Elaine Forrestal

A glorious storyboard

Sainte Chapelle – a giant storyboard

Since we have been here in Paris we have revisited some of our favourite haunts. One that never ceases to amaze and delight us is Sainte Chapelle on the Ile de Cite.

Built in the 13th-century to house the religious relics brought to Paris by King Louis IX, its glorious stained glass windows reaching two floors up into the heavens, are like a giant storyboard. Across the fifteen panels all the well known stories of the Old Testament and some of the New Testament ones are progressively told, just as illustrators today record, in pictures, the main points of the stories they want to tell. The picture I took on this visit (above) shows a tiny fraction of the magnificent light and colour that surrounds you as you stand, feeling about as big as an ant, on the floor of the Upper Chapel and stare at the remarkable detail and artistry involved in telling these stories.

If you are ever in Paris make it top of your list of things to go and see.

Meanwhile I am working, each morning, on my ‘Flying Machines’ and visiting the Musee de les Art et Technologie to study some of the earliest ones, including the actual Bleirot XI in which M. Bleirot flew from Calais to Dover in 1909, becoming the first man to fly across the English Channel. The story of that amazing flight is full of humour, adventure and courage – but I’m afraid you will have to wait a while to read it. Stay with me, though. It’s on its way.