Words for painting
Many writers have been dazzled by Flemish painting. When reading their words, we can picture the paintings that sparked their imagination. While Proust tells the story of Bergotte dying as he examines "a little patch of yellow wall" in Vermeer's View of Delft, we must turn other pages to find reference to the painting of the Southern Netherlands.
Whether these authors are art critics such as Karl-Joris Huysmans or Théophile Gautier, a brilliant novelist like Alexandre Dumas or a poet like Rainer Maria Rilke, there are references aplenty to the painters of the Golden Age of the northern schools. The native of Brussels, Marguerite Yourcenar, compiled notebooks where she kept postcards of her favourite paintings. A sort of repertoire of scenes that exactingly served The Abyss. Others like her referred to striking images as a kind of exercise in description - ekphrasis -, or in a freer and more singular way.
Through the work of Maurice Maeterlinck or Antonin Artaud, Pascal Quignard and Dominique Rolin, we shall discover or rediscover rare and beautiful texts that bear witness to the silent eloquence of the paintings by Pieter Brueghel, Hieronymus Bosch, David Teniers and Herri Met de Bles.