After his studying at the Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg , painting and illustration
section , Bruno Aimetti begins as an illustrator and as a commercial graphic designer in Paris and Normandy. Fifteen years later , reviving his Italian origins , he left for the gray light from the south and returned to painting . He opened a studio in Gordes and Carpentras . The success was immediate. The following exhibitions : Cologne, Paris , Chicago, Colorado Springs , Avignon
Amnesty International has selected his work for 2 consecutive years.
It also actively involved in the creation, staging and iconography shows with Balcony Theatre Company Serge Barbuscia in Avignon.
In spring 2012 , he visited a writer friend recently installed in the Cabardès and fell under the spell of Montolieu and its surroundings.
He decides to leave Provence and moved into the center of the village of the books.
Bruno Aimetti subsequently opened to the public , his studio gallery at Easter of 2013 in the old pharmacy .
As you can see, my friend Yvonne and I were warmly greeted at the door by the artist and he happily showed us around, answered questions and assisted Yvonne with a few purchases. He welcomed my camera going wild and I am anxious to share a few
of his paintings and a drawing with you. Unfortunately, my camera and skills do not really do them justice. I look forward to seeing what he has done by my next trip there and encourage those who can to stop by and enjoy all that is on offer. There is much more available on his website and I happily share that with you and hope you will visit him at, http://www.aimetti.com or better yet, stop by Montolieu and speak to the artist himself and fall in love with a magical village!
I hope you will enjoy what is available. Please take a moment and click on each photo for a better view!
Winding upstairs to the second floor to the rear is the third bedroom which is where I chose to sleep. It is smaller than Rita’s room but looks out to the chateau and is very quiet. A neighbours grand garden winds behind my house and it is like living above a park. Spring and summer, I am awakened by scores of birds singing their hearts out. As you can see, some of these photos were taken before I actually moved in so there is little furniture in the way. Today there is a wicker chaise in front of my bedroom window. The old 3/4 size bed was left here and with the purchase of a new mattress it serves me well. Perhaps you will notice the unusual tile pattern or the black marble chimney breast? Behind the bedroom door is a tiny cupboard and the same type cupboard in the bedroom directly beneath it. Each has two shelves at the top and either pegs or nails for hanging up your clothes. When this home was built, people didn’t have large wardrobes and the houses reflect that.
Across the landing from my room is the bathroom but to the right is a door which opens to yet another flight of stairs which sweeps up into the grenier. There were several pieces of old furniture now removed and a collection of old wine bottles which now house some very aged vinegar. A few other “treasures” remain where the previous owners left them. I have toyed with the idea of one day turning the back room of the grenier into a roof terrace. Time will tell what happens there. As it is, I just continue enjoying my home and discovering more of its stories.
One of the things I have enjoyed when traveling abroad was visiting or staying in local homes. I have had the good fortune to experience such living from Vietnam to Holland and several countries in between. I am fascinated by the people I have met and the places I have been welcomed into.
What happens to a French home in the hands of someone else? Most of the wallpaper has remained unchanged (It is in good condition). There are four large photos in antique frames that hold a place of honour. Three of these hang in various parts of the house. My favourite of the photos is perched on a bureau against the wall. The frame is too fragile to hang. The couple who had owned this home had passed on and their only child had pre-ceeded them. It fell to her husband (monsieur Pollard) and son to sell it. As you walk into the salon, you will see the brightly coloured tile floor, a red marbled chimney and a large antique cabinet. The door behind leads to the stairs and also to the kitchen. Just inside the door leading to the kitchen is a second large cabinet. They were among some of the furnishings left behind and are still in use here. The table and chairs near the front window have been moved into the kitchen. The biggest change was removing the tiny vestibule. While it did help to keep out the wind, it made it impossible to bring in my sofa. It took me awhile to see the error in what I had done. That is one of the reasons I have changed very little.
It is rather typical for a townhouse in this region. The house has two small narrow rooms on the ground floor (salon and kitchen). Naturally, all rooms have very high ceilings. In the centre you will find the stairs winding up to the other floors. They are elliptical and covered in ancient red tiles which are common around here. The first floor has the two guest bedrooms. The smaller one, at the rear, opens up onto the tiny terrace.
The chambre in the front, I call Rita’s Room. My best friend visits each year for several weeks and always has first option on that room. The window is directly over the front door and looks out onto the River Berre, school and the maire. This is the largest and brightest of the three bedrooms and has a double bed, bookshelves, dresser and a small bedside table. It is the only bedroom that doesn’t have a design on the floor tiles. The are the traditional red floor tile.
Next time, I will show you the final room and up into the grenier (attic).
When my friend Yvonne pops over from London, we often find ourselves off to explore. This last venture was back to Montolieu – Village du Livre (Village of Books).
While I could spend endless days in the beautiful village of books, we had a limited amount of time this trip and the museum was the focus of this trip. If you would like to see more of the village, I recommend checking out my post of 12/12/2011. Or best of all, visit Montolieu yourself!
Located in Montagne Noir (Black Mountains) this small village (pop: 1,400) has 18 bookshops.
Le musée traces the history of print from Pictographs to the Alphabet, from Clay to Paper and the invention of Typography (1454), Linotype (1884), Monotype (1887), Stanhope Press (early 19th century) and so much more.
30,000 BCE: Pictographs are pictures and symbols and represent the first written forms. Concepts are represented by figures and scenes.
4,000 BCE: Ideograms/ideographs are a logographic writing system in which graphic symbols are used to represent words. They originated in Egypt and China where ideograms evolved into its current stylised script system.
1,300 BCE: The Phoenicians invent and disseminate the first alphabet. A limited number of letters that they allowed for the formation of sounds.
1,000 BCE: The Greeks adopt the Phoenician alphabet that they then adapt to their language by introducing vowels.
700 BCE: The Latin or Roman alphabet appears as an adaption of the Etruscan alphabet which had been borrowed from Greek colonists in Italy. Today, the Latin alphabet is the most widely used in the world.
The earliest materials for writing were stones, shells, wood and even tortoiseshells.
4,000BCE: Mesopotamian clay and the tool used was the “calame” or reed stylus.
3,000 BCE: Egyptian papyrus, a plant found along the banks of the Nile. The “calame” or stylus is made from a blend of soot and resin.
200 BCE: Parchment, is animal skin (goat, calf, sheep…) which has been specially prepared for writing. The writing tool of tis period is a goose feather quill. Ink is made from a compound of vegetable and mineral pigments with egg white as a binding agent.
105 CE: Paper was invented in China by Ts’ai Lun. It was made from vegetable fibre which was reduced to a paste. The process stayed a secret until 751 CE and later introduced in Europe by the Arabs.
Middle Ages: The majority of the population was illiterate and books were rare and precious objects. Therefore, the thoughts they contained were not widely known. In monasteries, monks copied and recopied the manuscripts with each copy errors
compounded and diminished the original meaning of the text.
1454 Invention of Typography:
The German metal-worker/inventor, Johann Gutenberg combined lead, antimony and tin creating an alloy which could be used repeatedly. Gutenberg is generally credited with perfecting metal moveable type.
Linotype: Invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler in 1884 and
produced solid lines of text case from rows of matrices. The line-composing operation was accomplished by means of a keyboard similar to that of a typewriter. However, it was much faster than hand-set typesetting and permitted the wide circulation of printed material. It was primarily used for the composition of newspapers.
Monotype: Another type of hot metal composition which appeared in 1887.
Stanhope Press: This press appears at the beginning of the 19th century, and consists of a massive cast-iron frame. It replaces wood presses, but
impressions are still made page by page and inking remains manual.
Plate Press: This press appears in the middle of the 19th century and increases the speed at which printed matter can be produced. The carriage is flat and pedal-driven and rubber ink rollers. It is fed manually.
Heidelberg Press: Appears in the early 20th century. With its high speed cylinder press and an automatic feeding and placing device which pivoting racks pick
up the paper by the use of suction to the entire surface.
Nebiolo Cylinder Press: First appears in the 1940’s. The base is no longer vertical and fixed, but horizontal and mobile. Print form moves under the cylinder to which the paper is attached.
Lithography: Makes its appearance in the late 18th century and gives birth to Offset in the 20th century. This method is based on the chemical repellence of oil and water.
Massicot: This cutting device was perfected by Claude Massicot and allows for clean cuts for reams of paper.
As you might easily imagine, there is much more to see in this museum than can be covered here in a single post. If you plan to visit the south of France, a trip to Montolieu is well worth the visit.
More than half a million people visit Monet’s gardens each year. However, it is only open for seven months each season.
The many inner alleys are closed to visitors to protect the plants and maintain the garden’s beauty. However, you are free to explore the side alleys and all about the garden viewing its various perspectives.
An underground passage will give you access to the water garden. During the time of Monet you had to cross a railway and road. Yes, you can walk across the Japanese bridge and get stunning views of the numerous hidden recess of the water garden.
Let your camera explore with you as pictures are permitted. However, picnic’s, dogs and other pets are prohibited.
The house and its gardens became the property of Michel Monet upon his father’s death in 1926. Michel did not live at Giverny so care of the property fell to Monet’s stepdaughter, Blanche. Sadly, the house and gardens fell into disrepair after the Second World War. It was not until 1966 that Michel Monet presented the estate to the Academie des Beaux-Arts as his heir.
When Gérald van der Kemp became the Curator in 1977 he met with Georges Truffaut, a distinguished gardener who had frequently been invited to dine with Monet during his lifetime. Devillers was able to help reconstruct the garden as it was in the time of the master.
Restoration took nearly a decade to
bring house and gardens back to their former glory. Much had been reduced to shards and shambles from the bombings. Floors and ceiling beams had rotted, a stairway collapsed. Trees were found growing in the former big studio.
The pond had to be dug again. In the Clos normand, soil had to be removed in order to locate the original ground level. Care was taken to replant the same flower species as those discovered by Monet in his time. Private donations from generous donors made the work possible. The house received a facelift. The Japanese prints and ancient furniture were restored. Giverny has been open to the public since 1980.
While touring the house, visitors are asked and reminded not to photograph the inside.
For myself, I enjoyed the day tremendously. Yet the sad exception for me was that Monet’s studio has become a gift shop. I shudder to think of what the master would have said. I do realize that these treasures must be preserved and that it takes a great deal of money. However, I would have gladly paid more for the chance to see the studio as the master would have left it.
Don’t forget to click on each photo so you don’t miss anything!
A decade after moving to Giverny, 1893, he purchased adjacent property across the railway. Across the property flowed a small brook which fed off a tributary of the Seine River. Then he set forward with his plan digging a small pond. His neighbours opposed, afraid that the outlandish plants would poison the water.
Eventually the pond was enlarged to its current size. It is complete with curved and asymmetries and inspired by the Japanese gardens. Monet had been an avid collector of Japanese prints.
The water garden is home to the famous Japanese bridge and is heavily curtained with fragrant wisterias and surrounded by weeping willows, a bamboo wood and the famous water lilies which bloom throughout the summer.
The vegetation surrounding the pond formed enclosed and separated the grounds from the surrounding countryside.
It was unique for an artist to sculpt his subjects in nature in preparation of painting them. In this way, he fashioned his masterpieces twice. Monet took inspiration from his beloved water garden for over twenty
years. Having completed the Japanese bridge series he turned his focus to the giant decorations of the Orangerie.
Searching for transparencies and mist, he dedicated himself to reflections in the water, an inverted world transfigured by the fluid enlement.
Monet’s beloved Japanese bridge was built by a local artisan. Unfortunately, it was beyond repair and had to be rebuilt.
The stunning wisteria were planted by Monet. As I left the gardens, a sprig of wisteria blew over the wall. Without a thought I picked it up and stuck it in my journal. It was amazing how long the fragrance lasted. Perhaps it was strengthened by the memory of that day?
The magnificent garden of the late artist, Claude Monet, is divided into two parts. There is the flower garden, Clos Normand which is in front of his house and the Japanese inspired water garden across the road. When the Monet family settled there in 1883 the gently sloping land was enclosed by a high stone wall and an orchard planted. Clos Normand measures about one hectare and in that space, Monet created a garden masterpiece of colour, symmetry and perspective. All of the photos you will see here were taken there in the month of May. You will see some in bright sunshine, a few photos taken during a sudden shower and others taken when clouds did their best to hide the sun all together. Divided into flowerbeds, clumps of flowers of diverse heights creating volume. Ornamental and fruit trees direct the climbing roses, coloured banks of annuals and long-stemmed hollyhocks. Monet mixed the most rare varieties with the simplest such as poppies and daisies. Iron arches cover the central alley which takes you to or from the main door to the house. The arches are covered with climbing roses and other rose trees envelop the balustrade along the house. As is evident, Claude Monet did not care for structured or unnatural gardens. He arranged flowers by colour wanting them to grow rather freely. In the passing years he acquired a love for botany and exchanged plants with his friends. Always searching for rare varieties, he spent great sums of money on young plants saying that all of his money went into the garden. Bisous, Léa