The Musée National des Beaux-Arts de Québec (MNBAQ) and I have a special relationship. Being new to Québec city, I didn’t had many friends and the MNBAQ became one of my favourite place to chill.
It is quite a shame how museums are empty. I found myself surrounded by moving creations, alone, not a soul around to experience the power of art (beside the nice security guards). Art is not everyone’s cup of tea, you’ll tell me. And that is quite true. But museum were created to democratised art. During the French Revolution, the first museum was created with the Royal Family private art collection; it was all part of the new era based on freedom and accessibility.
And still here I am with the greatest Canadian painters : Riopelle, the Groupe of Seven, Pellan, Dallaire… by myself. I cannot count how many times I sat in front of the ”Hommage à Rosa Luxembourg”, contemplating without any distribution.
Now, I admit I like having the luxury to relax freely with those magnificent pieces. Would I have the same satisfying, spiritual connection with this Riopelle’s, if it had been hidden behind visitors ? Of course not. It would have sucked. Just take a look at the Mona Lisa; it is dreadful to watch those hundred of visitors all cramped up in front of this tiny painting… But do we need to make a conscious effort to visit our National Museums, to educate our self, to open our eyes to the beauty resting right next to us.
I was very excited by the new pavilion the MNBAQ which was built in 2016; the Pierre Lassonde. This beautiful, contemporary wing attracted people. On the opening day, the queue was so long it went outside for another block, as I’ve been told. And that makes me very happy.