The French love murals (fresques) on the outsides of buildings, and they are found in towns and cities all over France. The fun thing about murals is that they add a scenic interest to an otherwise bland wall or building, suddenly adding an element that is at once thought-provoking and charming, with a story to tell that is quite often tongue-in-cheek humorous. My favorites are the ones that incorporate local history and traditions, bringing the past to life, as if it were part of present-day life.
Here are some we have seen on recent drives. Remember, these are all painted – almost nothing is real, even if your eye is tricked into thinking it is. This is the fun of trompe l’œil (which means tricking the eye).
A café exterior wall (located in Vieux Perpignan) ~
A faux storefront, homes, garage, staircase and terraces (located in Bédarieux) ~
A faux neighborhood (located in Vieux Agde) ~
Town symbols and history (located at the mairie in Addison) ~
The local economy – wine production (located outside Perpignan)~
Scenes along an esplanade (located in Florensac) ~
Traditional architecture (located in Villeneuve-lès-Béziers) ~
Important historical figures (located in Béziers) ~
Honoring the creation of a Molière play (located in Béziers) ~
An art gallery supposedly dedicated to a member of the French resistance in WWII (located on rue Mairan in old Béziers) ~
Celebrating the famous 9 Locks on the Canal du Midi, at Béziers (located in the center of Béziers) ~
Renaissance denizen (located in Vieux Carcassonne) ~
As a mural painter, myself, I am so impressed with the thoughtful design and impeccable workmanship in each and every one of these murals. They add so much to a town or cityscape and are such lovely surprises when discovered by sheer happenstance.