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.
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.
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.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Lyon street art (). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Lyon street art.
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