Jus­tine Le­couffe on Mar­seille.

DestinAsian - - DEPARTMENTS - Il­lus­tra­tion by Jus­tine Le­couffe

“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.”

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