Christian Durieux, a Belgian artist, proposes a fugue, a poem in comics, whereby the main character, the director of the museum, about to be feted as he goes off into retirement, decides to elope with a muse instead.
We’re never quite sure whether this strange woman he encounters in the vast halls of the museum on his big night, is in fact real. But she is impish and coaxes him into seeing once again some of the great paintings of this world-class museum when it is closed and available only to them, within the mysterious penumbra of evening. They share some great bottles of wine ‘stolen’ off the tables of the banquet, he reminisces, she gives him a new perspective, they coyly put the whole reception in an uproar of anxiety over his disappearance.
After so many years of doing what’s right, being reasonable, playing the politics, managing such a museum, you can understand he deserves a streak of irresponsibility and naughty behavior.
The illicit romp through the great halls of the Louvre becomes a poem to life, to art, to what such art does to our soul. Verlaine is cited, so is Montesquieu from a more hedonistic time…
As Durieux points out at the end, he wanted to create not so much a classic narrative as a poem in comics. Has he succeeded in lifting your soul?
Durieux, born in 1965, has been the author of many a children’s comics and series, some in cooperation with Guy Delisle or Andreas doing the writing.
NBM’s ComicsLit imprint has been publishing this remarkable series of graphic novels commissioned by the Louvre calling upon different prominent artists to make up a story around the fabled museum, bringing out GLACIAL PERIOD by Nicolas De Crécy (also of Salvatore), in its 3rd printing , and SKY OVER THE LOUVRE by movie scriptwriter Jean-Claude Carrière and best-selling artist Bernar Yslaire and ROHAN AT THE LOUVRE by mangaka Hirohiko Araki. There are more volumes to come.
For further information, please contact our publicist, Stefan Blitz: NBMPubPR@gmail.com. You can also visit our new press page on our site (“For Press’ in top navigator bar) for downloadable preview art, cover and more information.
10 3/8 x 11 1/4, 72pp. full color hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-56163-705-8, publication: February ‘13. Please include our website address in your review. Websites: please send us a link to your review.