The temperature in the museum is always perfect for old oil paintings, the lightning is bright but not glaring, and our picture is expensively framed, hanging magnificently as the centerpiece in the lavish viewing room. And, of course, there are always people, of all sizes, shapes, colors, ages and nationalities, coming by and pausing to look at our timeworn canvas in quiet wonder and appreciation. I enjoy watching them as much as they seem to relish seeing us, i.e., the painting.
Every day brings a new audience, some serious, intense art students, others just taking in a museum because they are in the city or think they should get themselves some culture and then children tours are always fun (if a bit noisy). Some of the tour guides could be better informed (although I can’t really fault them since they never knew Seurat and weren’t present
at our creation or in France during the 19th Century).
All of us captured eternally in this painting are busily engaged in commenting on the hair and clothing styles (as well as figures, both good and bad) that we see daily (but don’t always quite understand; what is with all this bizarre tattooing everywhere and this portable phone viewing?). We are so subtle in our secret whispered conversations that our human viewers never notice the flicker of movement and sound.
It is only when the museum closes for the day, and the main lights go out, and just a night watchman making his routine rounds with a flashlight for company, that we do sometimes feel the loneliness of being a still life work.