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Reading English at Downing College, Cambridge


A visit to France and art books
Quentin Blake Artist
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I can remember those Romanesque capitals in churches, from that time, very well. And I think it was then that I bought a book of 18th  century French drawings, and I think it was in the Place Gambetta in Bordeaux, I still have it, anyway, but there were two. I had forgotten to mention, there was a previous… when I was at school, I bought a copy of a book of the lithographs of Daumier, which I still have, and the 18th century French drawings, I still have. So that was part of the French influence, and I also, from then, I had a little sort of economy book of French posters at the end of the 19th century, which had got posters… I mean just little pictures in really, not a lavish coffee table book, but it's quite interesting, because you can get it out of there, and it's got posters by Cappiello and Stein and those people, names who came to mean more to me later on, and then I if I look back, I saw that hat I'd got them in this little book.

Quentin Blake, well loved British writer and illustrator, is perhaps best known for bringing Roald Dahl's characters to life with his vibrant illustrations, and for becoming the first ever UK Children's Laureate. He has also written and illustrated his own books including Mr Magnolia which won the Kate Greenaway Medal.

Listeners: Ghislaine Kenyon

Ghislaine Kenyon is a freelance arts education consultant. She previously worked in gallery education including as Head of Learning at the Joint Education Department at Somerset House and Deputy Head of Education at the National Gallery’s Education Department. As well as directing the programme for schools there, she curated exhibitions such as the highly successful Tell Me a Picture with Quentin Blake, with whom she also co-curated an exhibition at the Petit Palais in Paris in 2005. At the National Gallery she was responsible for many initiatives such as Take Art, a programme working with 14 London hospitals, and the national Take One Picture scheme with primary schools. She has also put on several series of exhibition-related concerts. Ghislaine writes, broadcasts and lectures on the arts, arts education and the movement for arts in health. She is also a Board Member of the Museum of Illustration, the Handel House Museum and the Britten-Pears Foundation.

Tags: 18th century, Place Gambetta, 19th century, Honoré Daumier, Leonetto Cappiello, Gertrude Stein

Duration: 1 minute, 21 seconds

Date story recorded: January 2006

Date story went live: 24 January 2008