop’s owner, Prince Louis Albert de Broglie, shares hundreds of gorgeous photos as well as a history of the shop and look at how it operates today. Here, he opens up about his process for our peek inside the habits of a creative mastermind.

Prince Louis Albert De Brogile, whose new book is A Parisian Cabinet of Curiosities: Deyrolle.

How do you prepare yourself to be creative; what’s your ritual?

The most efficient of all is to cure myself of my busy days of practical issues by running and, if possible, swimming in the ocean to clear my mind. I do swim all year in Portugal, summer, and winter, in front of my little shed in Comporta. Then my mind is ready to write, draw, and imagine.

What is one element absolutely necessary for your process?

Peace of mind!

At what time of day do you prefer to work?

In the morning, at dawn, when no noises interfere except birds singing.


What’s your go-to snack?

I love soup with herbs straight from my gardens.

Tiger, Panthera Tigris (North Asia), in the middle of a discussion with a lioness, Panthera Leo (Africa).

How do you take your coffee?

Hot or cold, but short and black.

Who’s your favorite collaborator?

The ones that challenge me and bully me.

What do you most often do to procrastinate?

I never procrastinate! I believe in [getting] things done.

What’s your best trick for overcoming a block?

Think out of the box, charm my destiny, and always keep in mind that the problem is the solution.

A jackalope at Deyrolle.

It’s said that genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. What is that ratio like for you?

I see perspiration as a step to enlightenment.

What’s your dream project?

A seed pour l’Avenir [for the future].

What have you learned from a failure?

To be humble and start again.

What’s your favorite creation thus far?

Imagining a new chapter for Deyrolle, thus extending the universal language to preserve ecosystems and understand how to be collectively responsible for our common heritage, our environment.

What do you hope your creative legacy will be?

A vision of our territory to make ourselves more autonomous, more resilient and enjoy the true essence of life, nature, art, and education more than the flaws of global consumption. And share it at the right moment with the generations to come.


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* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Adam Rathe
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