From Tréport to the Seine EstuaryInventory
« Will be considered as the sea shore all that it covers and uncovers during new and full moons, and as far as the great flood of March may extend to the sea side… »
Ordinance of Colbert 1681
Within a few centuries, perception of the coastline has radically changed. Thus, until the late eighteenth century, even though the word "shore" does not exist, we then prefer the one of "shore", meaning that it is above all "the seaside”. The shore has a repulsive image, as reminds Yves Luginbülh, It is "a place of horror, the place of the flood, the opposite of calm and tranquillity, the edge of the abyss, the place of the apparitions of sea monsters, the location of the discharge of excrement from the sea, the place of kidnappings, pirates, the location of the unsanitary manifested through the stories of sailors in the sea sickness, disease outbreaks on ships. " The Colbert Ordinance also states what may be regarded as the first principle of the non constructible shore : Let's defend all people to build on the shores of the Sea, to plant any pile, nor do any work, which can prejudicial to shipping under penalty of demolition of the works, confiscation of materials and arbitrary fine. "
Painters of the Navy have their letters of nobility. Joseph Vernet, in his work “The Views of the ports of France”, illuminates the eighteenth century and not the least, the Enlightenment one. Knighted by Louis XV, from 1753 to 1765, he traveled the coastline and, as such, is named Marine Painter to His Majesty. Two hundred and fifty years after Vernet, and in the tradition of his followers, thanks to my status of Painter of the Navy, I embarked for a work-long course that will lead me to the speed of a walker, from the Flemish coast to the Italian Riviera. A real inventory of our maritime heritage, magnified by the pen of my friend Patrick Mahe.
I followed a strict distribution driven by a specialist from the archives of coastal the geologist Arnaud Guerin. Without being able to systematically take into account the weather, but with an emphasis on illustration in order to show unexpected treasures like human errors.
I've never merely talk about the sea and remake the world on a world map, as ecological as it could be. I travelled around from tides to waves, to show it as it is and not as we dreamed it to be.