JEAN DUNAND (1877-1942)

The Return of the Hunters, 1935

Eight panels in carved gold lacquer and color lacquer.


H 258 - L 404 cm (H 101.6 - W 159.1 in)


Ocean liner Normandie 1935–1941 ; Warehouse of the Compagnie Général Transatlantique, New York ; Ocean liner Liberté 1949–1961 ; Private collection New York until 1992; Private collection, Austria.


In 1930, Dunand was commissioned by the Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique.The commission was for the Atlantique, whose luxurious elegance was orchestrated by the architect-designer Pierre Patout. For this liner, Dunand created lacquer panels for a small vestibule, with the different ethnicities of the French colonies as its central theme. In these panels – which were displayed at the 1930 Salon des Artistes Décorateurs – the hieratic figures stand out in brown and black against a transparent silvery background, using the technique of laque arrachée.
La Chasse was originally installed in 1935 in the Smoking Salon of the luxury liner SS Nomandie of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (CGT). They had been mounted on the sliding wall dividing the Smoking Salon from the Grand Salon. The eight panels depicting Le Retour des Chasseurs were located to the right- hand side of the upper quarter of the wall. On the dismantling of Normandie in 1941 and the removal of the installation, the panels were stored, in common with most of Normandie’s interior fittings, in a warehouse belonging to the CGT in New York until the end of the war. In 1950, the majority of the panels belonging to La Chasse were reinstalled in another French luxury liner, Liberté.


Charles L. Offrey,, Normandie, Queen of the Seas, New York 1985, p. 79.
Félix Marcilhac, Jean Dunand – His Life and Work, London 1991, pp. 154, 318–s319, cat. no. 1109.
Marie-Anne du Boullay, ‘A Temple to Lacquer’ – Jean Dunand and Normandie, Munich 2019, pp. 87.
Pintus, V., Baragona, A.J., Wieland, K. et al. Comprehensive Multi-Analytical, Investigations on the Vietnamese lacquered Wall-Panel “The Return of the Hunters” by Jean Dunand. Sci Rep 9, 18837, 2019.