There’s always something going on in Amboise, especially this year with the town commemorating the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo, its most famous resident, but there was an extra frisson this evening. The town opened a brand new art gallery. Well, the building is not new, it has a fascinating history, but the gallery is.Read More
Billed as ‘chairs’ these wonderful, Heath-Robinson type creations cleverly cobbled together from what looks like recycled bits of iron, wood and stones on the île d'or are anything but. Reminiscent of Sandy Calder mobiles they are sculptures, works of art. This is, for want of a better term, an Interactive Installation. The huge self-activated pendulums are Patrice Douchet’s homage to his friend, the artist Jean-Marie Guérin who created the ‘chairs’ in 1998.Read More
Merci M. Grossetête and merci Amboise Mairie for a stimulating, life enhancing afternoon. The celebrated French artist Olivier Grossetête famous for his huge, ephemeral, transient cardboard and gaffer tape installations was in town. His works are not for elitist galleries they are for the people who live in the places where they are made.Read More
8 May, La Fête de la Victoire, a national holiday in France, marks the anniversary of the day Charles de Gaulle announced the end of World War II on 8 May 1945. Weeks after Hitler committed suicide, Germany unconditionally surrendered. A German delegation arrived at the HQ of British Field Marshal Montgomery near Hamburg in Germany on 4 May.Read More
The law abiding folk of Amboise were allowed to look through their windows but ordered not to lean out. Hundreds of gendarmes, those we met and spoke to seemed almost apologetic, made quite sure no-one could enter the exclusion zone. People who live in the restricted area had to show ID and proof of address before they could even pop out for a baguette. No walkabout, no photographs allowed for the family album. Quel dommage. There was no atmosphere in this usually so lively, buzzy, happy go lucky town. So sad. Such a disappointment. Leonardo died on May 2 but was not buried until August. His funeral was not in St. Hubert’s but in the original Saint Florentin inside the walls of the Château. In 1863, during an archaeological dig, a skeleton and fragments of a tomb with carved letters – EO -AR – DUS –VINC- was discovered. A bust of Leonardo now marks the spot. Leonardo’s remains were re-interred in St. Hubert’s.
Not being able to enter the town as we live a few steps outside the exclusion zone, we were unable to take a photo of this momentous day. So here is a photo of Maisie for you, The Photograph France Cat.Read More
Thursday 2 May 2019, President Emmanuel Macron of France and President Sergio Mattarella of Italy, will pay their respects at Leonardo’s grave in Amboise to mark the 500th anniversary of his death. The unprecedented diplomatic visit is a great honour.Read More
If the Pope had been kind to Leonardo, Italy might own his Mona Lisa but he insulted this gentle, sensitive, proud, man. If the Pope had acknowledged his worth, Leonardo would never have left his native land to die in a foreign country. Three Kings of France, Charles VIII, Louis XII and Francois I revered Leonardo. France deserves the most famous painting in the world.Read More