Jérôme Tomaselli
© Véronique Védrenne

Still a teenager with a passion for 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 1970s): Pelloux and so many others.

As time passed, the work absorbed me, and one day, I wished to see again 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 paintings were 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 artworks and learned a lot about the rich history of regional painting.

It is time today to share this passion and make Lyon rediscover its history, which has produced many fascinating artists and artworks from the 16th century to the present. Also, I regularly enrich the Collection with masterpieces that we will be pleased to present to our visitors. The Collection covers an extended period, from the 16th century to the present. 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, can thus see the evolution over time of the artists’ relationships with each other and with other metropolises such as Paris or Rome. The richness of this history deserves our attention. However, some non-regional artists are represented because their influence on Lyon’s artists has been decisive.
  • Artists who produce quality artwork, especially those who technically master their craft. Therefore, the artists of earlier centuries are thoroughly portrayed because they were well-trained and had demanding clients.
  • Artworks that represent various periods of the artists and present major artistic interest, both in composition, pictorial technique, the message they convey, and the emotion they evoke, regardless of the subject, whether religious, historical, for example, or non-subject like abstraction.

Discovering the Collection is a journey through time, where you will find, for example, the close relations between Lyon’s painters and Rome from the 17th to the 19th century or how original painting trends have developed 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 rediscover the rich history of our Lyonnaise painting.

Jérôme Tomaselli