Last Weekend, Julia and I returned from a fantastic 2-week visit to France. Our first few days in Paris were a blur of activity; sight-seeing, visiting the Musée d’Orsay, and meeting with my old friends from when I worked at Disney Paris (in 1990). Then we got on one of those fancy TGV trains, and spent the next few days down south at the Angoulême International Comics Festival for more of the same; sightseeing, lots of socializing with book-buying besides! By the time we got to SAINTES over on the Atlantic coast, for a visit with my Dad and his wife Wendy, the pace slowed down enough to finally fit in a little sketching, though nowhere near as much as I would have liked.
These first two drawings show some of the Roman artifacts that are highlights of a visit to the region around Saintes, including a spectacular Gallo-Roman Amphitheatre. It is really something for someone raised in the New World, to behold such antiquities as these. In fact, one of the things that struck us both about this town was how matter-of-fact they are about the cultural riches they had. We went to a small museum that was a treasure trove of goodies, but it was all presented as if it were no big deal. We were lucky with the weather the first week, and many days were even mild, but during our 2nd week, the weather turned decidedly colder and the sketching moved indoors. These sketches were drawn inside the chilly Cathedral of Saint Pierre:
After a very pleasant few days with Dad and Wendy, we left them to their own devices and headed back to Paris. We spent our last full day in France inside the the Louvre, that repository of Western Civilization’s greatest hits… A day is not enough to see anything but a teeny fraction of all the marvels in there, so we decided to focus on SCULPTURES, and the sketching thereof:
As a consequence of being a nest of over-achievers for well over a millennium, France is a country with such an embarrassment of riches in History and Art that it is impossible to take it all in… but I can’t wait to go back and try!