He who knows how to appreciate colour relationships, the influence of one colour on another, their contrasts and dissonances, is promised an infinitely diverse imagery.
- Sonia Delaunay
Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.
- Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.
 

 

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Gilles Tréhin

Posted by Charley Parker at 12:07 pm

Gilles Trehin
Gilles Tréhin is an autistic savant who began to exhibit a seemingly innate talent for drawing at the age of 5, as well as unusual abilities for mental calculation and music.

Autistic savants are people whose mental wiring seems to be a little different than the rest of us, resulting in limitations in certain areas but extraordinary abilities in others. Their phenomenal talents in the areas where they are gifted may hold secrets for the rest of us in understanding our own potential abilities.

I wrote two posts earlier about autistic savant Stephen Wiltshire, who also exhibited an extraordinary faculty for drawing from an early age. My first post was a general introduction and the second post dealt specifically with Wiltshire’s amazing ability to create memory drawings of complex city landscapes, like the skyline of Tokyo or Hong Kong, after viewing the subject for less than an hour.

Like Wiltshire, Tréhin seems to have a fascination with complex architectural themes, but in his case, his subject is imaginary, a fantastic city called “Urville” (named after “Dumont d’Urville”, a French base in the Antarctic). Urville is an large city (“11,820,257 inhabitants” according to Tréhin), with its own unique geography, street plan and architectural style, that exists in great detail in Tréhin’s mind.

Tréhin conceived of the idea of Urville at the age of 12 and started to construct it out of Legos. As he got older and the idea for the city grew, he realized that his drawing skills would let him expand his concept of the city and he began a series of detailed drawings of Urville, its streets, plazas, bridges, churches, promenades, airport, skyline and street plan.

The drawings are large scale, extraordinarily detailed and rich with the feeling of a real city, in which the buildings, streets and plazas exist in well-defined relationship to one another. It’s not like he’s drawing some imaginary street scenes with buildings put in as a convenience for composition, like most illustrators would do, it’s much more like Tréhin has been walking the streets of Urville in his mind, sketchbook in hand.

Tréhin has also created an entire background for the city, with its history (founded by Phoenicians), economy, culture and more. He is putting together a book but in the meanwhile his site offers a fascinating “Guided Tour”.

There is also an interesting article on the site of the Wisconsin Medical Society.

Maybe it’s because of the architectural subject matter, and maybe it’s just me, but I think his drawing style, although more sophisticated, bears a fascinating resemblance to Wiltshire’s. Food for thought.

Link via Boing Boing, original link via The Kircher Society.

Posted in: Drawing   |   5 Comments »

5 comments for Gilles Tréhin »

RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Comment by Tricia Harvey
    Tuesday, March 28, 2006 @ 12:15 pm

    Boy do I love this; architectural drawing is one of my favorites.

  2. Comment by Mussa Gran
    Monday, March 10, 2008 @ 5:03 am

    I saw the pictures and i must they are very beautiful.

  3. Comment by Roger
    Wednesday, August 6, 2008 @ 8:55 pm

    Unbelieveable. This is just amazing for a 5 year old.

  4. Comment by Charley Parker
    Wednesday, August 6, 2008 @ 8:58 pm

    Sorry if I wasn’t clear. He started at 5. He was much older when he did the work shown here.

  5. Comment by Gareth
    Monday, March 22, 2010 @ 7:31 pm

    Interesting stuff.
    I remember the BBC documentary about Stephen Wiltshire in 1987 and I was impressed with his abilities but I must say that if what is said about Gilles Tréhin is true then he is even more extraordinary.

    Thanks.

Leave a comment

(required)

(required but not published)

 
Display Ads on Lines and Colors (1st tier): $25/week or $75/month.

Please note that display ads for lines and colors are limited to arts related topics and may not be animated.
Display Ads on Lines and Colors (2nd tier): $20/week or $65/month.

Please note that display ads for lines and colors are limited to arts related topics and may not be animated.




Donate Life

The Gift of a Lifetime