Au seuil de l’École de Tunis

L’usage des références nationales dans la perception et la promotion des beaux-arts en Tunisie avant la Seconde Guerre mondiale

  • Alain Messaoudi Associate Professor in Modern History, University of Nantes/CRHIA
Keywords: Tunisian Painting, National Models, École de Tunis, Galerie de l'art nouveau, Moses Levy

Abstract

On the occasion of the inauguration of the first gallery founded by artists in Tunis, the painters Moses Levy, Pierre Boucherle, Antonio Corpora and Jules Lellouche published in 1936 a manifesto affirming their autonomy, beyond mercantile logics and national assignments. However, a national reading of their works prevailed in the press, at that time. This article proposes to put this founding event of the « École de Tunis » into context, by reinscribing it in a century-old history. This past is marked by the presence of French and Italian artists between 1840 and 1880, by the failure of a policy of asserting a French artistic model with an aborted project for a French museum around 1890, and by the affirmation of an artistic life characterised since the 1910s by its pluralism and even its eclecticism. This article thus intends to contribute, through the example of pictorial production, to the historicisation of discourses on the plurality or cultural identity of Tunisia, which are still today objects of debate.

Author Biography

Alain Messaoudi, Associate Professor in Modern History, University of Nantes/CRHIA

Alain Messaoudi is assistant professor in Modern History at the University of Nantes, attached to the Centre de recherches en histoire internationale et atlantique (CRHIA). His research focuses on the history of Orientalism in the field of Arabic studies (Les arabisants et la France coloniale (1780-1930). Savants, interprètes, médiateurs, Lyon, ENS Éditions, 2015) and on the modalities of the European perception of Islam in the 19th and 20th centuries. He is currently conducting a research on the development of fine arts in North Africa, especially in Tunisia, since the nineteenth century.

Published
2021-04-01
How to Cite
Messaoudi, A. (2021). Au seuil de l’École de Tunis: L’usage des références nationales dans la perception et la promotion des beaux-arts en Tunisie avant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Manazir Journal, 2, 82–108. https://doi.org/10.36950/manazir.2020.2.6