Wall Paintings by Graffiti Artists – some good, some not so good – are an increasingly common sight in cities across the world. But there are some wall paintings that are commissioned and stand out as extraordinary works of art and the Fresco celebrating the Mountain Guides of Chamonix is a huge Fresco and a truly magnificent creation.
It covers the entire end wall of a property on the Rue du Docteur Paccard close to the centre of Chamonix. This Fresco was conceived and created by Patrick Commecy of ‘A Fresco’ who previously painted another Fresco outside the Cinema Vox in Chamonix that I featured in ‘Lights, Camera, Action’.
The Mountain Guides Fresco was financed by the town’s Mayor and was inaugurated in July 2010. It features 20 of the outstanding pioneering Guides and Mountaineers associated with Chamonix and Mont Blanc including Michel-Gabriel Paccard and Jacques Balmatwho were the first to climb Mont Blanc in 1786 (the two leftmost figures on the top left balcony).
It’s difficult to obtain a clear uninterrupted view of the entire Fresco and so the following three images concentrate on three segments of the Fresco. Remember that everything you see is painted – the balcony, the shadows. The wall is flat. It is an illusion: a trompe l’oeil on a grand scale.
Do please take a look at the ‘A Fresco’ website. Click on the link to go directly to ‘Les Guides de Chamonix Fresque’. Scroll down and you will find close-ups of every one of the 20 figures with individual information in French and English about each one. Finally if you are ever fortunate to visit this famous town, do not miss this Fresco. As they say in France: ‘c’est magnifique’.