Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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Return to France: Architecture

I am heading to France this summer to take my second workshop with Dayle Doroshow at La Cascade. While I’m away, I’m re-posting some of the original blog entries from my visit to La Cascade in 2009.

I’ll be back soon with new pictures and stories to share.

So, not only did you think I fell off the blogosphere, you may have also wondered what happened to the rest of those pictures I took in Southern France.

Or, perhaps not.

When I last posted pictures from France, I said I would share some pictures of the architecture we saw. Below you’ll find an assortment of pictures featuring the architecture in ancient ruins, more modern structures, and cathedrals.

Ruins

You’ll find ruins of chateaus in various locations throughout Southern France.  Some are standing nearly intact and others are in various states of decomposition. Here are two pictures of one chateau that Eric hiked to in the lower Pyrenees.

Ruins

Ruins2

Gargoyles

What would a trip to France be without a couple pictures of gargoyles?!  These two fellas were on a cathedral in Carcassonne.

Gargoyle

Gargoyle2

Carcassonne

Carcassonne is in the Aude department of France. It is divided into the fortified Cite de Carcassonne and an expansive lower city.  The Cite de Carcassonne is surrounded by a double wall. Carcassonne has a long and interesting history dating back to about 3500 BC. (Our historical structures are in their infancy compared to Europe and Asia.)  You can read more about Carcassonne here and here.

Eric took numerous pictures when he toured the city. This is one of my favorites:

Carcassone

Cathedrals

I mentioned the Cathedral of St. Cecilia in my last post on France. This cathedral is interesting because it is the oldest brick cathedral in Europe. It is also interesting because some of the interior sculptural work is done in limestone which gives it a lacy appearance.

This is an exterior shot of the sculpture above the main entrance.

StCecileEntry

And a shot of the interior sculptural work. (Flash photography was not allowed but you get an idea of the intricacy of the work.)

StCecileLimestone

Toulouse

The capital building in Toulouse reminded me of Versailles. Stunning and big on the outside and decorated with ornate frescos on the inside.

ToulouseCapitalBldg

These last two pictures are from the Salle des Illustres on the top floor of the capital building. The Salle des Illustres is used for official receptions and wedding ceremonies.

ToulouseCapitalInterior1

ToulouseCapitalInt2

Beats the heck out of an “office” in cubicle-land on any day.


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Espirit en France Meridionale-Spirit in Southern France

No trip for me is complete without visiting a cathedral or two. In this post you’ll find select pictures of stained glass, the inside of St. Cecile, and artifacts from the Musee des Augustins.

The first two pictures were taken inside a church in Carcassonne. The design is reminiscent of Notre Dame.

StainedGlassWindows

StainedGlassWindowsDk

This next group was taken inside the cathedral of St. Cecile in Albi. This first picture shows the ceiling of St. Cecile. The vault is nearly 100 meters long and 20 meters wide. The blue and gold painting is considered a “biblical encyclopedia” and was created by Italian painters from Bologna. These paintings have never been restored.  Below the pipes from the organ is a painting of The Last Judgment. This painting was created at the end of the 15th century.

End Times or The Last Judgement

End Times or The Last Judgement

Angel in St. Cecile's

Angel in St. Cecile's

Large Angel in St. Cecile's

Large Angel in St. Cecile's

Remember how tricky it was to learn the sign of the cross? And remember how amusing it was to watch someone not raised Catholic try to make the sign of the cross? All Catholic churches need one of these (see below)

Sign of the Cross Directions

Sign of the Cross Directions

In Toulouse, Dayle recommended we visit the Musee des Augustins. The Musee des Augustin is the former Augustine monastery which dates from the 14th and 15th centuries. It is an example of southern Gothic architecture and contains over 4,000 works of art. Cameras were not allowed inside the museum. The pictures below were taken with my iPhone.

Big Bishop

Big Bishop

The sculpture above was rather intimidating. Notice the shadow of the cross behind the big guy? That extends out of range of this picture. You’ll see him holding the base of the cross in his left hand. I think he could’ve crushed us with his right hand. No wonder people were fearful of the church.

Wall of Epigraphys

Wall of Epigraphys

An epigraph is an inscription, such as found on a statue or building or wall. The Musee des Augustin had an entire wall display of epigraphys from various religious buildings. I did not, however, find a tablet of the 10 commandments.

Epigraphy

Epigraphy

This last picture is one of my favorite pieces at the Musee des Augustin.  Our Lady of Grace was created by an anonymous French artist in 1450. This sculpture has recently undergone restoration to bring back the original colors.

Our Lady of Grasse

Our Lady of Grasse


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Return to France: Architecture

So, not only did you think I fell off the blogosphere, you may have also wondered what happened to the rest of those pictures I took in Southern France.

Or, perhaps not.

When I last posted pictures from France, I said I would share some pictures of the architecture we saw. Below you’ll find an assortment of pictures featuring the architecture in ancient ruins, more modern structures, and cathedrals.

Ruins

You’ll find ruins of chateaus in various locations throughout Southern France.  Some are standing nearly intact and others are in various states of decomposition. Here are two pictures of one chateau that Eric hiked to in the lower Pyrenees.

Ruins

Ruins2

Gargoyles

What would a trip to France be without a couple pictures of gargoyles?!  These two fellas were on a cathedral in Carcassonne.

Gargoyle

Gargoyle2

Carcassonne

Carcassonne is in the Aude department of France. It is divided into the fortified Cite de Carcassonne and an expansive lower city.  The Cite de Carcassonne is surrounded by a double wall. Carcassonne has a long and interesting history dating back to about 3500 BC. (Our historical structures are in their infancy compared to Europe and Asia.)  You can read more about Carcassonne here and here.

Eric took numerous pictures when he toured the city. This is one of my favorites:

Carcassone

Cathedrals

I mentioned the Cathedral of St. Cecilia in my last post on France. This cathedral is interesting because it is the oldest brick cathedral in Europe. It is also interesting because some of the interior sculptural work is done in limestone which gives it a lacy appearance.

This is an exterior shot of the sculpture above the main entrance.

StCecileEntry

And a shot of the interior sculptural work. (Flash photography was not allowed but you get an idea of the intricacy of the work.)

StCecileLimestone

Toulouse

The capital building in Toulouse reminded me of Versailles. Stunning and big on the outside and decorated with ornate frescos on the inside.

ToulouseCapitalBldg

These last two pictures are from the Salle des Illustres on the top floor of the capital building. The Salle des Illustres is used for official receptions and wedding ceremonies.

ToulouseCapitalInterior1

ToulouseCapitalInt2

Beats the heck out of an “office” in cubicle-land on any day.