Créatrice of Carnets de Voyages avant la lettre.
Lizzie Napoli should not be missing in my series about following in the footsteps of famous carnettistes.
Napoli was born in Paris (°1924), but her roots are in Palermo.
She loses her sight at the age of 6 and that will draw her future life. After she regained sight, she decides to dedicate her life to observing and telling stories with images. At the age of 20, she starts travelling.
In 1940 Napoli ended up in the Luberon and in 1979 she bought a gypsy roulotte. Since then, she spends her summers in Oppède.
Recently, at the age of 95, she was the guest of honor at the 2019 festival Carnet de Voyage en Provence in Lourmarin. She signed her books, well humored as ever!
Next to being an author and illustrator, she draws a whole series of carnets de voyages that are being reissued up to this day. Her signature: unpretentious drawings in a subtle line with here and there a seemingly carelessly applied color accent. They read like poetry. Counting the years I guess she spans a career of at least 75 years.
In my research into the life of writer Jean-Paul Clébert in Oppède-le-Vieux, someone told me that Lizzie Napoli once lived in a little house in the hamlet of Le Souleyan. When I visited the house, there were indeed original drawings of her on the wall. I should ask her to be sure … But for me, it is reason enough to draw this hamlet so close to our house and at the foot of our village.
This prayer goes with her everywhere:
«Toi qu’on appelle Dieu,
qui tiens en équilibre les étoiles
dans un filet d’amour,
fais de nous tes colporteurs.
S’il te plait, existe, ne nous sépare pas quand on passera la frontière.»
You can find her books in most book stores in Provence. I recently saw them in the boutique of the Maison de la Truffe et du vin in Ménerbes.
More on Lizzie Napoli:
Her official website
LizzieNapoli.fr – Site Officiel
Where you can find her in the Quartier Latin, Paris
Pippa, édition, librairie, galerie, agence photographique, à Paris 5, quartier Latin
How she inspired an admirers life
Lizzie Napoli – La Bastidane