Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Postcard of the Day No. 75 – Street-running en France

These postcards show that it wasn’t unknown for trains to take to the highway in France. It seems to be something more commonly seen with small trains in small towns although in Nantes mainline express trains ran alongside the city streets making for a fine spectacle. The village of Barbizon is close to Fontainebleau Forest and gave its name to a group of 19th. century landscape painters who made a virtue out of painting in the open-air. On the day the Second World War broke out Picasso travelled from Paris to the Atlantic coastal resort of Royan. He was chauffeur driven in his Hispano-Suiza with an entourage including Dora Maar and his secretary, Sabartés. For almost 12 months he would alternate between Royan and Paris before settling once more in Paris for the rest of the Occupation. Lunéville was described as the Versailles of Lorraine – the Château de Lunéville was the seat of the Dukes of Lorraine. Georges de La Tour, the master of candle light and chiaroscuro lived most of his adult life in Lunéville and died there in 1652. Nantes has a reputation for slave trading, ship building and manufacturing biscuits. The great French brand LU (Lefèvre-Utile) was born in Nantes but like so much else has ended up in the clammy embrace of Mondelez – a neologism created to divert attention away from any negative associations that might cling to the name of Kraft. 

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