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 (tricking the eye).
A café exterior wall ~
A faux storefront, homes, garage, staircase and terraces ~
A faux neighborhood ~
Town symbols and history ~
The local economy – wine production ~
Scenes along an esplanade ~
Traditional architecture ~
Important historical figures ~
Honoring the creation of a Molière play ~
An art gallery supposedly dedicated to a member of the French resistance in WWII ~
Celebrating the famous 9 Locks on the Canal du Midi, at Béziers ~
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.