The big picture

There are big pictures all over the place – murals that cover entire sides of buildings.  I’ve often heard them called muriels – have you heard them called that too??  In French, murals are often called trompe l’oeil, literally translated as “deceive the eye”.  Some of the murals in the following pictures are incredibly convincing and live up to their trompe l’oeil name!!

The first one is in Lodeve, and it is a very good example of a trompe l’oeil, as it blends real with fake – can you tell which windows are real and which are not?

The following mural is in Montpellier – the walls are pretty much flat, but the painting’s perspective makes it look incredibly 3D!The next mural is in Capestang, just right around the corner from the restaurant La Galiniere.

Beziers has a good number of murals – here is the oldest that I know of:

There appears to be a theme to the more recently painted murals in Beziers: famous artists and their works!

Here is L’Arlesienne by Georges Bizet:

Dejanire by Camille Saint-Saens:

Le Depit Amoureux by Moliere:

Jean Moulin, a native of Beziers and a hero of the Resistance, opened an art gallery in Nice as a cover for his resistance activities.  The following mural commemorates Jean Moulin and his gallery:

The mural in the last picture of this post is on a newly created square in Beziers.  The mural hides a series of what I imagine are run-down houses awaiting renovation – a pretty neat idea!

This was to be my last article of 2019, but somehow it never got posted and ended up in my drafts folder!  Since I wrote this post, Saint-Chinian has unveiled its own trompe l’oeil. It’s not quite finished yet, so I’ll post a picture of it when it is.

One Peteta, two Petetas, three Petetas, more

I know the title is corny, but I just couldn’t resist it – that old children’s rhyme/song is one of those things which still sticks in your mind decades later! 😀

Peteta is the Occitan word for doll, and every summer, for the past 18 years, life-size dolls have appeared in the village of Murviel-les-Beziers, almost overnight.  Drive through the village and you’ll notice them all over the village, perched on balconies or standing outside shops!  I decided to investigate with my camera!!

The tradition was started in 1997 by a group of volunteers, who decided it would be fun to make life-size dolls out of straw and fabric, and dress them in period costumes.  I saw the first dolls many years ago, mainly outside shops.  They represented the particular trade of the shop.  So there was a doctor outside the surgery, a baker outside the bakery and so on.  Over the years the tradition has grown, and there are now Petetas at 57 locations in the village.  In many places there is more than one doll, so I imagine that there are around 100 dolls throughout the village.  They are all dressed in clothes representing the first half of the last century.

If you want to see them, hurry up!  The Petetas will disappear at the end of August, and won’t reappear until early July next year.  I leave you with the pictures…