ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MIME
Marceau was a multi-talented artist, and he extended his visual expression beyond the stage to include the art of painting. The following highlighted passage refers to a group of ten of his paintings that make up a collection called Le Troisième Oeil (The Third Eye), and which was accompanied by a poem of the same name written by Marceau. The collection was published in 1982.
Marcel Marceau has been held in awe by his public as a pantomime artist for nearly forty years. He is now leaving his mark on the world as an equally talented painter.
From childhood, Marceau dreamed of becoming a painter. He began to paint at the age of seven, and was educated in an art school in Limoges, France. When referring to the time before he entered the professional stage, he has intimated that at the age of nineteen he felt his profession was painting and mime his hobby. His career as a mime may have taken over, but he did not forget his dream.
Marceau's dual creative outlets compliment one another. He feels his miming carries over into his painting and visa versa. Painting is a medium which enables him to translate the invisible world which Bip deals with in the theatre into a visible world. In fact, his famous character Bip, created for the stage in 1947, has had a major influence on the subject matter of many of Marceau's watercolors and lithographs. He has also worked in ink, pencil, and tempera paint.
Marceau's first lithograph, Bip's Dreams, portrays Bip, larger than life, with a crowded background of Parisian buildings under an ominous night sky. He uses lithography as a means of reproducing his original paintings in limited amounts. Lithography is the process of printing from a plane surface (such as a smooth stone or sheet of metal) on which the image to be printed is ink-receptive and the blank area ink-repellent.
In his artistic endeavor, The Third Eye, Marceau combines his writings and lithographs. In this suite of ten lithographs, he portrays the experiences he has had with the public through Bip.
Marceau's works are expressionistic with a mystical quality. He is influenced greatly by the poet William Blake who also had a mystical style. Marceau prides himself on his use of color, and his palette is comprised mostly of vivid tones of blue, rose, and mauve.
Marceau also noted Marc Chagall as one of the influences on his painting style.
Below are the ten works that comprise The Third Eye. Read the poem here.
The passage above and images from Le Troisième Oeil are used here courtesy of The Genesis Gallery, Ltd.
MARCEL MARCEAU'S PAINTINGS continued on next page >>
Paintings, Drawings, and Lithographs
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This page last updated 15 April 2008