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Trans Photographic Press : Jean-Pierre Gilson : La Forêt de Compiègne


For decades, Jean-Pierre Gilson has tirelessly photographed the forest of Compiègne.

With this new book, he invites us to share the four seasons of a territory lived and well traveled.

In his footsteps, page after page, we walk paths, tracks, passages and and forest walkways.

Localities like Boquet Gras, Clavières or the Voliard, we take the Route des Brigands and that of Planchettes; we skip the stream de Berne and Pré Tortu, go around the pond of the Dry Tree and of the Etôt pond; we cross the intersection of the Captain, that of the Pleaders or of Trou Fondu and the aptly named La Belle Image crossroads.

This work is a journey to meet these vast sylvan landscapes, a rich fauna and above all  the spectacular Compiègne forest.

Preface by Jacques Drillon


In a forest, there is nothing but trees and animals. No humans, no objects, no thoughts. Nature without adversary, victorious, original. In French, to say “by definition”, we say “by nature”. The forest is forest “by nature”. It is at the beginning of everything, pure as a dictionary definition. We see it in these photographs: it follows the seasons without complaining, and without defending itself.


Whenever there is silence, “They” put on music. What is amazing in these photos of Jean-Pierre Gilson is not only that he knows how to frame, but he humbly respect light and colors, see the beautiful where it is, sometimes hidden as in bottom of a chest is that they show silence. There is no Vivaldi in his forest. Only the rustle of life, leaves and trunks creaking in the wind. Silence is not a void, since it can be heard. The passing time knows how to live its life there.



Jean-Pierre Gilson was born on April 25, 1948 in Compiègne.

From his passion for the forest, the first territory he explored, Jean-Pierre Gilson has kept a keen sense of rigorous and poetical composition , to reveal the landscapes he has tirelessly traveled for decades.

Over the past 40 years, more than a hundred exhibitions have been devoted to his work around the world.

Author of numerous books: “Les Carmélites”, 1989; “Scotland 1991”, 2004; “Rivages”, 2006, “Ireland”, 1998; “Territories of France”, 2002; “Claude Monet in Giverny”, 2013; “Sum 1916”, 2016; as well as “Compiègne en sa forêt”, 1994, “Compiègne la, ville, la forêt, agglomération”, 2011 and 2017, …


Jean-Pierre Gilson : La Forêt de Compiègne

Published by Trans Photographic Press

Hardcover, hardback, matte film cover

Italian size 27 x 30 cm

108 pages, approximately 80 color photographs

Four-color printing, screen 240

on classic matt coated paper 170 g.

Public price: 29 euros

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