Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sculpture Gardens at the Chateau of Bois-Guilbert

My DD had the fabulous luck, during her school year in France, to be hosted by three wonderful families. The third of those was the Thierry de Pas family, who run the first Pony Club to be established in France. All summer long the pony club is hopping with kids learning to ride and care for Shetland ponies. The first morning I was there we accompanied Thierry's daughter Agathe to bring in the horses from a back pasture--what an adventure to follow more than 300 horses through narrow country lanes back to the barns of the pony club. The de Pas family were wonderful hosts and I enjoyed getting to know Thierry, his wife Delphine, and their children, in the week I spent as their guest.

Next door to the pony club, on what used to be the same estate, is the Chateau of Bois-Guilbert, owned by Thierry's brother Jean-Marc, a celebrated sculptor. Jean-Marc has established beautiful sculpture gardens at the chateau, and this summer he has organized the "Sixth Bienniale of Sculpture in the Gardens of Bois-Guilbert." (You can see more at, if you can manage your way around a site in French.)

Never being one to miss out on an opportunity, I did not neglect to visit the chateau and its gardens. The beauty of the place was breathtaking. We spent a couple of hours walking through the gardens, taking in the sculpture and its interaction with the landscape, shooting photo after photo with my iPhone, and getting more inspired by the minute.

I've posted a couple of pictures for you to enjoy as well. One is of the chateau as you approach it from the road; you will see DD and her host brother Jeremie in the foreground. Closer to the castle is a sculpture by Robert Arnoux. The other picture is of a sculpture just outside the little chapel on the estate; I believe it is by the owner, Jean-Marc de Pas. To me this sculpture reflects the aristocratic history of this wonderful place, handed down from one generation to another.

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