30 September 2012


Now that I've said (in yesterday's post) that I enhanced my photos of the paintings in the lower church in Saint-Aignan, I feel like I need to show you the "before" and "after" shots. Here is such a pair featuring a photo I posted yesterday.


...et après

As always, click on the images to see them at a larger size. And depending on the resolution of your monitor, you might get an even larger image by clicking again on the larger image. Large, larger, largest. I'm not sure that's clear. Experiment.

Some of you might think I shouldn't have bothered with the enhancements in the first place. The originals were good enough — maybe better. But Photoshop is addicting. I don't want to leave anybody with the idea that the Saint-Aignan wall art is not visible to the naked eye. Oh wait, I used the camera's flash. As I said: when you come, bring a big flashlight!

Here's another image, a section cropped out of the photo above.


...et après

As for the Michelin Guide's terminology, as Judy wondered... I have the Green Guide titled Périgord Quercy (©1986), where I read in the article about La Grotte de Lascaux, on page 105:

« ... le 12 septembre 1940 ... quatre jeunes gens ... aperçurent sur les parois de la galerie où ils s'étaient introduits une extraordinaire fresque de peintures polychromes. »

Now how's that for linguistic abracadabra. In the sentence above, fresque has a completely different meaning. The Robert dictionary of the French language gives this figurative meaning of fresque :

« Vaste composition artistique, littéraire, présentant un tableau d'ensemble d'une époque, d'une société, etc. »

Farther on in the Michelin Guide's article about Lascaux, the French term peintures is used consistently to describe the wall paintings there.

As for the plural form "frescos" in English, it's like pianos, rodeos, cellos, curios, radios, memos, and patios — no E before the S.


  1. Et la lumière fut..!

  2. My 1969 Heritage Dictionary of the English Language gives frescoes or frescos as plural for fresco. To be consistent it gives also two acceptations of the word fresco:
    1. The art of painting by pressing earth colors dissolved in water into fresh plaster.
    2. A painting executed on plaster [doesn’t say wet, fresh or dry].

    I wonder which acceptation would take the E in the plural!

    Needless to say your pictures are goegeous.

  3. Thanks for the comment CHM. Il y a un peu de flottement dans le sens du terme fresque ou fresco. C'est normal, comme le plâtre et les couleurs sont un peu aqueux...

    I don't know if there's any rule about the plural of English words that end in O. It's just usage -- or maybe it is that foreign-looking word (patio, cello, piano, rodeo) and abbreviated/truncated words (memo, curio, even radio) don't take -oes but -os in the plural. Of course, tomatoes and potatoes are not really English-looking words, when you think about it.

  4. There's also fresco secco, painting with watercolors on dry plaster. I just learned that looking up the plural of fresco.

    Hats off to you for figuring out how to make Photoshop work; it was way beyond me.

  5. Wasn't it Dan Quale who got caught out with his 'potatoes'?


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