Rowboats on the River Herault; under-painting
Rowboats on the River Herault; blocking-in major areas of color
Well, it looks as if I am stuck on a theme here… this painting is very similar in many ways to the canal scene of the Frontignan Quay-side I painted not too long ago. Similar subject matter, similar composition (although a very different format) and similar colors. But the sameness is not coincidental, they are meant to be companion pieces displayed on two different walls in the same room.
This is an image of rowing boats tied up along side a quay along the River Herault as it passes through the town of Agde, a medieval town in the south of France and serviced by the Canal du Rhone. These boats are used for rowing competitions, oft times fueled by large quantities of the local red. Apparently the races can be very entertaining to watch!
But after this I’ll take a break from this subject as I have two commissions to paint, both of sailboats – should be fun and I’m looking forward to doing them.
Aigues-Mortes is a beautiful little town along the Canal du Rhone and about four miles in from the Mediterranean Sea. It was established in the early 13th century as a trading port and was fortified in the mid to late 13th to protect it as it had become an important outpost of King Louis IX of France. King Louis ruled from here as he was an active participant in the crusades and in fact died on his last crusade to the Holy Land from Aigues-Mortes. For that he was Canonized; now you know who Saint Louis is!
More about Aigues-Mortes
As one would expect, bridges cross the canal system quite regularly. Some are beautiful and some… aren’t. Some are quite old – the canals were predominantly built in the late 17th century – and some are new. The old ones seem to be respected but the newer ones are often covered with graffiti, some of it spectacular.
The older bridges present a challenge to navigation, sometimes the arches are barely wider than the boat. It’s a good thing that the current in the canal is negligible! The other thing to consider when piloting the boat under the old, lower bridges is to… duck!
Click here to see more bridges along the canal