After three years of renovation, the Musée Ingres Bourdelle in Montauban had the misfortune to reopen in December 2019. After two years of Covid disruption, I managed to visit it last week. Housed in the former bishop’s palace, the new museum is one of Occitanie’s essential destinations for art lovers. And if you don’t know it already, while you there you will discover the meaning of the French idiom, ‘le violon d’Ingres’ (mine is the piano!)
While you are in town, don’t forget to visit the Place Nationale, surrounded on all four sides by a magnificent double row of arcades (the centre of the square is currently in the midst of building works which are due to be completed this summer). There is also a magnificent arcaded pigeonnier incongruously sited among the buildings of the hospital.
A few days ago, I was pruning the hydrangeas at the front of my house. A few lines from one of her poems kept going around inside my head.
‘Someone touched me lightly on the shoulder
I turned around but they had gone.
Perhaps you are the one I was no longer expecting
And of whom the confused memories
Sometimes disturb the mirror of my dreams.’
Louisa, I am honoured to live in a street named after you, and it is only fair that your old home should be No. 1, rue Louisa Paulin.
Have you discovered the Shepherd website? It’s like wandering around your favourite bookstore but reimagined for the online world. All book recommendations are made by authors, experts, and creators through themed lists like this one compiled by me!
Last year, I contributed a list of the best books about France through foreign eyes, and I was delighted to be invited to submit another set of book recommendations.
Albi yesterday, viewed from the gardens beside the magnificent Toulouse-Lautrec Museum. It reminded me of a paragraph from my book, Menu from the Midi: