France: Part 2

We drive to the city of Albi the next day and start out in the gothic cathedral, built huge and ornate to impress the people of the time with the power and authority of the church. I am at least impressed by the size of it and, knowing there will be a lot of walking and standing this day, I plant myself on a pew for a few moments of sketching one part of one-one thousandth of the many figures depicted in the cathedral art.  An angel and a griffin.

Toulouse-Lautrec awaits us in the palace museum as we eat lunch with it in our view.

As I become absorbed with the life and work of Toulouse-Lautrec, I ponder how I might imitate his style, while copying a poster hanging in a grand gallery.

-Paint black and opaque color on cardboard or brown paper.

-Sketch a figure in movement and filling the picture space.

-Exaggerate movement/expression

-Hang out in a brothel.



  1. Ah Susan, if you only knew how touching this post for me is!
    I have lived in Albi twice, from the age of 10 to 12 and later on again, from 16 to 18.
    I have done one of my catholic communions in Sainte Cecile, as I was about 10. My older brother married in Sainte Cecile… I went very often to church and confession there,
    But it is only some years ago that I visited the museum Toulouse Lautres. i was so impressed that I cried there. Seeing all the originals of his wonderful posters was an incredible moment to me.
    Oh, I am so back in past that I almost forgot to say: great sketches!


    1. This is so amazing what you say about living in Albi and having a communion and a wedding in that cavernous cathedral. It is so enormous and so ornate, you must have felt that it just swallowed you up, or maybe transported you back several centuries to the time after the Inquisition. It felt like it was about Rome making its presense felt in this land of the “heretics” in the most overwhelming way available.

      So fun to have you following my trip – wish I’d been there with you!


      1. To tell the truth, Susan, although these “buildings” are gigantic works of art, I never feel comfortable inside and am always in a hurry to be out again! I never liked to go to church, in fact I hated it,they incorporate too much for me the kind of authorities and rules I can’t stand!!!
        I have written in my blog a little bit about my way of dealing with the French cathedrals… it is to read here


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