Monday, November 01, 2004

Picassiete- The Wonderful Creation of Raymond Isidore

We first encountered Picassiette in the summer of 2000 when I did a residency at Chateau de Chassy in France. We were visiting Chartres and of course intended to visit the Cathedral , but then an acquaintance told us to also visit Picassiette. She suggested we go see the Cathedral first and then Picassiette, which we did and we were delighted by this little visited treasure. Raymond Isidore was a grave digger in Chartres and his little house stands in the same road as the cemetery where he worked. He commenced his creation with the shards of china and pottery he found as he dug in the graveyard, and this eventually became his obsession. He lived in a small small house with his wife and her three sons. He decorated the entire outside of the house with the shards he found and created an entrancing potage of mosaic. He covered every surface including pots and sills, as the photos show, and then moved onto the inside of his house where he also covered every surface. As time went on he bought extra land to create small votive grottoes also covered in mosaic for he was also a deeply religious man and many of his mosaics recreated images of the Cathedral.Of course he became the butt of jokes and hence the name Picassiette, however after his death in 1964 the little house has been maintained as a museum. I went back earlier this year with a friend and her son and my littlest daughter Ynez- and we had a delightful hour or so being enchanted by Raymond Isidore's whimsical imagination.

1 comment:

karyna said...

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