Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Shhhh! Artist at Work
When I visited last week, I happened upon this gentleman, beret, scarf, and all, hard at work in the Galerie de Marie de Médicis in the Richelieu wing. The gallery displays 24 paintings by Rubens, executed at the command of Marie de Médicis for her residence, the Palais du Luxembourg. It's an over the top tribute to the dowager queen, widow of Henri IV and regent for her son, Louis XIII. Everything about it is in technicolor and screams, "Me! I was the greatest queen that France has ever known." You have to see it to believe it.
As interested as I was in Rubens' paintings, I kept circling back around the gallery to see what this fellow was up to. And for once, he wasn't studiously copying what was before him. Instead his painting (and perhaps you can click on the image above to enlarge it) depicted the entire cycle with many of the painted figures exiting from their frames to interact with museum visitors. An illustration for a children's book, perhaps. Fanciful, of course. Charming, definitely.
Ah January. Perhaps you're okay after all.