Medium: Gilt and lacquered wood
Dimensions: 61" high x 83" wide
Serge Damon, while French, was a student of the frescos and lacquers of East Asia, and fascinated by the light and sands of Portugal, Morocco, and Greece, all countries in which he lived briefly.
These influences are embodied in this extraordinary screen, which depicts four musicians holding, from left to right, a drum, a tambourine, a lute, and a pipe. The four stand before a structure in the background, and are spread over five arched, gilded, and lacquered wooden panels.
The figures, and the landscape they inhabit, harken back to an older pastoral ideal, and this point of reference, combined with the palette and the play of light, suggest a certain ephemerality, a merging of the figures with their environment that endows the scene with a beautiful, dreamlike quality.