The topics of this blog are Armand-Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Duke of Richelieu, and the IDEAL CITY built on his command next to his magnificent CHÂTEAU on the borders of Touraine, Anjou and Poitou, in France.

Friday 28 November 2008

The Très Riches Heures 1 - the autumn months

Le Louvre Paris


château de Vincennes

The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry or simply the Très Riches Heures (The Very Rich Hours of the Duke of Berry) is a very richly decorated Book of Hours (containing prayers to be said by the lay faithful at each of the canonical hours of the day) commissioned by Jean, Duc de Berry in about 1410. It is probably the most important illuminated manuscript of the 15th century, "le roi des manuscrits enluminés" ("the king of illuminated manuscripts"). The Très Riches Heures consists of 416 pages, including 131 with large miniatures and many more with border decorations or historiated initials, that are among the high points of International Gothic painting in spite of their small size. There are 300 decorated capital letters. The book was worked on, over a period of nearly a century, in three main campaigns, led by the Limbourg brothers, Barthélemy van Eyck, and Jean Colombe. The book is now Ms. 65 in the Musée Condé, Chantilly, France.

I struggle to find any connection with the great cardinal or his town; but aren't they pretty, these twelve illustrations of the months of the year.  I feel sure agricultural life in 1630 was pretty much the same as 200 years before.  The ancient forested dukedom of Berry lies 70km to the east of Touraine and (if possible) eclipses Touraine's reputation as the best place in France for the hunt! 
I will put up three 'months' at a time: firstly the autumn quarter.

October: Tilling the field. In the background is the Louvre.
November: A peasant feeding the hogs acorns.
December: A wild boar hunt. In the background is the Château de Vincennes.

.... most of the castles illustrated in the calendar were owned by the duc de Berry!

Thursday 27 November 2008

Tuesday 11 November 2008

A nice plan of the Ideal Town of RICHELIEU - 'intra-muros'

This A3 detailed 1 : 2000 plan of the Ville de Richelieu 'within-the-walls' 


Thursday 6 November 2008

Richelieu's Paris - 3 The Pavillon de l'Horloge

The most famous and conspicuous work of Jacques Lemercier, premier architecte du Roy and designer of the château and town of Richelieu is the Pavillon de l'Horloge - the Clock Pavilion -which is on the western side of the main courtyard of the Louvre.

Saturday 1 November 2008

Backing up BLOGSPOT blogs

The more one writes on a blog the more nervous one becomes that the growing content might go on the blink out there in Google-land (including Picasa-land). This is because all Google Blogspot blogs are archived on a remote computer 'in the clouds' rather than on the hard-disk of the author. For some IT reason I do not understand, Blogspot does not formally offer any method of backing up data, either text or images/videos (WHY NOT?).
As this silly little blog is now 'probably' the deepest data source in the English language on our little ideal town of Richelieu in Touraine, this situation makes me nervous...
So, blogmasters, what can one do?
1 Download a copy of the 'open-source' web-browser Firefox. On macs the latest version is 3.0.3; pc's - well you can find out for yourself...
2 Prior to starting Firefox for the first time, download an extension (they call it an 'add-on') to Firefox called 'DownThemAll' 1.0.3 and install it into the Firefox browser.
3 The DownThemAll extension will appear in the Firefox main menu under 'tools'.
This (with a little improvisation) will allow you to download the data from any viewed web page.
4 If you want to download the entire blog (as I did), the way to do this is by allowing the blog's 'first' page to have a very large number of posts on it, i.e. the total number of posts written. Then all the data will be downloaded from this new super 'single page'. Remember, it may take quite a time for all those posts to download from out there onto your own computer screen!
5 Once the precious data is backed up into the file folder of your choice on your own machine (probably as an html file), remember to change back the blog's 'items per page' to a sensible number (say 12), to allow a normally quick download for your readers.
6 It needs a bit of playing with, but it has worked for me!

Another rather more prosaic method of backing-up posts is to set Blogspot so that it sends oneself an e-mail copy of the text of a new post each time a new post is loaded. If one files these e-mails carefully, one has a digital record of all that one has typed, which would in turn allow an easy recreation of any post at some time in the future. Only the first loading of a post is sent on; revisions are not forwarded (an important point if one edits repeatedly or late in the posting process). I am trying this method out too. It does not cover digital images, but these can usually be re-created from one's own photo source unless one has been so imprudent as to delete all other copies. Images nicked from the web can be re-found.
6 November 2008.  This method is working rather well too.