Everyone has heard of Lalique and his famous glass creations, but have you ever heard of equally gifted and far less well-known Maurice Marinot? He was a painter and artist in glass from Troyes (1882-1960), but his glass-making period was relatively short. He only discovered the medium in 1912 and stopped working in it in 1937, when the glass factory that he had been working with closed down.
Another reason that his output wasn’t huge was that he was quite experimental (and not all the experiments went well) and a bit of a perfectionist, sometimes taking as long as a year to produce one piece. To top it all, his workshop suffered a direct hit during the Allied bombing, which destroyed most of his glass and paintings.
Here are some captivating examples of his work in the Lyon Museum of Art. Of course, glass through glass is notoriously difficult to photograph, so I apologise that you cannot see the beautiful shimmer and reflexes on these creations.
The second artist I discovered at the Art Museum in Lyon is Louis Janmot, a 19th century Lyonnais artist whose style is oddly reminiscent of the Pre-Raphaelites. An ardent Catholic, deeply affected by the childhood loss of his siblings, his work is romantic and profoundly spiritual.
I fell in love with his Mona Lisa equivalent, a painting entitled Flowers of the Fields, featuring the Bugey landscape around Lyon in the background.
However, he is best known for his magnum opus Poem of the Soul (Poème de l’âme), which he spent nearly 50 years on (and which was still not complete at the time of his death). He also wrote a lengthy poem (2800 verses) to accompany it. It’s a sort of reinvention of Catholicism, showing the life-cycle of a human, accompanied at all times by his/her soul. The first series of 18 paintings are displayed in a room in the museum.
17 thoughts on “Friday Fun: Two Artistic Discoveries”
Lovely glassware. The colours on the top shelf remind me of the Swedish pieces that my aunt used to proudly display. I think they dated from the 1970s.
The glass is beautiful – and the pictures haunting and perhaps a little weird. Thanks for introducing me to two artists I’d not heard of!
Weird is certainly the best way to describe Janmot – reminded me of Rosetti and his group, with lots of hidden meaning and almost obsessive themes.
Janmot sounds utterly mad, but those paintings are lovely (Flowers of the Field in particular, actually. I really like that one.)
I adore that glasswork, Marina Sofia!! And what a treat it must have been to actually see it. It’s such a treat, I think to discover new-to-me artists 🙂
The funny thing is that I visited this museum previously (abt 6 years ago), but never really noticed those two. My excuse: I was with the children.
Those paintings are beautiful. You are really upping the ante on the benefits of a trip to Lyon!
I am particularly fond of the glass pieces. I haven’t been to Lyon in decades, but it’s fun to see the museum through your eyes. I have never been there, as we only passed through.
You have to stop there at some point for a few days. It’s a wonderful place in which to linger.
A year making one glass item… I bet those objects are worth a mint now.
They must be. Luckily, some of his glassware was at his sister’s house when his workshop was bombed and those escaped unscathed.
I’ve just found one online for 10500 euros. Not as nice as the ones pictured, though.
Wow, the use of light in those paintings is stunning
Yes, I can’t quite do it justice in my photos though…
The Poem of the Soul looks so beautiful! Lyon is such a beautiful, culturally vibrant city! And love those glass paintings! Do exquisite!
Glass made with an artist’s focus has a depth of transparency, warmth and mystery that’s hard to explain. My kingdom for the darker green top piece haha!