Sunday, 25 October 2009

Adolphe Willette

Today we stopped by the Musee de Montmartre, what a find that was. It was a treasure chest of bohemian, Belle Epoque and peasantry paintings, posters and artefacts. Among the well-known images of the Moulin Rouge, Toulouse Lautrec posters and archaic documents I stumbled upon a new artist, Adolphe Willette; and fell in love with a painting, Parce Domine.

It is a whirlwind of Belle Epoque spirit as the dreamy festivity of the music hall and cabaret fades into the angst and suffering that was the reality of the time, with Cheret-like dancers floating in mid-air like fairies. The pastel tones of the painting are blissful and soothing, but there is an evident undertone of the harsh reality of the day that, after the dream has ended, cannot be removed by intoxication. I particularly like the characteristic Montmartre windmill made up of music scores.