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A second painting started inspired by San Gimiano, Italy- view from one of the towers. It is still untitled – to be followed

oil painting by suzanne belair

Travail en cours / Work in progress
©2017 Suzanne Bélair
Oil on canvas 30 X 40

Like the previous one, this painting is based on pictures I took from the towers surrounding San Giminiano in Italy when we visited a few years ago.

Here are a few more facts about this beautiful town. Its historic center was registered with UNESCO in 1990 on the  World heritage list. Its full name San Giminiano delle belle Torri’ is 56 km south of Florence and used to serve as an important relay point for travellers to and from Rome on the Via Francigena. Some of the towers stood more than 50 meters high.

In San Giminiano, you can find several masterpieces of Italian art, dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries.

The town became independent in 1199 and grew around two squares. The towers were built between the 11th and 13th Century. The Piazza Duomo, one of the main squares dates back to the 13th Century. It has an intricate layout and this is where most of the public and private monuments can be found. The Piazza della Cisterna is triangular and has a central well.

It is a beautiful town, still very lively and interesting to visit. Like another one I painted a few years ago, I decided to add colors to the grey buildings to create a dynamic art piece.
 

To view the previous finished painting from 2013 “San Giminiano, revisited” go to my post: Five-Day Art Challenge on Facebook – Day 2

 

To see my other work in progress and learn more about this fascinating town, go to previous post: Work in Progress

 

Site web Suzanne Bélair

www.facebook.com/SuzanneBelairArtist

Enviroart par Suzanne Bélair

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wyeth-christinas-world

One of the most iconic works in American art – the painting “Christina’s World” – currently hangs in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as a prized piece of Americana and one of the museum’s most popular exhibits. In his artwork, Andrew Wyeth, a master of American realism, honors a dear friend, …

Source: A World of Her Own – Body Horrors

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Here is a plan for a round barn drawn in 1923. We made it into our invitation.

2015-09-AUSTIN-invitation

My fascination with the Eastern Townships round barns continues as I imagine the time’s lifestyle. After visiting the barns and painting the outside, I was so happy to discover a floor plan. I am sharing this with great pleasure and hope you’ll find some time to come to the area and visit this interesting exhibition.

All are welcome !

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Here is the second rendition of the round barn of Mansonville. For the needs of the exhibition on round barns that will be held soon at Austin’s City Hall, I painted the subject in another format and from a different angle.

Patrimoine 3, Mansonville, Qc. ©2015 Suzanne Belair Oil on canvas, 22 X 28 in

Patrimoine 3, Mansonville, Qc.
©2015 Suzanne Belair
Oil on canvas, 22 X 28 in

The visit organized last year made me discover part of the history of the region and an architecture unbeknown to me until then.

To see the other version of this round barn and discover its history, click here .

To see the Austin round barn and its origin, click here .

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Références:

1. Blitz, Culture et patrimoine, 2010, Plan d’interprétation et de mise en valeur de la grange ronde de Mansonville, disponible au :
http://patrimoinepotton.org/biblioapp/Rapport_Blitz_grange_ronde_Mansonville.pdf

Bourque, Hélène, 1998. Granges rondes, rapport d’expertise: mise à jour des données d’inventaire, Qc. Ministère de la culture et des communications,.s.p.

http://www.patrimoine-culturel.gouv.qc.ca/rpcq/detail.do?methode=consulter&id=165435&type=bien#.VXWeXc9Viko

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Last summer, the City of Austin’s cultural committee in Eastern townships had organized a guided tour of the round barns of the region. Here is the one we visited in Mansonville which I painted, with a bit of history about the area’s round barns.

Patrimoine, Mansonville, Qc ©2015 Suzanne Belair Oil on canvas, 20 X 30 in

Patrimoine, Mansonville, Qc
©2015 Suzanne Belair
Oil on canvas, 20 X 30 in

The round barn of Mansonville, located in the Canton of Potton, was built in 1911 by Robert J. Jersey and was exploited by various other owners as an agricultural building until 1990.  It is a cattle barn made out of wood, which includes three levels. In 2009, it was declared “heritage building” for the architectural interest of its exterior envelope. It is different from the traditional cattle barns because of its circular plan.

“This circular architectural style, observed in the Eastern Townships, began with the Protestant sect of the Shakers, itself resulting from the Quakers” (1). The Shakers,  French Protestants, were exiled in England because of the persecutions suffered in France, their country of origin. At the beginning of the 18th century and still persecuted, they exiled themselves towards New England. It is during the 19th century that their style, characterized by the lack of decorative elements, is defined. At that time, the Shakers owned Community farms comprising several buildings, including the circular barn. “The legend says that this style was justified by the belief that the devil could hide in corners.” (1) Several examples of round barns can still be observed in New England.

Between 1885 and 1920, the idea is adopted in Quebec for certain barn-cattle sheds, but only a few tens of round barns are built on our territory. Several are in the Eastern Townships area, close to the American border,  including four in the area of Potton. The model is then considered more productive for the dairy farms, with less external walls, a central silo which supports the distribution of food and better lighting.

The distinguishing characteristics of the Mansonville round barn are its three dormer windows with pinion piercing the roof that testify to local alternatives. Nevertheless, it is an example representative of this type of agricultural building, by its circular plan, the rise on three levels being useful as cattle shed, hayloft and battery, as well as the ramp also called “garnaud”, which gives access to the last level and is covered with a straight double-pitch roof. The external facing in horizontal boards and the lantern laid out on the ridge of the circular broken roof are also typical of the model.

Following the tornado of 1913 and then with a major flood in 1927, the round barn of Mansonville is the only one which survived in this Canton and the only one to be built in the middle of a village. There now remains six round barns in the whole area, including one in Austin which was the subject of a previous post: click here .

http://suzannebelaircom

https://www.facebook.com/SuzanneBelairArtist

References:

  1. Blitz, Culture et patrimoine, 2010, Plan d’interprétation et de mise en valeur de la grange ronde de Mansonville, disponible au :

http://patrimoinepotton.org/biblioapp/Rapport_Blitz_grange_ronde_Mansonville.pdf

Bourque, Hélène, 1998. Granges rondes, rapport d’expertise: mise à jour des données d’inventaire, Qc. Ministère de la culture et des communications,.s.p.

http://www.patrimoine-culturel.gouv.qc.ca/rpcq/detail.do?methode=consulter&id=165435&type=bien#.VXWeXc9Viko

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The Municipality of Austin’s cultural committee in Eastern Townships organised a guided tour of 2 round barns in the area last summer. Here is the one from Austin that I painted a few weeks ago.

Patrimoine 2- Austin, Qc ©2015 Suzanne Belair Oil on canvas, 24 X 30 in

Patrimoine 2- Austin, Qc ©2015 Suzanne Belair Oil on canvas, 20 X 30 in

This barn is located on a private property which borders lake Memphremagog. I do not believe it is visible from the lake and it is not from the road either. An architectural treasure well hidden and protected by the government because this barn “was classified historical building in 1984, which requires the owners to preserve it in good condition and allows them, to this end, some financial or technical assistance from the ministry” (1). It is in 1907 that Damase Amédée Dufresne gave the contract to a local carpenter to build it with the intention of exploiting it as a dairy farm. The overall structure is characterized by the construction technique used at the time and the form of its buildings.

According to Eric Arthur, the Canadian architectural historian that published a book entitled “The Barn” in 1972, the round barn of Austin is “remarkable because it was conceived by empirical means without the contribution of an engineer and of his precise knowledge on the way in which softwood lumber of any given size reacts under compressive forces of tension in normal or unfavourable conditions. There is no silo nor central post… Interior space is completely free thanks to a superb roof of radiant rafters.” (1)

Several historical information on the arrival of the round barns in the region as well as other references will be available on my next post.

References:

  1. http://www.nationaltrustcanada.ca/sites/heritagecanada.org/files/magazines/Aut2003_Granges%20Rondes.pdf

http://grandquebec.com/villes-quebec/austin/

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Répit chez les Gauthier ©2014 Suzanne Bélair Oil on canvas  12 X 16 in

Répit chez les Gauthier
©2014 Suzanne Bélair
Oil on canvas 12 X 16 in

This painting developed from an old photo taken in 1925 and represents the general store of the Gauthier family. As the Historic Society of Ste-Marguerite du Lac Masson and Esterel are pointing to us, the store owners of that time cared about details, as we can observe with the lace-like element at the top of windows

 

We also notice that the general store offered a lot more that our modern convenience stores, like toys, including dolls as can be seen in the right hand window, cigarettes, milk, nails, piping, fabrics, gasoline.

 

The project of an historical paintings exhibition was born because of Rachel Guay, president of the Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson’s Association of Artists Painters and Artisans (AAPA), who wanted to join historical culture and visual art and who carried out the project. The exhibition-contest that brought together artists from all kinds of different areas of Quebec took place from June 27th to December 21st 2014 and ended with an event at city hall in the presence of the mayor and other municipal players. During the afternoon, I had the great pleasure and honour to accept the Public’s First choice for my painting.

 

This contest was launched in the context of the 150th anniversary of the municipality.

 

Also see: https://enviroartfr.wordpress.com/2014/06/

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