Monday, April 16, 2012

Les Tres Riches Heures de Mrs Mole by Ronald Searle

Les Tres Riches Heures de Mrs Mole is a sweet collection of 47 coloured drawings that British cartoonist Ronald Searle made for his wife, Monica, each time she underwent chemotherapy.

Monica Searle was diagnosed with a virulent form of breast cancer in Paris in 1969. Ronald writes about being in the "intolerable situation of being a helpless bystander, trying to find any possible way of being a support." He is an artist, so he made pictures. The couple had purchased a house in Provence shortly before the diagnosis. Ronald's artwork portrays Monica as a blissful mole and evokes the joys that await her through the seasons in their new home.

Against the odds, Monica survived four more decades. She died in July 2011 and Ronald died in December 2011. These whimsical drawings are a testament to their shared love, optimism and gratitude.

Readalike: Sempe: A Little Bit of France. 

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