La Tour de Babel

La Tour de Babel
Françoise Deberdt (1934–)
etching with aquatint
Purchased with funds from the J. S. Bridwell Foundation, 1990

Françoise Deberdt’s Tower of Babel is a growing city spiraling upwards to the push of traffic: pedestrians, motor vehicles, and draft animals including horses, donkeys, elephants and birds ascending the one-way route. Glowing tiled roofs and the vivid beasts encrust the sepia architecture which intrudes into the azure of sky and sea.

Originally from Donnemarie-en-Montois, Deberdt studied in Paris at the Ecole d’Arts Appliqués graduating in 1954. She continued her education learning glass painting and engraving at the Atelier d’Art Sacré, painting at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure of Beaux Arts, and in 1959 ceramics at La Borne. In 1960 her husband Jean-Claude Bernard won the French fellowship First Gran Prix of Architecture allowing the couple to reside at Villa Medici in Rome for the next four years. Deberdt used the time to her advantage, continuing to produce engravings and paintings. She exhibited widely, in Paris, Duisburg, San Francisco, London, Goteborg, Toronto, Tokyo, Sidney, Brussels, and Cologne.