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Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism: Nathalie Bondil’s 5 must-sees

Nathalie Bondil, Director and Chief Curator of the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, talks to us about her favourite works in the exhibition Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism: From Spain to Morocco, Benjamin-Constant in His Time, at the Museum until May 31. I discovered this huge painting on the wall of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, where it was on loan, holding place of pride in a room dedicated to Orientalism, facing superb paintings by Renoir et Delacroix. Next to these great masterpieces, it emanated strength and seduction, thanks to the brilliance of its colour and the beauty of its models. Here, the painter is interpreting the classic theme of the odalisque. Lounging languidly on rich fabrics, they are lulled by the sweet melody of the oud, played by a black slave. In the distance, the azure horizon of the Bay of Tangier bathes this masterpiece in light. Of course, the painter never actually saw this scene, which was far removed from the reality of women in Morocco… except in the composition of his studio! This Eurocentric vision evokes, with a rarely achieved elegance, the mythical harem. The favourite redhead with the translucent skin is a recurring model… / Read More →


From February 14 until April 28, the Montreal Botanical Garden will welcome thousands of beautiful butterflies and their equally attractive cousins, moths. The 16th edition of Butterflies Go Free promises that 2000 butterflies will be fluttering about the green house at all times. You and your family can look forward to discovering over 75 different species of moths and butterflies hailing from Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Kenya, Malaysia and the Philippines…