Tales from Arcadia

A visual and audio exhibition on the Golden Age myth.

Contes au Pays d’Arcadie (Tales from Arcadia)  

20 January – 13 June 2022 
Salle des Actualités, Musée des Beaux-Arts, South Wing 
 Once upon a time, there was a young shepherdess, tending her flock in a clearing in the kingdom of Pan, on the very spot where Zeus himself was born...   
This exhibition on the theme of Arcadia, produced by the Service des Publics, presents some forty paintings and graphic works from the museum's permanent collection. These wells of poetic reverie inspired patients and carers from the Cadillac psychiatric hospital (a day hospital and CATTP in Villenave d'Ornon) who invented two tales during writing workshops as part of the museum's off-site activities. These tales for adults and children, with audio description, are designed to be listened to. 
The exhibition tells of the adventures of the mythological, fantastic and other characters who inhabit the chosen works, and revisits the legend of the Arcadians. In ancient times, the Arcadians were considered as the original inhabitants of the Peloponnesian mountains in Greece, living in a simple and rustic way in an idyllic pastoral environment. They embody a golden age to which we still aspire. Arcadia, a place of happiness and harmony, found its earliest literary expression in the Idylls of the Greek poet Theocritus (3rd century BC), who describes the charms of pastoral life on his native island of Sicily. The Bucolics by the Latin poet Virgil (1st century BC) did the same for the Italian countryside two centuries later. 
Over the centuries, poets, writers and artists have revived the ancient and pagan myth of man's happy harmony with nature as an alternative to the harmful effects of war, the industrial age and the arbitrariness of violence. They remind us that the history of the world began with a golden age and that Arcadia was the chosen land. The works presented in the exhibition celebrate the attachment to the ancestral land and its beauties, the lyrical evocation of love and friendship and the glorifying and enchanting power of poetry. 
These two tales can be downloaded free of charge onto your smartphone or listened to on the audio guide in the museum. An audio description version is also available (in French only). 
FALC booklet: an Easy to read and understand booklet is available for loan at museum reception. 
All the programmation (in French) => here
Albert-Paul Besnard, Chasseur dans un paysage lacustre, 1917. © Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux - Mairie de Bordeaux

Albert-Paul Besnard, Chasseur dans un paysage lacustre, 1917. © Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux - Mairie de Bordeaux