This volume of quirky but charming artwork, which provides a view of Paris as seen from its rooftops, represents the creative efforts of French illustrator Fabrice Moireau and Belgian writer Carl Norac. Moireau has undertaken a close study of Paris, surveying it at rooftop level with an entomologist’s eye for detail. In this book, he captures in watercolour the city’s lesser known nooks and crannies, alongside the famous landmarks, offering unusual angles and new ways of seeing an iconic city. This other side of Paris – this levitated, almost unreal world – is an extravagant mass of ingenious shapes and forms that give protection from rain, wind and architectural monotony. The captions accompanying the paintings are rendered in Moireau’s own handwriting while the evocative and poetical text was crafted by Norac, an award-winning poet, playwright and author of children’s books. The writer goes beyond prosaic description to capture some of the wild and poetic imaginings inspired by these rooftops.
Books on Paris are legion, but there is virtually none devoted to its rooftops and the vistas they look out into. Rooftops of Paris is an invitation to travel to a new and unfamiliar territory in a city filled with time-honoured historical and cultural icons that many are so familiar with.
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, Venice Sketchbook, Loire Valley Sketchbook and Rooftops of Paris, also published by Editions Didier Millet.
Born in Mons, Belgium, in 1960, Carl Norac is the son of a writer and an actress. He is a poet and playwright, and author of numerous books for children. His poems have been translated into several languages and are included in a number of poetry anthologies both in Belgium and overseas. In 2009, he was awarded the Grand Prix of the Société des Gens de Lettres in France and the Prix Charles Plisnier in Belgium.
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