On the Pentecost holiday weekend Sunday and Monday of 27-28 May 2012 about 90 artists will be displaying their works in the streets and alleyways, village square, houses and gardens of la Perrière – everywhere available, in fact!
This is the 16th annual arts market at la Perrière – contemporary modern art is to the fore in all its forms, be it bronze or clay sculpture, on canvas, paper et al.
About La Perrière
Perched on a spur of granite this little village with its old narrow streets has charm without end. Apart from the artists’ fair there is a very nice bar, a restaurant (le Relais d’Horbé) a brocante (antique shop). The picture-box houses date from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Make sure you take a walk around the church, behind which are fantastic views of the valley.
Just 4km from our chambres d’hôtes is the tiny commune and village of Bourg-le-Roi, on the border of Normandy and the Pays de la Loire, known for a particular form of incredibly delicate emroidery called “Point de Beauvais”.
History of Point de Beauvais Embroidery at Bourg le Roi
Henry II Plantagenet made the decision in 1169 to build a fortified town at Bourg-le-Roi in order to protect his interests in the region. This characterful little village – which never grew to be the major city it was intended to be – has kept some significant architectural traces from that time, with fortified ramparts of a kind unique in the Sarthe and rare in all of France.
History has it that Point de Beauvais embroidery came to France via Italy, having arrived there via the China trade routes in the late middle ages.
This form of “linked stitch” embroidery became enormously popular from the 17th century, probably reaching its greatest heights in the 18th and carrying on well into the 20th century. A workshop was founded at Bourg-le-Roi by Margaret Boulard in 1840, and at its peak it was employing up to 60 home needleworkers. The last commercial embroidery workshop at Bourg-le-Roi closed its doors in 1968.
Example of Point de Beauvais
The Point de Beauvais Museum at Bourg le Roi
Part of the brief of the Association Tourisme et Culture of Bourg-le-Roi is to preserve and promote the art of Point de Beauvais embroidery, which is part of the historical fabric (pardon the pun) of the community.
The Musée du Point de Beauvais counts among its exhibits a 12m long embroidered frieze tracing the history of the commune of Bourg le Roi between 50BC and 1450AD, examples of embroidered ecclésiastial vestments, wall hangings, tablecloths and items of clothing decorated with Point de Beauvais needlework. There is also a video to show the technique, and practical demonstrations each weekend in season.
One weekend each May the association and the Museé du Point de Beauvais organise an embroidery fair, featuring articles for sale and demonstrations of many types of needlework. We’ve been to this and can vouch that it is extremely popular and well-attended by people from many departments of France.
The association also organises about forty embroidery courses each year, for a maximum of 3 people each, open to novices and experienced neddleworkers alike. These take place in the museum itself.
Yvette Bertaux, one of the former workers at the commercial embroidery workshops of de Bourg-le-Roi, is one of the teachers. In an interview with a regional paper she explained, “I made my first few stitches in 1953, a beginner just like the people I teach today; it takes a great dexterity of hand and you have to persevere to go through three or four practical courses to learn the basics”.
Point de Beauvais embroidery, unlike some other forms such as Luneville, is worked with the right side of the workpiece uppermost. The pattern is traced onto paper, which is pierced all along the tracing lines with a needle; then ink is stencilled through the holes onto the cloth, which is stitched and held onto a workframe. The thread is worked from beneath the cloth using a very fine crochet hook, resembling a regular needle, to push and pull the thread, forming interlocking loops on the top surface and making a real “chain stitch”.
The best examples of the work can resemble paintings, since the Point de Beauvais technique allows many colours to be worked and combined, as finely as the embroiderer wishes, and the stitches can be very tightly worked together.
76 rue du point de Beauvais
Tel : 02 33 26 80 69 or 02 33 82 70 77
Open from 15h to 18h30
July and August: Wednesday and Sunday
June and September: weekends
Point de Beauvais Courses
Contact Colette Mezenge, President of the Association Tourisme et Culture of Bourg-le-Roi
Tel : 09 75 28 23 12
Three experienced embroiderers run the actual courses: Yvette Bertaux, Ginette Besnard and Lucienne Mondion. All necessary work materials and tools are provided.
Each 9 hour course takes place over a day and a half and costs 95€
Today we visited the nearby Manoir de Couesme in the Pays de la Loire and viewed the FREE outdoor exhibition of sculptures, paintings and plastic arts on display in the grounds of the manor house.
The Manoir de Couesme, in the commune of Ancinnes on the border of Normandy and Pays de la Loire, dates from the 15th century and is being beautifully restored by the current owners. They hold regular art exhibitions there each September.
The exhibits in the current (2009) exhibition at the Manoir de Couesme are the creations of Emmanuel and Fabrice Perrin, inspired by the painting “Jardin de Délices” (Garden of Delights) by Jérome Bosch (1503-04). The original painting is a triptych depicting a sort of Garden of Eden with naked men and women boozing, gorging and cavorting with animals, insects and birds, Paradise mixed with Hell, where pleasure and pain are intertwined.
The result in the Manoir de Couesme 2009 exhibition is a fantastic, wonderful and often amusing view of the baser side of mankind, sexuality and excess.
The artworks on display are made in iron, wood, glass, ceramics, terracotta and paper – and they are all for sale. If you want to make us a gift, then one of the STUNNING metalwork dragonflies – a bargain at 700€ – would be a welcome addition to the sculptures in our own garden and would look superb in our lake.
The exhibition runs until the end of September 2009 – if you are in the area, don’t miss it – we were taken aback by the wonderful, imaginative, bizarre, rude and amusing artworks on display.
Manoir de Couesme “Jardin Imaginaire 2009″ Exhibition
Every day from 5th to 30th September 2009
Hours 10h00 to 18h00
Bar on site
Parking on site free
Souvenir and gift stall
Artwork for sale, individual items 15 euro to 3000 euro
The Manoir de Couesme is situated between Ancinnes and Bourg-le Roi in the Sarthe department, Pays de la Loire, France.
This weekend sees the annual summer fair at Château de Carrouges. Themed around horseback hunting and fishing, the “Fête de la Chasse et de la Pêche” attracts over 75,000 visitors to Carrouges each year.
The entry ticket includes a tour of the château interior – the Château de Carrouges is always worth a visit and is open all year round apart from Xmas Day. See separate posts Château de Carrouges for details of visits at other times of year.
The fair is spread over 30 hectares in the grounds of this magnificent château, with shows and demonstrations on various topics such as dogs, horses, hunting horns, fishing, forestry, Normandy produce (cider, cheese, calvados etc.), sheep dog trials taking place throughout the first weekend of August 5friday to Sunday).
Both official and friendly competitions and events take place during the weekend. Lots of food ans snack stalls, bars, tastings etc. plus special temporary restaurants serving full menus from 15€ to 23€ for a “menu gastronomique”.
Adults 9€, up to 15 years old free.
Outline Programme for the Weekend Fair:
Friday 31 July 2009
From 10am: Visits to the Castle, produce stands and “villages”.
Saturday 1st August 2009
9 am: Start of competitions and events
14h30 to 18h30: many shows and demonstrations
Demonstrations of carriage driving and horsemanship from the world famous Haras du Pin, drag hunting, working dogs, falconry displays, hunting horn playing competitions … and much more
NEW GRAND NIGHT SHOW “THE DAY THE CASTLE”
Sunday 2 August 2009
9 am: Start of competitions and events
Mass in celebration of SAINT-HUBERT
14h30 to 18h30: shows and demonstrations, see Saturday
On the fourth Sunday of June each year there is a medieval fair in the neighbouring village of Bourg-le-Roi, on the edge of the Alpes Mancelles, and just a couple of miles down the road from us.
This year the medieval fair falls on the 28th June and will feature dozens of craft and art stalls, jousting displays, a “medieval meal” and entertainment at midday, snack and drinks bars, jugglers, falconry displays, an archery stall, medieval music and more in the same theme.
Bourg le Roi is first documented as a dependance of the Le Mans monastery in 1154. It was developed as a fortified garrison town by King Henri II Plantagenêt, as it occupied a strategic point at a crossroads on the Maine (Anjou) and Normandy border. Hence it’s name “Bourg le Roi”.
The “cité” is still surrounded for on two sides by the original medieval ramparts, and two granite gateways also survive – the gates of Saint-Rémy and Saint-Mathurin. The remains of the château fort are largely ruins but can be visited on the hilltop inside the cité walls. The tower, walls and ditch defences can clearly be seen.
The village itself is very pretty and retains much of its medieval character because it has never been allowed to expand and develop outside the ramparts; it is now listed as a national site of historical interest.
There is a super little bistro and bar called “Le Bistrot de l’Olivier” in the village centre. The bar is open most days but the bistrot opens only Friday to Sunday lunchtime (including Friday and Saturday evenings).
Down in the gardens near the pond by the “lavoir” (former public washouse) is a good spot to picnic.
Bourg le Roi also has an interesting little museum and workshop specialising in Point de Beauvais needlework. From the 19th century until the 1960′s this was the main industry of the village, with a workshop at one time employing 60 embroiderers. The embroidery museum is open from June to end of September at weekends from 15h00 to 18h30, and the same hours additionally Wednesday to Friday in July and August, featuring Point de Beauvais embroidery demonstrations.