The City of Light
Affiche exhibition Paris en Fête. Photo: Musée d’art, Pully.
The exhibition shows works of art which present different aspects of the (night) life which made the French capital world-famous between the 1890s and 1950s. The works illustrate different themes: the world of cabarets, fashion, leisure and literature. Works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Félix Vallotton, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Raoul Dufy and Kees van Dongen are among those shown. Kees van Dongen is even represented by his series of illustrations for the reprint of Marcel Proust’s A la Recherche du temps perdu (Gallimard 1947). Raoul Dufy (represented by forty of his works) is the artist of the most impressive work of art at the exhibition by a lithographic reproduction of the Electricity Fairy (la Fée Electricité). He made this mural painting (now housed in the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris) to decorate the Electricity and Light Pavilion at the 1937 Paris World’s Fair. This monumental work shows the greatest scientists in history, gathered on either side of the Olympus and Pantheon of the Greco-Roman Antiquity, whose messenger the Electricity Fairy is.