Usually associated with Renaissance chateaux and historical monuments, the Loire valley is in fact a place of much greater richness and interest than the image of popular perception. The river itself is the longest in France and passes through a succession of landscapes, many of them of a richness which suggests that this is truly ‘the garden of France’, as it is often called. Yet there is variety here, reflected in the buildings and settings of the beautiful villages so stunningly illustrated in this book. Over thirty villages of the Loire and the surrounding countryside are described and beautifully illustrated in this book, which is completed by special sections on wine and food, and abbeys and churches. As with all the volumes in The Most Beautiful Villages series, there are appendices listing the most important sights, markets, hotels and restaurants, either in each village or close by.
The cave art of France’s Dordogne region is world-famous for the mythology and beauty of its remarkable drawings and paintings. These ancient images of lively bison, horses, and mammoths, as well as symbols of all kinds, are fascinating touchstones in the development of human culture, demonstrating how far humankind has come and reminding us of the ties that bind us across the ages.
Over more than twenty-five years of teaching and research, Christine Desdemaines-Hugon has become an unrivaled expert in the cave art and artists of the Dordogne region. In her new book she combines her expertise in both art and archaeology to convey an intimate understanding of the “cave experience.” Her keen insights communicate not only the incomparable artistic value of these works but also the near-spiritual impact of viewing them for oneself.
Focusing on five fascinating sites, including the famed Font de Gaume and others that still remain open to the public, Stepping-Stones reveals striking similarities between art forms of the Paleolithic and works of modern artists and gives us a unique pathway toward understanding the culture of the Dordogne Paleolithic peoples and how it still touches our lives today.