The “ring around the rosy” song emerges from memory as eyes pause on the multitude of collected images in the “Chateau de Cormatin.” In a gilded room an original painting dating to years before the Chagall, dominates. You may well know that we did not come to the Rhône River valley to practice dancing, however we were able to see the power of influence. Yes I am easily influenced.
We also saw something else, another influence, another way of seeing as Barthes would say. Well, we did not see it but a student of art identified for us a black and white painting technique called “grisaille” wherein a painting would be primed (base layered) in black and white (think the French word “Gris”) but here was the twist: The grisaille technique was also used in the rendering in paintings statues (marble and limestone). The style supports the creation of paintings with sculptures that have reach around perspectives.
The chateau gardens (I was reminded again that castles are fortresses and chateaus are residences), rebuilt over years to a manicured demonstration of OCD. Turning through turrets and trap doors the chateau was not only discovery but also a careful delving into history, archiving for memory. The art of dancing is more than moving to music, maybe it is about recalling the rhythms of years, generations, centuries and aeons and seeing them reproduced in art that grants us access — makes it plain!