Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Eure et Loir and broken plates

JC and I decided to introduce Professor Andrew French to some French countryside. Andrew is a professor at a college in Michigan USA and the person I work with most closely on that international teaching programme.

After a quick visit to the Abbaye Vaux de Cernay in the Vallee de Chevreuse we headed to Chartres.

First up a lunch in a cafe. Here are the guys getting to know each other over a bottle of something red. JC generously paid for our lunch and was the driver for the day.


Well fed and watered, we headed off to see how the restoration was going at the Cathedral. The cathedral has been in a process of being cleaned, inside and out, for the past few years and this may never stop. 

It is a thousand years old and never been cleaned. Over the years I've seen the wonderful progress being made. Last time I visited the choeur was under plastic and behind barriers. This time it was revealed in all it's colour and detail and magnificence.

A woman was practising singing some sort of ancient religious piece. It fitted into the surroundings very well. Most Sundays there is a short organ concert at 4pm at Chartre cathedral but we couldn't wait for that. JC was impatient to show us a monstrosity of bad taste and weirdness.

La Maison Picassiette is the work of Raymond isidore, born at Chartres in 1900. He didn't have a lot so he built a little house and some years later, while on a walk he collected bits of glass and porcelain with which he decorated his home. it seems he didn't know when to stop. 

This place is truly over the top. He even created a garden and throne and decorated everything, as you can see, as mosaics, even the bed and table. Nothing escaped.

In 1956, he enlarged his house and continued, alone, to decorate the new surfaces up until his death in 1964. 

 La Maison Picassiette, is an example of raw art without thought of how long it would last, outside of any artistic school, and eventually became classed as a Historic Monument in1984. 

We didn't stop there. We went on to view something else equally 'special' and very decorated, another historic monument  but more conventional. The Chateau de Maintenon, which I will write about more fully in the next blogpost.


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