"Mont-San-Michel and Sun" Normandy, France

  • Details

    Mont-Saint-Michel[3] (French pronunciation: [lə mɔ̃ sɛ̃ miʃɛl]NormanMont Saint Miché; English: Saint Michael's Mount) is a tidal island and mainland commune in Normandy, France.

    The island[4] lies approximately one kilometre (one-half nautical mile) off France's north-western coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches and is 7 hectares (17 acres) in area. The mainland part of the commune is 393 hectares (971 acres) in area so that the total surface of the commune is 400 hectares (990 acres).[5][6] As of 2019, the island had a population of 29.[7]

    The commune's position—on an island just a few hundred metres (yards) from land—made it accessible at low tide to the many pilgrims to its abbey, and defensible as the incoming tide stranded, drove off, or drowned would-be assailants. The island remained unconquered during the Hundred Years' War. A small garrison fended off a full attack by the English in 1433.[8] Louis XI recognised the benefits of its natural defence and turned it into a prison. The abbey was used regularly as a prison during the Ancien Régime.

    Mont-Saint-Michel and its surrounding bay were inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1979 for its unique aesthetic and importance as a Catholic site.[9] It is visited by more than three million people each year. Over 60 buildings within the commune are protected in France as historical monuments.[10]

    In 2023, President Macron marked 1,000 years of the abbey, and the success of the hydraulic dam project and the elevated pedestrian bridge in restoring water flow in the bay, making the mount an island again.[11]

  • Biography

    Lamar Briggs (1935-2015)

    Following is an obituary of the artist, published in the Houston Chronicle newspaper, April 26, 2015

    Lamar Briggs of Palm Beach, Florida passed away o January 4, 2015, at the age of 79 after a short illness. Born on November 13, 1935 in Lafayette, Louisiana. Lamar was drawn to visual forms from a young age. He attended the University of Southern Louisiana where he initially studied architecture before attending the University of Houston where he studied painting under Paul Maxwell, Jack Boynton, and Robert Morris before graduating from the Colorado Institute of Art. In 2005, he was inducted into the Colorado Institute of Art Hall of Fame.

    In 1963, after working as a graphic designer and art director in Houston, Lamar painted his interpretation of St. Mark's Square underwater, which he saw in Life magazine. He won the Ford Foundation Purchase Award presented by Willem de Kooning in a show sponsored by the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. Lamar's first show of paintings followed in 1965 at the Meredith Long Gallery in Houston which attracted both local and national attention. By 1969, he left his position as art director.

    Lamar's reputation as an abstract colorist was established in the early 1970's when he began experimenting with acrylic paints. By 1976, he was painting full-time while developing techniques for lithographs, silkscreens and monotypes.

    Lamar was known for the infinite variety of shades and tints in his work and in particular the transparency of color which has a fluid and spontaneous feeling on the canvas. The collection of work by Lamar Briggs is vibrant and exciting, celebrating a joy in life and in movement that he saw in landscape, nature, light, and music – particularly jazz.

    In 1971 he presented a one-man exhibition at the United States Consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico. In 1982 Lamar participated in a Group Show, the "Rutgers Archives for Printmaking Studios", at the Zummerli Art Museum in New Brunswick, New Jersey. This prestigious print show traveled for several years throughout the US.

    Since 1975, Lamar Briggs has had a continuous relationship with the Moody Gallery in Houston, Texas. Betty Moody has presented his work for more than 40 years and has become a dear friend of the family.

    Briggs was featured in "The Houston Century" (Top Artists of the Century) in the Houston Chronicle on December 12, 1999. From 1990 through 1994 Lamar Briggs was the Guest Artist at the Anderson Ranch Art Center in Snowmass, Colorado. Lamar's work has been shown in museums and galleries in Canada, Mexico, England, Germany, Switzerland and Hungary as well as throughout the United States. He has participated in over 140 group and one-man exhibitions in his artistic career and is known worldwide as on of the great colorists of the past century.

    Lamar is survived by his devoted wife Nancy Briggs of Palm Beach, Florida.

    Submitted by Stewart Peairson

    Born and raised in Lafayette, the Cajun country of Louisiana, Lamar Briggs is a colorist who creates monotypes and large-scale abstract acrylic paintings. His studio is in Palm Beach, Florida.

    His art education includes Independent Study, Antibes, France, 1966; Colorado Institute of Art, 1960; Art Center of Los Angeles, 1959; University of Houston, 1958; University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1953.

    Early in his career, he began his signature abstract paintings that are inspired by nature, music, and a positive attitude towards life.

    His approach is scholarly, and he carefully researches the symbolism in his paintings. He has sophisticated knowledge of printmaking that allows him to incorporate chine colle, collage, woodcutting and etching in his mixed media monotypes on precious papers. His goal is to achieve works that appear spontaneous and rhythmic.

    Briggs has been referenced in Who's Who in American Art since 1962.

    Miller Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio. Publicity of exhibition in February 2002

    Selected Collections:
    Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC; Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL; Beaumont Art Museum, Beaumont, TX; Rice University, Houston, TX; The University of Texas, Austin, TX; The Moody Foundation, Galveston, TX; Exxon Corporation, Houston, TX; Bristol Meyers, New York, NY; Prudential Life Insurance Co., Newark, NJ; Mobil Oil, Houston, TX; IBM, Los Angeles, CA; Price Waterhouse & Co., Dayton, OH; Tenneco, Houston, TX; Schlumberger, Houston, TX; First City National Bank, Houston, TX; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, London; Paine Webber, Austin, TX; Petrolair Systems, Geneva, Switzerland; Private Bank & Trust, London, England; Weingarten Realty, Houston, TX.