Longchamp, an architectural achievement
A little history…
It is 1:30 pm in Marseille, in front of the majestic Palais Longchamp when we met our artist guide Ghislaine. Very welcoming, she put us at ease right away and explained to us how our visit was going to take place. We will alternate between history of the place and drawing breaks.
We begin by admiring the imposing architecture of the Palais Longchamp before us. The sun brings out the warm colors of the building and allows us to admire many reflections in the fountain that overlooks the structure. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful monuments in Marseille!
Ghislaine explains to us the history of the Palace, which we owe the architect Henri-Jacques Espérandieu, also known for having drawn up the plans of de Notre-Dame de la Garde and the Cathedral de la Major. Indeed, after 10 years of work, it was built to celebrate the arrival of water from the Durance River in Marseille.
This ambitious project consists of three main parts: firstly, in the center there is a monumental fountain situated at a height of 10 meters connected by two equally imposing wings; in the left wing we find the Museum of Natural History and in the right wing the Museum of Fine Arts.
After climbing a few steps and admiring the large semi-circular colonnades, we arrive at the level of the central pavilion with its water tower and majestic sculptures. In particular, we can observe a chariot drawn by four Camargue bulls as well as three female characters who represent the Durance, wheat and vines.
On the side, we can also admire two imposing sculptures of Triton playing the conch (shell used as a wind musical instrument). At this specific spot we also have a breathtaking view of the city of Marseille. Led by the inspiration, it is here that Ghislaine decides to teach us the fundamentals of drawing.