Exhibition | 18.02. - 30.10.2022

Ovid in the Jura
The Extraordinary Story of a Wallpaper

Exhibition

How did a decor fit for the Tuileries Palace find its way into a farm in the Bernese Jura? The exhibition at Château de Prangins explores a luxurious parlour decorated with wallpaper from the late 18th century – a masterpiece from the Swiss National Museum that is being shown in public for the first time – and tells the fascinating story of its colourful owner. This is a tale of wine, wallpaper, countryside and contraband!

Ovid in the Jura turns the spotlight on an exceptional gift that entered the collections in 2011: a wallpaper measuring 15 linear metres depicting Ovid’s Metamorphoses that was found in a farm in the Bernese Jura. On account of its size, rich iconography, state of preservation and rarity, this decor is a jewel of the Swiss National Museum and an object of international importance.

Ein ehrgeiziges Restaurierungsprojekt

Activites for the public

Media

OVID IN THE JURA -The Extraordinary Story of a Wallpaper

Château de Prangins | 18.2.2022 - 30.10.2022
published on 31.1.2022

How did a decor fit for the Tuileries Palace find its way into a farm in the Bernese Jura? The exhibition at Château de Prangins explores a luxurious parlour decorated with wallpaper from the late 18th century – a masterpiece from the Swiss National Museum that is being shown in public for the first time – and tells the fascinating story of its colourful owner. This is a tale of wine, wallpaper, countryside and contraband!

Ovid in the Jura turns the spotlight on an exceptional gift that entered the collections in 2011: a wallpaper measuring 15 linear metres depicting Ovid’s Metamorphoses that was found in a farm in the Bernese Jura. On account of its size, rich iconography, state of preservation and rarity, this decor is a jewel of the Swiss National Museum and an object of international importance.

The Metamorphoses decor is an icon in the history of wallpaper. The precision of the draughtsmanship, the quality of the printing, the number of colours and the highly sophisticated installation reveal it to be the work of one of the great Paris factories in the late 18th century. But how to explain the presence of such luxurious wall hangings in the parlour of a farm located out in the Jura countryside?

To tell the eventful story of this decor, the Château de Prangins turned to the illustrator Fanny Vaucher, who has created a giant cartoon strip featuring a wine merchant, contraband, a memorable rescue and a half-century languishing forgotten in a garret. The exhibition also deciphers the subtle iconography of the Metamorphoses, highlighting the tragic fates of Daphne, Iphigenia, Orpheus and Eurydice. Finally, it documents the ambitious restoration campaign carried out by the Swiss National Museum that has enabled the parlour to be shown in public for the first time.

The cultural mediation programme includes readings of Ovid’s epic poem, cartoon-making workshops and guided tours accompanied by the wallpaper restorers or Fanny Vaucher. Detailed information is available on the website www.chateaudeprangins.ch. A publication in the Trésors des musées series from Livreo-Alphil accompanies the exhibition.

 

Exhibition curator: Helen Bieri Thomson, assisted by Barbara Bühlmann

Images

Détail du décor des Métamorphoses, représentant Orphée et la muse de la musique

Provenance: maison paysanne de maître, La Cibourg, Jura bernois. Manufacture Arthur & Robert, Paris, après 1789. Impression à la planche. Musée national suisse (inv. LM 116903).

©Musée national suisse

Détail du décor des Métamorphoses

Manufacture Arthur & Robert, Paris, après 1789. Musée national suisse (inv. LM 171877.1)

©Musée national suisse

Panneau historié en grisaille représentant Pygmalion et Galatée

Manufacture Arthur & Robert, Paris, après 1789. Musée national suisse (inv. LM 171877.3)

©Musée national suisse

Détail du décor des Métamorphoses

Provenance: maison paysanne de maître, La Cibourg, Jura bernois. Manufacture Arthur & Robert, Paris, après 1789. Impression à la planche. Musée national suisse (inv. LM 116903)

©Musée national suisse

Panneau tiré du décor des Métamorphoses, représentant Scylla et Minos

Provenance: maison paysanne de maître, La Cibourg, Jura bernois. Manufacture Arthur & Robert, Paris, après 1789. Impression à la planche. Musée national suisse (inv. LM 116903)

©Musée national suisse

Extrait de la bande dessinée

Extrait de la bande dessinée racontant l’histoire du salon de papier peint de La Cibourg. Illustration: Fanny Vaucher

©Musée national suisse

Scénographie exposition temporaire Ovide dans le Jura

Scénographie exposition temporaire Ovide dans le Jura

©Musée national suisse

Scénographie exposition temporaire Ovide dans le Jura

Scénographie exposition temporaire Ovide dans le Jura

©Musée national suisse

Scénographie exposition temporaire Ovide dans le Jura

Scénographie exposition temporaire Ovide dans le Jura

©Musée national suisse

Scénographie exposition temporaire Ovide dans le Jura

Scénographie exposition temporaire Ovide dans le Jura

©Musée national suisse

Scénographie exposition temporaire Ovide dans le Jura

Scénographie exposition temporaire Ovide dans le Jura

©Musée national suisse

Scénographie exposition temporaire Ovide dans le Jura

Scénographie exposition temporaire Ovide dans le Jura

©Musée national suisse

Scénographie exposition temporaire Ovide dans le Jura

Scénographie exposition temporaire Ovide dans le Jura

©Musée national suisse

Scénographie exposition temporaire Ovide dans le Jura

Scénographie exposition temporaire Ovide dans le Jura

©Musée national suisse

Scénographie exposition temporaire Ovide dans le Jura

Scénographie exposition temporaire Ovide dans le Jura

©Musée national suisse

Tatiana Oberson

Head of Marketing, Communication & Fundraising

Château de Prangins +41 22 994 88 68 tatiana.oberson@museenational.ch

Catalogue

Ovide dans le Jura… L'étonnante histoire d'un papier peint

144 pages and 66 illustrations
in French
Editions Livreo-Alphil , 2022
ISBN Alphil 978-2-88950-073-4 ISBN
Musée national suisse 978-3-905875-93-5

Price CHF 21.- (shipping fees not included)

This book is on sale at the museum shop, in bookstores or can be ordered frominfo.prangins@museenational.ch or +41 (0)22 994 88 90

Support provided by

Impressum

  • General management Swiss National Museum: Denise Tonella
  • General management Château de Prangins: Helen Bieri Thomson
  • Project management and curatorship: Helen Bieri Thomson assisted by Barbara Bühlmann
  • Editing: Helen Bieri Thomson, Barbara Bühlmann
  • Translations: Alessia Schiavon, Geoffrey Spearing, Sandra Wyss
  • Iconographical research: Barbara Bühlmann
  • Scenography: Raphaèle Gygi, Genève
  • Exhibition graphic design: La Casagrande, Vincent Fesselet, Carouge
  • Exhibition furniture: L’Atelier, Joël Barret, Gland
  • Paint works: Nigro & Fils Peinture Sàrl, Nyon
  • Printing: Atelier Richard, Petit-Lancy
  • Technical management: Philippe Humm (dir.), André Schärer
  • Lighting: Michele Dalla Favera, Nyon
  • Communication and marketing: Tatiana Oberson (dir.), Sylvie Nickbarte
  • Graphic design (communication): NOW*, Épalinges
  • Cultural education and events: Ana Vulic (dir.), Marie-Dominique de Preter (dir. ad interim), Céline Allard, Ines Berthold, Susanna Bühler, Sylvie Gobbo, Mirta Grüter, Susanna Hurschler, Debra Kinson, Hester Macdonald, Muriel Marchese, Sylvie Nickbarte, Nathalie Pellissier, Killian Perret-Gentil, Matthieu Péry, Ludivine Proserpi, Heidi Rasmussen, Stéphane Repas Mendes, Sian Sibley, Laura Weber, Valérie Zanani, Farès Zemzemi
  • Films and Multimedia terminals: René Vogel (dir.), Thomas Bucher, Ulrich Heiniger, Pasquale Pollastro, Danilo Rüttimann
  • Administration and finance: Odile Rigolet (dir.), Jacqueline Naepflin Karlen
  • Reception: Susanna Hurschler, Véronique Laurent Kandem, Anita Rachetta Bays
  • Installation: Gaby Petrak, Thomas Imfeld, Véronique Mathieu and Simon d’Hollosy
  • Logistics: David Blazquez (dir.), Simon d’Hollosy
  • Loan services: Laura Mosimann (dir.), Maya Jucker, Angela Zeier
  • Films and photographs: Donat Stuppan

Conservation and restauration

  • General management of the Centre of collections: Markus Leuthard
  • Project coordination: Françoise Michel
  • Tapestry restauration: Véronique Mathieu Lingenhel (dir.), Anna Jurt, Uldis Makulis, Françoise Michel, Federica Chiodi-Bär and Silvia Kolly (stagiaires)
  • Wood restauration : Gaby Petrak (dir.), Thomas Imfeld, Helen Wächter (stagiaire)
  • Installation: David Blazquez, Christian Affentranger, Simon d’Hollosy, Thomas Imfeld, Gaby Petrak , Marcel Sax

Publication

  • Conception: Helen Bieri Thomson
  • Editorial: Helen Bieri Thomson
  • Scientific consultancy: Bernard Jacqué
  • Iconographical research: Barbara Bühlmann
  • Production: Rachel Maeder