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David Hockney, ‘Remember that you cannot look at the sun or death for very long’, 2021

22 October, 2018

Dear Martin

We are now back from France, where we had a wonderful time. We left London at 9.30am and drove to the Tunnel. With our Flexibus tickets, we could just drive straight onto a train without stopping. We were in Honfleur by 3pm or 4pm local time. We then watched a magnificent sunset over the Seine estuary.

Next we saw the Bayeux Tapestry — a marvellous work without a vanishing point or shadows (when did they begin, is my question to the art historians?). We then went to Angers and saw the Apocalypse Tapestry (also no shadows), and then in Paris we saw the unicorn tapestries. So within a week we had seen three of Europe’s greatest tapestries.

In Paris, we also saw Picasso’s blue and Rose periods at the Musée d’Orsay, and then went to the Pompidou and saw about eighty paintings in the Cubist show — so his work from the age of twenty to thirty. A magnificent achievement.

The food was fabulous — all that delicious butter and cream and cheeses. We also found France a lot more smoker-friendly than mean-spirited England. In fact, I’ve decided to do the arrival of spring in Normandy in 2019. There are more blossoms there: you get apple, pear, and cherry blossom, plus the blackthorn and the hawthorn, so I am really looking forward to it.

Love
David H