Artcurial partners with the Domaine de Chantilly for the sponsoring of a monographic exhibition, celebrating Eugène Lami, Painter and Decorator to the Orleans Family.
The exhibition was imagined for the reopening-after two years of restoration- of the Duke and Duchess’ of Orleans and the Duchess of Aumale’s private suites, of which Lami imagined the decor and interior design between 1845 and 1847, at the wake of the Revolution which constrained him to exile. These private suites of abundant decor were inaccessible for a long time. No other princely decor of this period was preserved.
The exhibition unfolds in the Graphic Arts cabinet of the castle, presenting a series of watercolors depicting baroque decors and interiors. Among the pieces to discover, there is a library mixing styles of Renaissance and Henri IV period, a red néo Louis XIV salon, a bedroom decorated with 18th century woodworks, and the “petite singerie”, room of the Duchess. Their visionary, eclectic style announces the Second Empire decors.
Born in a family of Napoleonic obedience, the painter, decorator, architect, watercolorist and lithograph’s beginnings were in 1815, alongside Horace Vernet. He pursued his training with Gros, where he gained his outstanding colorist features. It is in Gros’ studio that he met Gericault and more importantly Bonington who introduced him to the art of watercolor, which became his signature technique for the rest of his life. The colors of his paintings echo the ones of the suites: deep purple contrasting with golden yellow, pistachio green and pink.
After designing the Tuileries and Chantilly decors, Eugène Lami, « poet of dandyism » according to Baudelaire, and friend of the high society families of the time, worked on the stunning baroque orders from the family of Rothschild at Ferrières and at Boulogne, of which a series of watercolors is presented in this exhibition.