I saw an exhibition on animal’s beauty at Grand Palais in Paris today. I like the exhibition. I really do.
The people behind the exhibition say, ‘there is still a close link between art and science, between our desire to know about animals and our fascination for their beauty’. It is true that paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, famous or not-famous.. the exhibition brings together about 130 masterpieces of Western art from the Renaissance to the Modern day, and takes a radical new approach by choosing works in which the animal is shown on its own and for itself, without any human presence.
I liked the monkey room. There I saw 100 school children, five or six years old, brought by their teachers, were learning about evolution. Children were listening attentively. I was so happy! That was one of the effective ways to learn about the truth.
They say about monkeys and men:
The publication of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species in 1859 was a shock for Judeo-Christian civilization. The naturalist developed his theory of natural selection, based on the struggle for life, and suggested that men and monkeys were cousins. Artists were keenly interested in these theories. The image of the monkey, previously ridiculed and conventional, changed radically and gave rise to disquieting portraits, like Pompon’s extraordinary Orang-utan.
There were some arts on Noah’s ark. The story about Noah’s ark was called a ‘myth’ in the exhibition. Children were laughing at the handful of animals that were waiting for the ark in the paintings. They were saying, ‘even though we are small children we know that there are much more animals in the world, where is dinosaur by the way, not a single polar bear is here. We know better than the myth-creators and the painters. Don’t we?’
I left the exhibition with a good feeling. The future might not be so bleak.