Maison Picassiette, Chartres

Between 1938 and 1964 Raymonde Isidore, a local cemetery worker in Chartes France, covered his house, furniture and garden with intricate mosaics of broken crockery, painting and sculpture. Known as La Maison Picassiette – Picassiette loosely translates to ‘plate thief’.

We visited the house on a blisteringly hot day. The walk across town was very much worth it. I was blown away by the dedication, passion and creativity that covered every possible surface of this small house, chapel and garden. At the time of construction Raymonde was often scorned by people who knew him, I was happy to hear that he lived long enough to see his work appreciated inluding a visit from Pablo Picasso in 1954. Raymonde died in 1964, the house was acquired by the town and classified as a historic monument in 1983. Raymonde was known to have said “I followed my spirit in the same way as one follows a path”.

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