The Orient Express train, a photographic epic

Women in Charleston dresses, hair tucked under a turban, smoking cigarettes in a car with walls lined with precious wood.Gentlemen sipping whiskey in their crisp tuxedos, amid a ballet of uniformed waiters, dexterously wearing their sets in a not badly shaken car.While behind the windows, the landscape scrolls ...The Orient Express train has generated so many fantasies, tourist, cinematographic, literary, that it is in itself a character at the same time real and fictional.

Created in 1883 by a Belgian engineer Georges Nagelmackers, "this king of trains, this train of kings", was the first in a series of transnational luxury trainsets from the Compagnie internationale des wagons-lits (CIWL).Since 1977, date From its last lap, the Orient Express no longer exists, but its midnight blue cars with yellow borders have never stopped rolling in the imagination for nearly 150 years.

A beautiful book is dedicated to him, Orient Express & Co, (Editions Textuel), by Eva Gravayat and Arthur Mettetal.The first was responsible for the production of the Rencontres d'Arles exhibitions, the second is a historian.Thanks to unpublished photographic archives , this iconographic ensemble offers an incarnate reinterpretation of the history of this little technical gem, which combines innovation and elegance.“Its cabins are equipped with the most modern for the time: central heating, hot water, lighting gas fired, the interior is carpeted, the beds impeccably dressed ...The best materials are used: silk sheets, marble sanitary ware, crystal cups and silver cutlery, ”write the two authors.

Great luxury behind thousands of small hands, because the interest of the book also lies in its decryption of the other side of the decor, namely the working world, from the kitchens to the workshops, from the laundries to the the whole social and industrial history of the end of the 19th century which unfolds.

Posted Date: 2020-12-11

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