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History & Civilizations

A taste of the Orient

75 min visit

Louvre Museum
30 Oct → 3 Feb 2020
Mon, Thu, Sat & Sun from 9 am to 6 pm. Nocturnal Wed and Fri until 9:45 pm. Closed Tue.

« A huge personal collection from a lover of the Orient, brought together for the first time in a century. A beautiful tribute!  »

Itinerary of a singular collector, such could also be the title of this exhibition devoted to the oriental collection of Georges Marteau (1851 - 1916). Engineer and heir to the Grimaud firm, George Marteau was a passionate, connoisseur, and informed collector. He lived in a period of discovery and enthusiasm for the arts of the Orient. Merchants, amateurs and scholars contributed to the recognition and study of this art. If his collection reflects the enthusiasm of his time, it is also a reflection of his singular taste, turned towards the history and art of paper. The works he collects are at the crossroads of three universes: playing cards, Japanism and Persian book art. In less than a decade, Marteau has assembled a collection of high quality works: a reference collection of playing cards; works from Japan, requested in Parisian exhibitions; various manuscripts in the Persian language, a taste restricted to a circle of amateurs. Guided by the curiosity of a historian, he acquired pieces often signed by artists who were still unknown at the time. Today bequeathed to national museums, his collection familiarizes us with his taste as much as with this turning point in the history of Asian arts in Europe.


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