What about painting?

It came to me as a mean to say these “important things” you don’t speak about. These things can’t be said clearly. They are literally unspeakable. They become blurry and they eventually vanish when analysed.

They can be expressed only by allusion.

Oranges et bananes
Oranges et bananes
54 cm × 65 cm
La nuit des sens
La nuit des sens
65 cm × 92 cm
Nice 1952
La promesse des fleurs
La promesse des fleurs
73 cm × 92 cm
La nuit du 14 au 15 août
La nuit du 14 au 15 août
46 cm × 55 cm
Rotheneuf 1972

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Arma virumque cano
Arma Virumque Cano
Oil on canvas, 92 cm x 73 cm
Paris, 12/1975

Arma Virumque Cano

Montlaur quotes the first verse of the Aeneid to explain the object of his painting: he sings about the hero’s feats of arms and his long journey after the war. One does not feel the horror of memory in this evocation, there is no blood, little black. The colors here are very unusual, they are clear and vivid and contrast with the green and blue fog of the landscape. At the focal point of the painting, we see a bright yellow, solar structure that could represent Lavium, founded by Aeneas the ancestor of the illustrious twins, founders of Rome.

Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam, fato profugus, Laviniaque venit
litora, multum ille et terris iactatus et alto
vi superum saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram;
multa quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem,
inferretque deos Latio, genus unde Latinum,
Albanique patres, atque altae moenia Romae.

(Publii Vergili Maronis, Aeneidos liber primus, 1-7)

I sing of arms and the man, he who, exiled by fate, first came from the coast of Troy to Italy, and to Lavinian shores – hurled about endlessly by land and sea, by the will of the gods, by cruel Juno’s remorseless anger, long suffering also in war, until he founded a city and brought his gods to Latium: from that the Latin people came, the lords of Alba Longa, the walls of noble Rome.

(Virgil, Aeneid (Book 1.1-7)

 (Translated by A. S. Kline, Poetry in Translation, 2002)

See the retrospective