Jérôme Tomaselli
© Véronique Védrenne

As a teenager and passionate about art and history, I discovered Lyon’s painting at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, which had an entire floor dedicated to this beautiful school of painting. I still remember the Carrand, Ravier and Vernay rooms, but also the great paintings of Combet-Descombes, and of course the contemporary artists of the time (the 70s): Pelloux and so many others.

Then time passed, the work absorbed me and one day, I wished to see these painters whom I had loved and who were no longer seen. This research turned out to be more fruitful than I had imagined; Lyon’s painting was even richer and more beautiful than I remembered. This school from Lyon, a little forgotten, but still defended by some specialized galleries and some wise collectors, deserved to be rediscovered and brought to light.

For 30 years I have patiently collected the most interesting works and learned so much about the rich history of the local painting.

It is time today to share this passion, to make Lyon rediscover its history, which from the 16th century to the present day, has produced so many fascinating artists and works. Also, the Collection is regularly enriched with masterpieces that we will be pleased to present to our visitors. The Collection covers a long period, from the 16th century to the present day. All types of paintings are represented, from still life to landscapes, especially views of Lyon.

The criteria that guided the selection of the works have remained stable over time:

  • Artists with a connection to the city of Lyon: whether they were born in the region, studied at the Lyon School of Fine Arts or in the studio of a regional painter, or came to live and work there. We can thus see the evolution over time of the artists’ relationships with each other, but also with other metropolises such as Paris or Rome. The richness of this history deserves our attention. Some non-regional artists are represented, however, because their influence on Lyon’s artists has been decisive.
  • Artists who produce quality work, especially those who technically master their craft. For this reason, the artists of earlier centuries are well represented because they were well trained and had demanding clients.
  • Works representative of the different periods of the artists and which present a major artistic interest, so much in the composition, the pictorial technique, the message which they convey that in the emotion which they cause, whatever the subject, religious, historical for example or the non subject like the abstraction.

To discover the Collection is to begin a journey through time, where you will discover, for example, the close relations between Lyon’s painters and Rome from the 17th to the 19th century, or how original painting trends have evolved over time. It is also to understand why talented artists have chosen to stay in Lyon at the expense of a national career and on the contrary, how regional artists have made an international career while remaining attached to their roots in Lyon. Some artists, like Pillement, were born and died in Lyon, but made their career in all the courts of Europe!

It is therefore with great pleasure that I invite you to visit the Collection and to rediscover the rich history of our Lyonnaise painting.

Jérôme Tomaselli