British School
Le Gros-Horologe [City Clock Tower], Rouen

PROVENANCE: Professor Raymond E. Pahl, FBA (1935-2011).

Inscribed with colour notes in the sky in pencil, pencil and watercolour, joined onto two sheets of laid paper

278 x 102 mm. (10 7/8 x 4 in.)


Le Gros-Horologe is one of the finest monuments in the city of Rouen. The building is attached to a bell tower, and consists of an arched Renaissance spanning the Rue du Gros Horologe and is surmounted by an astronomical clock of the sixteenth century.

Since its construction in the late 14th century, the Gothic belfry has housed the town's bells and clock, the latter being a simple mechanism meant to sound the bells on the hour, half-hour and quarter-hour.

In 1409 a clock face was installed on the archway over a gate in the ancient Roman walls. The current archway and clock faces, were rebuilt between 1527-9. On the two Renaissance clock faces, a single hand indicates the hour. Under the number VI, a divinity associated with the day of the week appears at noon on a chariot. Above the clock face, a globe indicates the phase of the moon. Many depictions of sheep show the importance of the wool trade in Rouen and the Paschal Lamb, which has been part of Rouen's coat of arms since the 14th century, is represented on the underside of the arch.

This is catalogue Number 43, in the on-line e-catalogue of 'Drawings, Prints and Paintings from the Collection of Professor Raymond E. Pahl, FBA (1935-2011)', see the home page for the e-catalogue.