Michel de Montaigne, philosopher, inventor of the essay form
Andrea Palladio, the most influential architect of the Western world,
and Montaigne’s contemporary
Carnegie Museum of Art Cafe
MONTAIGNE: Signore Palladio! We meet in the New World. It’s Carnegie Library that brings you to Pittsburgh?
PALLADIO: Monsieur Montaigne, I am honored to meet you at long last. Ah, but no. No library for me. It is the Heinz Architectural Center of the Carnegie Museum of Art where I briefly reside.
MONTAIGNE: Oui, and I am in permanent residence in the arched hallways of this Library, where some of your ideas appear to have been, how shall I say—borrowed?
PALLADIO: My influence is everywhere. Was I not famous enough that you visited my home in Vicenza in 1580?
MONTAIGNE: Indeed, but I couldn’t find you!
PALLADIO: You looked in the wrong place. (Gestures downward.) By the time of your visit I had gone, let us say, underground.
MONTAIGNE: Ah, pity. Your demise prevented you from reading my first published Essays. But me? I was quite aware of your splendid architectural writings.
PALLADIO: But . . .
MONTAIGNE: No, no. My Italian, she, he . . .
MONTAIGNE: It. It is good. You know, I adore conversation. We have much in common, much to discuss—a fascination with the classical world, our unconventional, risky writing. After just missing each other four centuries ago, let us open this bottle of wine I brought from my Bordeaux estate, and cut into this comte I ordered.
PALLADIO: And with it, let us order some Risotto, made with the excellent rice grown in my home province.
MONTAIGNE: My friend, this Thursday evening you and I will be reunited in a rare view of your drawings . . .
PALLADIO: . . . and a discussion of your essays.
TOGETHER: A toast! We shall be bound together!
Bound Together Book Club, a collaborative program of Carnegie Museum of Art and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, this Thursday features a gallery talk and walk through Palladio and His Legacy: A Transatlantic Journey*, followed by a lively discussion of How to Live: Or, a Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell.
Thursday, December 8, 6:30 – 7:45 PM
Space is limited. Call 412-622-3288 to register.
Meet in the Museum of Art lobby.
*This exhibition includes original drawings by Palladio, and is not likely to ever travel again. See it now through December 31, 2011.