Justine Lecouffe on Marseille.
“Marseille is full of contradictions,” says London-based French illustrator Justine Lecouffe of her recent visit to France’s second-largest city and biggest port. “It is both beautiful and gritty, peaceful and angry, wealthy and poor. I found this unusual character wonderful to explore, and it definitely provoked an array of emotions.” As she does in all the urban centers that inspire her, Lecouffe sketched detailed cityscapes of Marseille during her time there; the drawing above shows the yacht-filled Old Port—a natural harbor first settled in the sixth century B.C.—backed by the buildings of the St.-Victor district and the neo-Byzantine basilica of NotreDame de la Garde, where a towering statue of the Madonna and Child looks out to the Mediterranean. “The Marseillais are fiercely attached to their city, and it’s not hard to see why. Marseille has a really unique appeal to it.”