Mont-Saint-Michel is one of France’s most beloved natural curiosities and architectural monuments. The Mont is an isolated cone of granite rising abruptly from the Gulf of Saint-Malo. The famous abbey church, notable for a profusion of delicately ornamented flying buttresses and pinnacles, is surrounded by a medieval town. Arms chose a vantage point to contrast the soaring towers and exquisite balance of mass, proportion, and decoration with the aging houses, sagging roofs, rambling vegetation, and vagaries of everyday life in the picturesque town below. The first plate of the French Church Series was published in 1924. Since it was France that Arms “always most dearly loved to draw,” the series eventually comprised 55 etchings.
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