We’re back again in Céret, irresistibly drawn this time by the latest exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne – ‘Eureka’ by Salvator Dali.
The man behind the moustache is revealed in the summer exhibition at the Musée d’art moderne de Céret. Most people recognize Dali’s iconic surreal images including melting clocks, levitating elephants and lobster telephones, but did you know that behind his gaudy showman’s façade Dali was a serious student of science?
Salvador Dali was not the only famous artist to make his mark in Perpignan (By the way, there is now a suitably wacky sculpture in Place Catalogne, to celebrate his presence in the town).
Céret has long been a stronghold for contemporary and modern art. Heralded as a Mecca for cubism, greats such as Picasso and Matisse would come to draw inspiration from the spectacular scenery and tap into the unique, creative energies of the area.
Augustin Hanicotte, a painter from the north of France, came south for reasons of health. During his stay from 1915 to 1945, with the simplest of materials, brown butcher’s paper, coloured pencils, charcoal or pastels, he lovingly portrayed the life of the village.
One of their great writers, Jean de La Fontaine, produced French versions of fables, in verse and with illustrations. There are twelve volumes, with stories such as The Ant and the Grasshopper, told with elegance, wit and verve, in simple French which is usually easy to understand today. Each teaches a lesson about our relationships with society.
May 1968 and Paris is hot with rebellion, passion and hope, as protestors clash with the riot police. Amongst the mayhem, brilliant art student Laure stands boldly on the barricades, heady with her new-found defiance, until she is swept up by the crowd and falls into the arms of Lolo, the fascinating student leader. But youthful rebellion comes at a cost.
C’’est Mardi matin, Prades rassemble bien
Le grand marché hebdomadaire
Sur la grande place, des stands face à face
Exposent leurs meilleures affaires
Here in the Mediterranean south of Europe, celebrations start sooner, as the may trees or hawthorns are already bursting into bloom in April.
The association Amis of Patrick O’Brian based in Collioure, O’Brian’s home during the most prolific years of his writing life, has been entrusted with the contents of his writing space. The donation includes O’Brian’s books and papers as well as his writing desk, pens and ink.