The Loire Valley is renowned for its fabulous châteaux and gardens. Indeed the area between Gien and Angers is known as ‘the garden of France’. But for hundreds of years the Loire was an important trading and transport route, and the site of many historically significant events. In the Middle Ages the kings of France began to settle in the valley, attracted by its idyllic setting and gentle climate, and it was here that the influence of the Italian Renaissance took hold and flourished. The Loire is sometimes called ‘the last wild river in Europe’. But it is a peaceful river that flows past numerous beautiful châteaux and towns. The area has been classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site due to its unique cultural landscape: a complex harmony of architecture, society and economy. This beautifully illustrated sketchbook follows the river upstream, in the footsteps of the kings of France, artists Leonardo da Vinci and Turner and writers Rabelais and Ronsard.
Fabrice Moireau is a seasoned traveller who frequently brings back from his journeys sketchbooks that are valuable cultural and ethnographic records in themselves. He is particularly interested in the world’s architectural heritage, and in plants and gardens. In his watercolour paintings Moireau seeks to illustrate his fascination with streets and cityscapes by subtly playing with light and shadows.
Moireau is a graduate of the renowned École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Appliqués et des Métiers d’Art in Paris. The other titles in the series by the same artist include Paris Sketchbook, Rome Sketchbook, Venice Sketchbook and Rooftops of Paris, also published by Editions Didier Millet.
Jean-Paul Pigeat (1946-2005) was an expert on garden history, landscape gardening and design. He was a curator at the Pompidou Centre in Paris for 15 years, where he organized numerous exhibitions on the environment and society. In 1992 he founded the International Garden Festival in Chaumont-sur-Loire. Pigeat was also a film producer and author of many publications on gardens and the environment.
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