The Madonna PainterFront Cover

ISBN: 9780889226418 | paperback / softback

$16.95 | 94 pages | Pub. Date: 2010
5.50 W × 8.50 H × 0.29 D inches
Drama | Backlist | Bisac: DRA013000
ISBN 13: 9780889226418 | Rights: WORLD

At the end of the First World War, to protect his village from the spanish ?u epidemic brought home by returning soldiers, a young priest recently arrived in the Parish of Lac St-Jean commissions a wandering Italian painter to decorate the walls of the local church with a fresco dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The painter is to choose, among four local women all named Mary, a model for his work. The presence of the foreign artist, his choice of a local virgin to serve as a model and the frighteningly strange nature of his work will upset the lives and change the fate of the entire community. The town’s doctor, meanwhile, has his own prescription for what is ailing the villagers. As superstition collides with desire, The Madonna Painter unmasks a bouquet of lies disguised as a fable.

Loosely inspired by the events surrounding the creation of the fresco that still adorns the nave of the church in Saint-Coeur de Marie, the author’s native village, the language of the play is not that of its current inhabitants. Bouchard’s characters simply echo the medieval beliefs that coloured the imagination and shaped the destiny of all Québécois, especially those living in its many rural townships until very recently, and inspire this story with their gossip about their neighbours, foreigners and the mythical marital spats between God and Satan. That fresco depicting the Virgin Mary’s ascension was the author’s ?rst encounter with art, with a foreigner and with lies, and Michel Marc Bouchard has said: “In order to portray that fresco, I became a liar and the people from my village became saints and martyrs, artists and models, lovers and misanthropes. I presented their legends the way a ?ea market hawker displays sacred objects that have been stolen and disguised for resale.”

By Michel Marc Bouchard

Sophie Bienvenu is a Québécois writer. After studying visual communication in Paris, she settled in Quebec in 2001 and quickly established herself as a successful blogger. Et au pire, on se mariera (La Mèche) her first novel, was followed by Chercher Sam (translation forthcoming from Talonbooks, 2019), and Autour d’elle, translated as Around Her by Rhonda Mullins (Talonbooks, 2018). Ceci n’est pas de l’amour (This Is Not Love) was her first poetry collection, published in 2016 by Poètes de brousse. Bienvenu’s writing takes its readers on an emotional journey, an intense exploration of profoundly human characters, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Read more about Michel Marc Bouchard


Translated by Linda Gaboriau

Sophie Bienvenu is a Québécois writer. After studying visual communication in Paris, she settled in Quebec in 2001 and quickly established herself as a successful blogger. Et au pire, on se mariera (La Mèche) her first novel, was followed by Chercher Sam (translation forthcoming from Talonbooks, 2019), and Autour d’elle, translated as Around Her by Rhonda Mullins (Talonbooks, 2018). Ceci n’est pas de l’amour (This Is Not Love) was her first poetry collection, published in 2016 by Poètes de brousse. Bienvenu’s writing takes its readers on an emotional journey, an intense exploration of profoundly human characters, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Read more about Linda Gaboriau


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news | 2010-11-18
The Madonna Painter For The Very First Time!

…UBC Theatre presents The Madonna Painter by Michel Marc Bouchard and translated by recent …


news | 2010-11-17
Congrats on the GG, Linda Gaboriau!

…translations include Michel Marc Bouchard‘s The Madonna Painter and Talon’s imminent release of Larry …


news | 2010-10-25
The Madonna Painter Comes to UBC!

…native village in Quebec, the story of The Madonna Painter revolves around an Italian artist who always … and what passes for antique medicine. The Madonna Painter will be in performance at UBC Theatre from …