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France: Lyon street art

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Lyon street art > France > Europe

[Visited: August 2006]

On my first visit to Lyon, I was especially interested in seeing the old city, in tasting the atmosphere of the city, in walking the narrow alleys and discovering the traboules or secret walkways between streets. I came unprepared, however, for another attraction of this remarkable city: the street art. It is often realistic art, in the tradition of the trompe l'oeil, which makes the city so much more colourful and a delight to walk in. From small graffiti-type works of art on doors to trompe l'oeils painted on tall buildings, Lyon is full of examples.

Picture of Lyon street art (France): Detail of exemplary trompe l'oeil building with Saint Exupéry

When I wanted to cross a street, I had to look twice to see that the painter I thought was busy at the other side of the street, was actually a painter painted on the wall. I decided to cross and have a closer look, and quite soon, I discovered that the entire 7-storey building was painted all around and was, in fact, one large trompe l'oeil. Not only were the persons leaning out of the window well painted and did they give a great impression of reality, I realized that these were all famous historical inhabitants of Lyon. I recognized Saint Exupéry and his little Prince on a balcony, among the many persons painted on the walls.

Picture of Lyon street art (France): Painter painting a wall as a clear example of trompe l'oeil street art

I was thrilled by this discovery, and walked around the building. Unfortunately, I did not know most of the people portrayed here, but still, the work of art was a remarkable example of the imaginary world of trompe l'oeil. From then on, I was on the alert for other examples, and actually found plenty. I found many more colourful examples of paintings or graffiti, giving the city another special touch. It seems there are still more paintings adorning the Lyonnais streets, and I will certainly be on the lookout for them on my next visit.

Picture of Lyon street art (France): Street in a street: another example of trompe l'oeil
Picture of Lyon street art (France): Sidewall of the building with trompe l'oeil with famous people from Lyon
Picture of Lyon street art (France): Entrance, or not?, of trompe l'oeil building
Picture of Lyon street art (France): Floral decoration on door of shop
Picture of Lyon street art (France): Colourful artistic door in Lyon
Picture of Lyon street art (France): Trompe l'oeil of famous Lyonnais people
Picture of Lyon street art (France): Trompe l'oeil photographer taking a picture of the photographer
Picture of Lyon street art (France): Colourful staircase in the city thanks to the street art
Picture of Lyon street art (France): Street art in Lyon on a door
Picture of Lyon street art (France): Tropical sea in Lyon thanks to this street art

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