Exhibition: Lyon Meets the Orient

Les Lyonnais rencontrent l'Orient

Exhibition dates: 13 October 2013 – 9 February 2014

In the early nineteenth century, artists began to develop a taste for the Orient. All of a sudden, the people of Lyon were fascinated by this opening-up of the countries to the south of France by way of the Rhône (Morocco, Algeria, Greece) and towards China and Mongolia, via the ancient Silk Road.

Artists from Lyon started to draw on new themes: the harshness of the desert, the sensuality and opulence of harem women, and picturesque scenes of colourful streets. This confrontation with the Orient led some painters to become curious about the reality: this is what happened with Lyon-based artist Jean Seignemartin (1848-1875), who left for Algeria in 1874.

In other fields, the textile designer Michel Dubost designed Alhambras and souk interiors in which he levelled out space for decorative effect. The warm tones of the Courtyard of the Lions (1921), a panel of which is kept at the Lyon Museum of Textiles and Decorative Arts, give the work an astonishing plasticity.

This exhibition includes works by Louis Appian, Charles Camoin, Pierre Deval, Michel Dubost, David Girin, Albert Marquet, Henri Matisse, Jules Migonney, Jean Puy, Jean Seignemartin, and many others.

For more information, visit the website of the Musée Paul-Dini, Villefranche-sur-Saône, France.

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