Category Archives: French gardens

Wordless Wednesday: jardin exotique

Jardin des Plantes, LoC“A Midsummer Trip to the West Indies,” Harper’s Magazine, August 1888, by Harry Fenn, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

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Life in gardens: the backdrop path

Trutat family on path, E. Trutat, Library of Toulouse, flickrPaul Trutat at Cornusson, France, by his father, Eugène Trutat. All photos here via Bibliothèque de Toulouse Commons on flickr.

Do you have a favorite outdoor spot for taking family photographs?

For early French photographer Eugène Trutat (1840 – 1910), it seems to have been this garden path, which was in Cornusson, a village in the Parisot commune in the Midi-Pyrénées.

The property may have been part of the family home of his wife, Caroline Cambe. The couple were married in Cornusson in 1864.  Paul (above) was born in 1865 and Henri in 1868.

(There’s a sweet picture of the two little boys together here.)

Eugène was from Toulouse.  In addition to being a photographer, he was a naturalist, geologist, mountaineer of the Pyrénées, and a curator of the Museum of Toulouse.

Trutat family on path, E. Trutat, Library of Toulouse, flickrCaroline (née Cambe) in a man’s suit.  I believe this was taken between 1859 and 1870.

Trutat family on path, E. Trutat, Library of Toulouse, flickrCaroline and her mother, ca. 1864- ca. 1875.

Trutat family on path, E. Trutat, Library of Toulouse, flickrExtended family group. If the boys in the picture are Paul and Henri, then the date is probably about 1871-75.

Trutat family on path, E. Trutat, Library of Toulouse, flickrDetail of above photo.

Trutat family on path, E. Trutat, Library of Toulouse, flickrJeanne and Henriette, (household servants?), between 1859-1910.

Trutat family on path, E. Trutat, Library of Toulouse, flickrWomen’s headdress, Jeanne and Clémence, between 1859-1910.

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Life in gardens: Foix, France

Balcon aux rosiers, chalet de E. Trutat, Foix, c. 1903, Library of ToulouseTwo women and a young boy next to a balcony of roses at the Trutat chalet, Foix in the Midi-Pyrénées of France.

The autochrome was taken ca. 1903 by Eugène Trutat, via Bibliothèque de Toulouse Commons on flickr.

Look, Delia, how w’ esteem the half-blown rose
The image of thy blush and summer’s honour.  .  .

– Samuel Daniel, from “Delia 31

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Life in gardens: Cornusson

You’ve made your garden; how will you live in it?

Une ronde a Saint Edmond, via flickr, Bibliotheque de Toulouse Commons“Une ronde à Saint Edmond, Cornusson, [in the Pyrenees, France,]” c. 1900, by Eugène Trutat, via Bibliotheque de Toulouse Commons on flickr.

[T]he significance of the garden cannot be restricted to the domain of the aesthetic. That the garden affords sensory pleasure and invites the exercise of taste is, to be sure, an important dimension of the significance that gardens have for many people, but not one that even begins to exhaust the place that these same people afford to the garden within a wider conception of ‘the good life’.

– David E. Cooper, from A Philosophy of Gardens

[The] fragmentary world is mended here,
And in this air a clearer sunlight plays.

Adrienne Rich, from “Design in Living Colors

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Life in gardens: Belesta, France

Bebe et les pigeons, Belesta, 1897, flickr Commons

“Bébé et les pigeons, Bélesta,” 1897, by Eugène Trutat, via Bibliothèque de Toulouse Commons on flickr.

Trutat (1840-1910) was a naturalist, geologist, mountaineer of the Pyrenees, and the curator of the Museum of Toulouse.

He was also an early photographer — beginning in 1859 — and was particularly interested in using the medium for science. He eventually took almost 15,000 images and authored a number of books, including Photography Applied to Archaeology and Photography Applied to Natural History.

Trutat took many beautiful pictures of his family and friends, including the one at this link, here, of his sons, Paul and Henri. He took several photos of Bébé, a little girl, in October 1897.

There’s more in words than I can teach:
Yet listen, Child! — I would not preach;
But only give some plain directions
To guide your speech and your affections.
Say not you love a roasted fowl
But you may love a screaming owl,
And, if you can, the unwieldy toad
That crawls from his secure abode
Within the mossy garden wall
When evening dews begin to fall,
Oh! mark the beauty of his eye:
What wonders in that circle lie!
So clear, so bright, our fathers said
He wears a jewel in his head!
And when, upon some showery day,
Into a path or public way
A frog leaps out from bordering grass,
Startling the timid as they pass,
Do you observe him, and endeavour
To take the intruder into favour:
Learning from him to find a reason
For a light heart in a dull season.
And you may love him in the pool,
That is for him a happy school,
In which he swims as taught by nature,
Fit pattern for a human creature,
Glancing amid the water bright,
And sending upward sparkling light.

– Dorothy Wordsworth, from “Loving and Liking: Irregular Verses Addressed to a Child

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