cf. B. Foucart, Normandie: Queen of the Seas, 1986, p. 79 for Jean Dunand's mural, 'La Chasse', in the first-class smoking room of Normandie;
F. Marcilhac, Jean Duand: His Life and Works, London, 1991, p. 145 for a period photograph of the Smoking Room of Normandie with Dunand's original screen in the background.
The present panel, depicting a hunter and hound within a tropical forest with gazelles, foxes and three marabous on the banks of a small pond, is a smaller variation of a part of Jean Dunand’s Normandie hunting mural 'La Chasse,’ installed in the first class smoking room’s entrance. In all, Dunand created 110 separate panels for the room, each secured to the walls with copper frames. Considered Dunand’s greatest masterpiece on the luxurious ocean liner, the room offered an environment of masculine solemnity enhanced by his depictions of gamely pursuits that included fishing, athletics, horse taming, wine harvest and hunting.
Launched in 1935, Normandie was to be a transatlantic ocean liner without equal – a meticulously rendered and sumptuous showcase for the opulent brilliance of the most prominent French designers and decorators – and also the largest, fastest and most powerful, an expression of a nation’s mastery of style and technology.
Jean Dunand had been engaged early during the selection process for creating the vessels interiors, and was accompanied by an extensive roll-call of the nation’s leading artists and designers who also contributed to the ship’s décor, amongst them Jules Leleu, Ivan da Silva Bruhns, Eugène Printz, Paul Follot, and André Groult to name just a few.
CAPTION 'La Chasse' in the First Class Smoking Room of Normandie.