says Zugno, ‘so to help them understand light quality
we did a mock-up with a couple of sample paintings,
and showed them how the light changed the visual
perception of the colours and pigments. The curators
were really enthusiastic as they could see details in the
paintings that they had never seen before.’
The lighting is layered: artworks stand out from the
general soft lighting in a theatrical way, thanks to
the adjustable accent focus on each piece. Projectors
are placed on three tracks installed on the ceiling,
reusing pre-existing structures where possible.
The project makes large use of the Iris T fittings. The
exhibition rooms are fitted throughout with adjustable
optics luminaires. Alongside moulded Vektor fittings,
they produce a suffused, staged lighting in which the
light beam is focused only where needed on
the artwork, becoming progressively softer towards the
borders and the frames.
As a result, the paintings emerge from the shaded
walls as if lit from within. The large glass display cases
showcasing statuettes and artefacts in ceramic and
glass have been installed with Reika fittings. These
linear profiles with asymmetrical optic illuminate
the objects placed on the shelves without dazzling
the viewers, and are dimmed individually to provide
adequate light based to the size of the display.
The decorative glass panes located in front of the room
windows are illuminated by Xenia fittings, which
at sunset replace the natural light illuminating the
stained-glass windows for visitors in the evening.
The marriage of technology and art that the lighting
scheme at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs represents
has earned early plaudits from that most demanding
and discerning audience: Clair’s lighting design peers.
UK lighting designer Gary Campbell of DPA Lighting
Consultants says the concept works. ‘The general light
levels are low, and the light is focused on the artwork
using lenses so it’s very self-contained.
‘And because your eye is just focused on the works
themselves and not on the surroundings, it gives it that
really special quality. I think on this project it almost
enhances the spiritual [quality of the art].’
Project: Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris
Photography: Nicolas Cardin Photographies
Lighting design: Emmanuel Clair, Light Cibles
Lighting supplier: Linea Light Group