Le carnaval à Périgueux


Tempera on canvas

300 x 800 cm (118 1/8 x 314 15/16 in.)

A motley procession of characters rambles through an enigmatic, almost monastic setting. Within this festive atmosphere, animals rub shoulders with costumed humans acting as freely as a carnival allows.

Le Carnaval à Périgueux (“Carnival in Périgueux”), a painting more than eight metres long, is the first in a series of large-format works by Martial Raysse. In this full-scale frieze, tart colours recalling Pop Art play with the aesthetics of old frescoes, highlighted by the use of tempera. This allegorical, festive vision echoing the Nice carnival, which Raysse witnessed in his youth, is an ode to dressing up and painting. "Painting is about putting a skin on skin," he says.

Raysse's Carnaval à Périgueux was shown by the Pinault Collection for the first time in 2009 during the exhibition "Mapping the Studio" at the Palazzo Grassi.