(NBM Publishing, 2013)
Beautifully constructed in a semi-classical style, this graphic novel features a light-spirited romantic story. This latest installment in the Louvre collection tells the tale of a museum director in a waking dream after his retirement dinner where he wanders the vast halls of the museum before eloping with a muse. The magic of the vast museum melds with the ethereal storytelling to create a unique graphic novel that stands as an unforgettable experience.
When the world’s great art museum, the Louvre, wants to commission a series of graphic novels based around its holdings and the museum itself, a top-notch group of artists responded. The result has been a notable series of graphic novels by such talents as Marc-Antoine Mathieu and Nicolas de Crécy. This latest entry in ComicsLit’s Louvre editions comes from Belgian artist Durieux, who imagines the director of the museum as a faded grey bureaucrat on the verge of retirement, who is swept away into the building’s nighttime vastness by a mysterious and pixieish muse. As they playfully romp beneath the ancient works of art, dashing about with bottles of wine and hiding from the security guards like teenagers, the aged and cynical director muses on literature and politics. Durieux’s fantasia peeps occasionally at these darker things: the legacy of dictatorship and history’s evils contained in the Louvre’s hallways and priceless works of art. This brooding subtext, however, is overridden by the artist’s sweet sense of mystery and magic, which has produced a beautiful lark of a story.
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 02/04/2013
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