Deceiving the Eye: Lyon’s Fresque des Lyonnais
“Walls are the skin of the residents.” -CitéCréation
Despite the fact that there are over 150 fantastic works of art painted all over the walls of the city of Lyon, we only managed to see a grand total of THREE (I think). And completely by accident at that. I can only thank the travel gods above that we stumbled upon La Fresque des Lyonnais – one of the most famous of Lyon’s murals at all.
This is what happens when you don’t do any research about a city before visiting. Or if all your energy is focused on eating.
Which it was. *blush
Painted by the artist collective, CitéCréation, La Fresque des Lyonnais is more than 800 square metres and covers the entire wall of a building. Found at the corner of 2 rue de la Martinière and 49 quai Saint Vincent, it depicts 31 famous people from Lyon and the surrounding area, including Antoine de Saint Exupéry (Le Pétit Prince), the Lumière brothers (pioneers of cinema), and Paul Bocuse (the father of gastronomy).
The Fresque was created using the trompe l’eoil painting technique, which was also the method by which I became a wall-climbing ninja, rode a dolphin, and got shot out of a cannon, in Seoul. And it certainly lives up to its French translation for “deceiving the eye.”
For once I was standing in front of the mural, the figures were so lifelike, it was hard to tell the tourists from the paintings!
I wish we’d seen a lot more of Lyon’s murals, instead of wasting our time trying to enter and find our way through the city’s network of traboules or secret passageways (which are supposed to be open to the public, but in practice, are not).
As for the other 2 works of art we happened upon? They included this remarkable lion advertising a furniture store on another misguided self-tour through the canut (or silkweavers) district (are you sensing a theme here yet?), and the exterior of a hotel.
When we saw these chairs on the outside of this hotel in Lyon, we assumed they were ACTUAL chairs glued to the hotel. But now that I know the city is covered in trompe l’eoil art, I’m not so sure. Perhaps they’re actually paintings! Because sticking chairs to the outside of a hotel is pretty weird, and a potential hazard, isn’t it?
No matter how much I look at it though, I still can’t decide. What do you think? Real chairs or trompe d’eoil painting?
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