Murals in the City

Many large murals adorn the French urban streetscapes.  Some serve a sole decorative purpose: to transform unsightly blank walls or hide temporary renovation work.  Others are political or whimsical.  However, when it comes to the beautification of the city, the murals are a class of their own, evoking a feeling of admiration, amusement, or serendipity to all passersby.   As a “Thank you” to the artists and patrons who toil to bring fine art to the streets, I want to share with you their masterpieces.

Paris trompe l'oeil windows on blind wall

Paris trompe l'oeil windows on blind wall

Facades in Paris

The following are other manifestations of trompe-l’oeil paintings done on drop clothes. Historical monuments undergoing facelifts are sometimes hidden under gigantic drop clothes mimicking to perfection the actual appearance of the facade, to a point where the eye can become deceived.  Such extreme care spares the monuments’ unsightly plastic coverings for the duration of their repair, and does not deprive the tourists of its architectural beauty and classical lines.  In this case, the trompe l’oeil does not suggest something unreal, but replicates and perpetuates the splendid hidden face of the monument.

Undergoing renovation work at the Jacquemard-Andre Museum in Paris.

Jaquemart-Andre museum, in Paris, under renovation

Jaquemart-Andre museum in Paris, dropcloth with faux facade

The work is hidden under gorgeous faux painted drop clothes replicating the classical architecture of the museum façade.

Jaquemart-Andre museum: detail of faux stonework and window.

Jaquemart-Andre museum: detail of faux stonework and window.

Facades in Lyon

Building of the “Lyonnais” located in Lyon,  France.

Lyon, France ,building of the LyonnaisThe building portrays on its facade the 31 most famous Lyon denizens: they appear in a chronological order, the most ancient being on the highest floor of the “Trompe l’oeil” façade.

The Lyonnais building, detail of the entrance with the famous "Abbe Pierre"

The Lyonnais building, detail of the entrance with the famous "Abbe Pierre"

Lyonnais building: detail of a first floor faux painted  restaurant.

Lyonnais building: detail of a first floor faux painted restaurant.

“La fresque vegetale lumiere”, vegetal and light fresco. This very long wall covered partly with vegetation and lights, is also located in Lyon France.

Lyon, mural of Mali crops from a side angle

Lyon, mural of Mali crops from a side angle

Lyon, mural depicting aerial view of crops in Mali with farmer

Lyon, mural depicting aerial view of crops in Mali with farmer

Lyon, close up of mural with Mali crops

Lyon, close up of mural with Mali crops

It is another creation by muralists reunited in the “Cite de la creation” company, based in Lyon, France. These artists have reproduced pictures taken by Yann Arthus Bertrand, representing threatened areas of the planet; they are respectively situated in Mali, Argentina, and Brazil.

Lyon, aerial view of Mato Grosso in Brazil, with cow herds

Lyon, aerial view of Mato Grosso in Brazil, with cow herds

Lyon, detail of the Mato Grosso mural

Lyon, detail of the Mato Grosso mural

Between each picture are mimicked the various tones of earth that are typical of those regions. The lights come from huge wall sconces covered with lampshades to provide a more intimate atmosphere.

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