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Art lovers are accustomed to admiring the work of the great Jean Paul Riopelle with their eyes. In the new space dedicated to the Quebec painter, which will open at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec at the end of 2025, they will now be able to discover the aromas designed by François Chartier. 

The internationally renowned Quebec sommelier began designing “an olfactory experience” a few months ago in connection with the monumental fresco L’Tribute à Rosa Luxembourg, 40 meters long and made up of thirty paintings.

The Hommage à Rosa Luxembourg work is made up of thirty paintings and is 40 meters long.

Aromas will be integrated into the work by means of diffusers. Given the visual richness of the canvas, François Chartier is spoiled for choice.

“We see geese, ferns, the biodiversity of Isle-aux-Grues, we see colors. There is the story of Riopelle with Joan Mitchell, so there is mourning and death. We are in the process of selecting what we want people to experience. You will arrive in front of a panel, you will smell the fern. In front of another panel, it will be something more complex that will make you think of death or life, ”he explains, in an interview with Journal.

Here is how museum visitors can admire Riopelle’s triptych currently in the Lassonde Pavilion of the MNBAQ.

Before, there was Picasso

Currently exhibited at the Pierre-Lassonde Pavilion, La Rosa will become one of the centerpieces of the future Espace Riopelle. The spectacular triptych will move to a circular room located at the top of the new pavilion which will be erected at a cost of $42.5 million on MNBAQ land in Quebec City.

This is not the first time that Mr. Chartier creates odors for paintings. In 2018, he designed aromas for ten works by Pablo Picasso as part of an exhibition presented in Barcelona.

“It allowed people to experience Picasso differently, to be touched at the level emotions and memories”, says the sommelier, who believes that the alliance of visual arts and olfactory experiences is destined for a bright future.

“Aromas allow you to play on emotions, and the art, that’s it. In my opinion, we are going to see a lot of olfactory experiences develop in museums around the world. If we are in the process of creating this revolution from Quebec, and the future will tell us, so much the better. »

Source: Aromas Designed by François Chartier: Smell Riopelle at the Museum of Fine Arts – The Bobr Times