Viviers-sur-Rhone is approx. 22 miles downstream from La VBoulte-sur-Rhone, and similar to La Voulte, the massive walls of Chateauvieux dominate the river valley from their high and rocky crag. Away from the river can be seen a mixture of red tiled roofs of the later but still ancient 'ville basse'
From its eariest Gallo-Roman days, the upper town was the seat of a Bishop and now apart from its castle wall and watch-towers, it is filled with religious buildings. The great cathedral of St. Vincent with its attendant chapels, cloisters, refectory and library, the Bishop's Palace, the Nuns Convent interspersed with open squares and penetrated by a maze of tunnel-like alleyways, all combine to give the air of timeless peace that Russell Flint found so attractive. The eastern entrance to the 'ville religieuse' is reached via the steep Montee de l' Abri, passing through a gated tunnel into the Palace de l' Ormeau. Here on Friday, 13th May, 1960, he began 'Three Groups', using as a background the Tour de la Gorge, a round watch-tower almost absorbed into more recent houses built against the town wall. For Flint 'under a sultry sky, Viviers retained its ancient paintable dignity', The scene has changed little; la pompe has gone, replaced by a tree, but the nuns and dark-hared demoiselles may still be found whiling away the hot summer days. The models were added, as was his custom, back at Peel Street, but Cecilia was to spend that year working in films and so Helen was the model for the nun and Maggie for the girls.England 01 623 799 309