Art Inspiration: Québec Trip / The Montréal Museum Of Fine Arts


Of course wherever I go art seems to find me, or do I find it? In Montréal I guess I found it. A friend told me about The Montréal Museum Of Fine Arts and I knew I had to at least take a look at what they had on display. The first thing I saw was that they had a collection of artworks for Pompeii, as a student of art and history I made it a point to be there.

The collection was amazing to see. Most of the works were obviously sculptures but they had amazing mosaics and in some cases frescos that were preserved by the volcanic ash and debris. They also showed water fixtures and other household items that were pieces of art. Even the money/coins were amazing to see.
The Museum also had exhibits of Toulouse-Lautrec: Illustrates the belle époque and a collection dedicate to Napoleon Bonaparte.   Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit had many illustrations that I was familiar with as much of his style is still used in modern caricature drawing. As well the Napoleon Bonaparte exhibit was a fascinating exhibition of artwork and relics that belonged to or was associated with the man.
Yet the one area of the display was a room that depicted erotic scenes both in mosaic and sculpture forms. The pieces were amazing to see but the really interesting thing was that many of these images were openly displayed in the home or for public viewing. I found this interesting because when these pieces were excavated in the mid-1800s many found them to be shocking and they were placed in a locked room were only a few people could see them. Even after years of debating it had limited viewing for only men, women and children were not allowed to see them. Not until this exhibition have these pieces been opened up for the entire public to see.
I found this interesting because it shows a dramatic shift in the way people view sexuality. With the ancient Romans and many cultures of the time, sexuality was open and free for expression, with some limitations. Yet now and as far back as a few centuries sexuality was limited to the bedroom or not even talked about. Only in resent years has society changed a little bit. However in North American culture it has not change that much. Yet in Québec I felt that there is a more openness to this subject that is very similar to the European cultures concept of sexuality.
Even when I went into the other exhibits like the Toulouse-Lautrec: Illustrates the belle époque. There I saw some of his illustrations that would depict some sexuality. Many were open and yet restrained when it came to the sexual content they would portray. Many of his work of women dancing in burlesque were seen as scandalous in many circles mostly puritan Victorian culture.   Yet those same beliefs are with us today.
The time I spent in The Montréal Museum Of Fine Arts was a truly an eye opening experience. I learned that art is the free expression of the artist and the person who displays it. That artist must sometimes take risks for their art. That risk is apart of art. My professor once said that many artists take risks for their art from the subject matter, medium used, to allowing other to see what they created. Yet with those risks the artist must also show courage for taking these risks. I have taken risks for my artwork and suffered for it, yet looking at all these different artists and the risks they took for their art it all seemed worth it.
I have to keep these words in mind …

‘Fortes Fortuna Iuvat (Fortune Favours The Brave)’ Latin Proverb

‘Risk is not something I take; it is part of my existence.’ Paul Gauchi


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