Most of us know Amy, the precocious little sister in Little Women who dreamed of becoming an artist. She married at the age of 38, only to die one year later after giving birth to her first.
May Alcott began to study art in when she was just sixteen years old. Hunt had studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and no doubt extolled the virtues of study abroad. After Louisa May Alcott achieved financial success with Little Women inthe two sisters planned a trip to Europe with their friend Alice Bartlett.
The women traveled by the French steamship Lafayette and arrived at the western port of Brest in Brittany in April, Their first extended stay was in Dinana lovely medieval town in the middle of Brittany. May sent home sketches of a variety of scenes throughout Dinan, many of which are nicely reproduced in Little Women Abroad. In one of her letters, she said she wished she had been trained how to paint en plein air so she could capture the beautiful colors.
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Nevertheless, her sketches are sufficient to be able to identify the buildings and ruins which still stand today. Dinan is a beautiful little city which makes for a lovely day trip from a larger home base in Brittany such as St.
Dinan has 13th century castles, gothic churches, bell towers, narrow winding streets and beautiful timbered architecture. Until you can get there yourself, here is a photo tour of the Dinan sites in Little Women Abroad, starting with the building that once housed the pension in which the Alcotts stayed. It was just outside the fortified walls of the town, next to the Porte Saint Louis and just down the street from the Dinan Castle. Louis on the other, and a lovely promenade made in the old moat just before the door.
Built in the s. The view of Dinan from atop the Dinan Castle.
I long to make pictures on every hand, but get extremely discouraged when I try, as it needs all the surroundings to make the scene complete. Here an artist can rest with delight for many months, as everything from the adjacent country, which is thought to be the most beautiful in Brittany, to the ancient gateways and clocktower in a street so narrow that the gabled free adult chat dinan port france meet overhead, is sufficiently attractive to keep the brush constantly busy.
This is a photograph of the small park and gardens that stand behind the Basilica St-Saveur today. Originally built in the 11th and 12th centuries, a Gothic chapel was added in the 15th century. The grand viaduct across the River Rance in Dinan is still breathtaking. The day I was there the local rowing club was preparing for practice on the other side of the river.
May sketched the Porte of Jerzual and the steep little rue de Jerzual, which winds down from the upper village to the river, and is lined with timbered old shops that lean in over the cobblestoned street:. A scene from rue de Jerzual in Dinan. Louisa May wrote home after going to a fair in the village and said in a letter dated April 20, :.
The Alcotts also visited the Chateau de la Garaye, a lovely site located just a couple of miles from the village of Dinan.
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May wrote home to tell her mother about the beautiful ruins there:. I have tried to sketch from memory a lovely old ruin, where we spent the day yesterday, but can give you a very indefinite notion of the gray old tower with ivy clinging to it in all directions, the rear walls having all crumbled away.
The blue sky shone through the little ornamental windows in a way that was quite enchanting. It is only about two miles from Dinan and a pretty walk though the wood to the moat and great embattled walls, which surround the chateau.
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Alice and I walked, while Lu went down in a donkey carriage. We found a large party of English people already at the castle sketching it with pencil in colors. The ruins of the Chateau de la Garaye still stand today. My own colored pencil sketch of the ruins of Chateau de la Garaye. After the Alcott sisters left Dinan in the summer ofthey continued their European travels and proceeded to the Loire Valley, Switzerland and Italy.
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They found themselves the middle of the Franco-Prussian war which broke out that July but managed to find safety in Switzerland, along with many other refugees from Paris and Strasbourg. May Alcott returned to London and Paris in and then again in She would study at the Academie Julian in the Passage des Panoramas inand would attend the Paris Salon of where her own still life painting would be exhibited.
She was living a ground-breaking life as an American expatriate female artist. In latewhile May was living on her own in London, she would learn that her mother had died.
In free adult chat dinan port france grief she developed a quick romance with Ernest Nieriker, a young Swiss businessman fifteen years her junior, to whom she would become engaged in March of The newlyweds would move to a lovely little home in the suburbs of Paris, where she dreamed of combining a career in art with marriage and a possible family.
She would have yet another painting accepted in the Paris Salon, and would publish a guidebook for women artists called Studying Art Abroad and How to Do it Cheaply. But then, in December ofMay Alcott Nieriker died six weeks after giving birth to her daughter Lulu.
She was only 39 years old. Baby Lulu was first sent to live with her aunt Louisa May in the United States, but when Louisa May died just nine years later, young Lulu was returned to her father in Switzerland. Thanks to the details and sketches provided in Little Women Abroadwe can follow along.
How many times have you seen Midnight in Paris? At least three? Me too. Not exactly a tour, but a good place to start. This list is organized according their appearance in the film, not according to a convenient walking tour. The sites are pretty widely scattered throughout Paris, so the best thing to do would be to pick one arrondissement, stumble around until you find a site or two, and then stop for a glass of wine. My husband and I stumbled into the fountain well, not literally, although we did have a bottle or two of wine as we were free adult chat dinan port france home from my birthday dinner one night.
Metro Line 6 over the Seine from the 16th to the 7th. Have some wine, stumble into some fountains. This Monet painting has been a favorite of mine ever since my first bus trip to the Art Institute of Chicago as a young art student from Wisconsin. When I finally settled in Chicago as a young professional, I went back to the Art Institute again and again, always taking the time to stop in front of this Monet the longest.
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I even bought a poster reproduction and framed it in a bluish metal frame for my first Lincoln Park apartment. So when I had a year to spend in Paris, I knew I wanted to try to track down the place this scene was painted. I just wanted to get out of the car and say I was there, that I was close. The couple stayed here in when their first son Jean was only one or two. He had not yet painted a single haystack or water lily.
My husband and I were driving along the Bennecourt side of the river, and I could sense the town was near. I was looking toward Bonnieres while my husband was talking away on an important international conference call. A roide on the banks of the Seine in Bennecourt, France.
There, in the old cemetery behind the church lies the sad and lonely grave of Camille Doncieux.
The old grave marker. There is no mention of her married name. Camille grew increasingly ill, suffering from an unknown ailment. Claude painted his last portrait of Camille on her deathbed in Venteuil. Claude and Camille in paperback by Stephanie Cowell.
Porte du Jerzual, Dinan, France. Like this: Like Loading Pont Alexandre III. One of the Fontaines de la Concorde. The Seine at Pont Michel. Steps of St. Etienne du Mont.
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Cathedral of Saint-Alexandre-Nevsky. Stairway on rue du Chevalier de la Barre.
Maison Deyrolle, 46 rue du Bac. Moulin Rouge. Along D in Bennecourt. Add your thoughts here Required Name Required Website. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by .