thomas m wilson

Two French Pastorals

April 11th, 2007


This is the south-east of France, in the hills north-west of Lyon that drain into the Soane River. At the start of 2001 I stood on a hill here, near the tiny village of St. Cyr le Chatoux. I was alone and I sat down on a grassy bank beside the road, and looked out into the valley before me. This is what I saw. The pastoral quiet and gentle sunshine still rise clearly from my memory.

Monet’s Poppies is a painting familiar to many. Take a look at this new take on that old painting. I saw this image recently and it made me think anew about the concept of pastoral in the rural landscape. The machine in the garden marks a turn for the pastoral idyll of literature past, and this painting is a kind of anti-pastoral spoof of Monet’s pastoral scene.