What do we dream of when the sky darkens and the weather is felt more heavily than we would like? Naive question, one will say. Dark skies, however, you often only have to look out of your windows to see them. And you don’t have to go very far to experience heavy times, each witness in their own way on a daily basis. Nothing is more banal than gloom. Nothing more beautiful, it seems also for some – the sorrowful spirits of all stripes: the gloom relieves, it comforts, it makes everyone agree. Except that it is useless.
Stand in front of this multicolored screen painted by Dufy and made by Groult. A simple view of Paris, and moreover a naive view, one might still say. A panorama as we have seen hundreds of, and where nothing misses the agreed spectacle of Paris. The must-see Eiffel Tower in the foreground on the left, the Sacré-Coeur basilica at the top of the Montmartre hill in the background, the Place de la Bastille on the right, not to mention the Seine and Notre-Dame in the center, the Arc de triumph, the Champs-Élysées, the Madeleine, the Concorde, the Opéra, the Tuileries, the Louvre, the Panthéon and more.
And all this landscape is bathed in blue and pink tones of such softness that it would make believe that the world is like a garden of roses, as fragrant as the one that Dufy puts before us. As if that were not enough, he adds clouds of an unusual roundness, halfway between the cotton ball and the hot air balloon, like no cloud painter, Tiepolo, Constable, Monet, Sisley, has ever dared make it. Have we ever seen Paris like this?
A screen, no doubt, even made of precious beech panels, even luxuriously lacquered, does not necessarily have the same status as a work of art in its own right. That one, yes. It was necessary to dare, in 1933, to offer such an idyllic landscape. We had to find the audacity, the year when Europe rocked into chaos, and for a long time, to see life in pink, as a painting by the same Dufy in 1931 says in its title and as Piaf will sing in 1946 .
” How? ‘Or’ What ? you don’t have colored glasses? pink, red, blue glasses, magic windows, windows of paradise? “, Baudelaire indignantly reprimands a glazier in a poem from Spleen de Paris. These windows for “To show life in beauty” Alas, only exist in imagination – at least according to what he believes. We know that they are always there, as long as we want to recognize the lightness and good humor the value of moral virtues.