Located in the student housing “Stendhal”, at the Campus de la Bouloie in Besançon, this 5m mural mixing illustrations and lettering was imagined as a tribute to the writer Stendhal.
Rather than creating a classic portrait, the two artists chose to focus on Stendhal’s literary work. They began by learning about the relationship between Stendhal and Besançon, which is essentially found in his novel “Le Rouge et le Noir”. Both of them had fun with the names of the protagonists and references taken from his novels, proposing “winks” to be found in the mural’s details.
What could be more substantive than a street of Besançon, to evoke the atmosphere of the city? Julie and Renaud started with the idea of walking in a lively street, with some typical architectural elements (stones, roofs, chimneys, etc.) punctuated with messages in the shape of signs, boards, newspapers… A nod to Stendhal’s entire work. Each of them has taken time to reflect and propose to each other small and large detour, translated into lettering or illustration. Then the street came alive with passers-by, including Stendhal himself, his pocket-watch in hand, encouraging new winks and stories in this little world mixing generations, trades, wacky cyclists and cats on hot roofs.
A beautiful and first experience of duo mural painting for Julie & Renaud who also had the opportunity to learn a lot about the inhabitants, workers and staff of this university residence!
This project is part of an important program of renovation of student housing, carried out by the CROUS of Besançon.
The painting was commissioned as a tribute to Henri Beyle, best known under his pseudonym “Stendhal”, a 19th century French writer.
Known for his novels “Le Rouge et le Noir” (The Red and the Black) and “La Chartreuse de Parme” (The Charterhouse of Parma), Stendhal is much appreciated for his detailed studies of the behavior of the characters in his novels.
Trained as a graphic designer and freelance illustrator, Julie Mélin lives and works in Besançon. In search of authenticity, she has chose engraving, and especially for some time now, letter painting, a practice that she continues to experiment by continuing to train and learn through workshops, and that she develops under the name “La lettre à la main”.
Illustrator and draftsman, Renaud Vigourt lives and works in Besançon. He works for the press and children’s publishing while, at the same time, producing hand printed images and editorial objects. He is represented by the Heart Agency. For the little anecdote, Renaud is the creator of the logo of our association!
Julie Mélin, Renaud Vigourt, David Demougeot, Chloé Cura