The exhibition Orient-Express & Cie: itinerary of a modern myth at Villa Medici-French Academy - curated by Eva Gravayat and Arthur Mettetal, presents over 200 photographic collections, projects, maps, technical drawings and vintage advertising posters, which place the Orient-Express in its global historical context. The first of a series of international luxury trains, the Orient-Express was in operation from 1883 to 1977 and made it possible to connect Paris to Constantinople, today's Istanbul.
All the pieces come from the archives of the ancient Compagnie internationale des wagons-lits and although most of the photographs are anonymous, some are signed by famous studios such as Paul Nadar, Albert Chevojon and Sébah & Joaillier. In addition to the myth of the famous train, the exhibition also tells about the engineering made possible by an extraordinary network of businesses and services (laundries, cabinet-makers, coppersmiths, etc.). Furthermore, together with the Orient-Express, we find archives and photographs relating to the Rome-Express, one of the most prestigious large trains of the Compagnie des wagons-lits. It entered service in 1883 and traveled the 1,446 kilometers that separate Paris from Rome, first skirting the French Riviera and then the Italian Rivieras of Ponente and Levante.
The exhibition also features an unpublished work by French photographer Sarah Moon created thanks to support for the creation of the Fonds de dotation Orient-Express. In fact, this artist has traveled in the footsteps of the Orient-Express on several occasions, retracing its real and imaginary routes. Finally, we recall Mathias Enard, writer and winner of the Goncourt prize in 2015 for his book Boussole (Actes Sud) and fellow at Villa Medici in 2005-2006, who appropriated the myth to accompany the visitor in a sound docu-fiction specially created for the exhibition, in collaboration with France Culture.
Photo credits: courtesy of Villa Medici-French Academy official site
Dal 17 marzo al 21 maggio 2023
Dal lunedì alla domenica dalle ore 10.00 alle ore 19.00 (ultimo ingresso ore 18.30)
Chiuso il martedì