Éminence Rouge

The topics of this blog are Armand-Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Duke of Richelieu, and the IDEAL CITY built on his command next to his magnificent CHÂTEAU on the borders of Touraine, Anjou and Poitou, in France.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Railway demolitions for the new 'Voie Verte' - green pathway - between Richelieu and Chinon

a huge pile of old sleepers

former railway line rails

the engine shed, shed of its tracks

the empty locomotive shed

the last remaining item, a double-decker carriage

the station and demolitions underway

la gare

a new business is in preparation
cycle rentals


Thursday, 25 August 2016

The new roundabout at the northern Porte de Chinon

A new roundabout has appeared at the northern gate to the town, the Porte de Chinon. This reinforces the original 17th century layout of the gate composition, based as it is on a circular layout of rotation.

While the by-pass remains incomplete in its north western sector, all the passing traffic, including frequent euro-artic-trucks, have to navigate this poem of French civic traffic engineering.  It seems odd that there is always money for endless traffic engineering of doubtful purpose, while the old stones of the town languish in dereliction. Don't we all love our cars!

It seems to the old Abbé Henri Proust that the Lemercier brothers would have added a central obelisk, in the manner of seventeenth century Roma, as a confirmation of the centrality of the layout and a reminder of more celestial ambitions for the cité idéale

the Chinon gate closed for the construction period

the bridge out of town with new cobbles

the new roundabout

doesn't this need a central obelisk?

the axis of the parc de quinconce

kooking south at the porte de Chinon

the new circular footpath


Monday, 22 August 2016

Raise the red lanterns...

The Chinese Film Festival at the Cinema Majestic that took place towards the end of August 2016 saw the appearance of a contrasting and faintly bizarre conjunction of cutures. 17th century France suddenly sporting red Chinese lanterns. The twinning of the town of Richelieu with that of Wuzhen in the PRC gives this a piquant relevance, as do the young visitors who recently came from South Korea, as symbolised by the national flag in the first picture below.

The poster for the film festival features the graceful face of the actress Gong Li who is the heorine of the film Raise the Red Lantern that tells the melancholy role of humble womenfolk in ancient warlord China.


Wednesday, 10 August 2016

A few friends came round to dinner....

The annual Nocturne Gourmande took place on the Friday 5th August 2016. As you can see from the video below, it was a vibrant success, with many, many visitors. The market square has many purposes but this event turned the square into a giant public theatre. Both the LeMercier boys, designers of the square and the town itself in 1630, with their eminent client, the Cardinal Duke, would have been thrilled.


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Chinon in infra red by Bruno Thomé

Click on the picture for Bruno's Flikr page of his photography

infrared photo of the fortress in Chinon across the River Vienne
Hope Bruno doesn't mind a plug...


A photo essay of the Petit Château in the parc de Richelieu


Friday, 8 July 2016

Demolition of the Richelieu Chinon tracks - July 2016

thanks to Jean-Louis Laurence for the movie

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Cape and Rapier 2016

RichelieuArts 2016 starts


Le Goût is a four week long workshop that oscillates between Gastronomy and Representation. Both subjects require judgment, art and artifice. In the kitchen you will work on skills and menu, on discovering the palate of the Loire, while in the printshop you will transcribe these experiences into image and text, slowly building the plates to print a small edition book.
The course is in conducted in English. 
Course outcomes: to build judgment in matters of 'Taste', both gastronomic and aesthetic, to impart cooking and printings skills, to produce a menu, a public Banquet, a book and body of print work.


Monday, 4 July 2016

Villa Medici - The French School in Rome in a fantasy by Claude Gellée called 'Lorrain'

Seventeenth century taste exemplified by Claude Lorrain's fantasy picture that sets the Villa Medici (the current location of the French School in Rome) on some distant classical shore.
At sunset.
JMW Turner - where are you?

 now in the Uffizi Gallery Florence
Painted by Claude in 1637 while the château and town of Richelieu were actually being constructed...

hommage à
Annick L
créature du cardinal duc!

villa medici today

One of JMW's many ripostes to Claud


Sunday, 3 July 2016

Cape and Rapier details - 16 and 17 July 2016

Atelier Maison opens...

 Park Ki Ho

Ce qu’on laisse
après nous…
What we leave behind us...
(or 'That which one leaves after us')

 Vernissage - samedi 9 juillet 2016 de 18h à 20h
 Exposition overt du mardi au dimanche de14h-18h - 9 juillet au 23 juillet 2016
 Opening reception - Saturday 9th July 2016, from 6pm-8pm
 Open hours 2pm-6pm - Tuesday to Sunday - 9th July till 23rd July 2016

Atelier Maison

24 place Louis XIII   37120 Richelieu
02 47 97 33 63