Egypt of the Pharaohs / The Orientalists

19 April to 5 January 2025

Carrières des Lumières

The Carrières des Lumières will be decked out in the colours of the Orient, offering an immersion into The Egypt of the Pharaohs, from Cheops to Ramses II for the long programme and The Orientalists, Ingres, Delacroix, Gérôme for the short programme.

A plunge into the light of the Deep South, into the history and mysteries of the Orient through the travel diaries of the Western painters who went there.

Egypt of the Pharaohs, from Khéops to Ramsès II

Long programme

Step back in time and rediscover the Egypt of the pharaohs through the masterpieces of this mythical civilisation that spans 3 millennia and fascinates every generation.
As a prologue to the exhibition, grains of sand lifted by the wind reveal the remains of ancient Egypt as they appeared to French scientists during the Egyptian Campaign from 1798 to 1801, and as the painter David Roberts drew them, noting in his notebook “We are a people of dwarfs visiting a nation of giants”.

In the beginning, ancient Egypt had its own cosmogony, rich accounts of the genesis of the world. The sacred forces of the gods clash and are revealed on the walls of the Carrières des Lumières, right up to the appearance of the first humans on earth. The journey continues along the Nile, the sacred river and source of life. The rhythm of the floods and the seasons provides the fertile silt needed for a luxuriant flora and fauna to flourish.

Daily life in ancient Egypt is revealed through magnificent bas-reliefs, paintings and ancient papyri. Gigantic construction sites and prodigies of ancient architecture, the pyramids are literally built before the eyes of visitors: one by one, the colossal blocks pile up and erect the tombs of the eternal kings, guarded by the majestic Sphinx.

Ancient Egypt’s formidable durability is intimately linked to the pharaohs who reigned over the unified kingdom of Upper and Lower Egypt. The monumental sculptures of the sovereigns whose names resonate in history then dominate the space: Khéphren, Hatshepsout, Thoutmosis III, Akhénaton and Néfertiti…

Mythical battles punctuated the reigns of successive sovereigns, such as Ramses II and the Battle of Qadech. The arms of the Nile then irrigate the space with molten gold, the flesh of the gods, which flows along the walls, forging the incredible jewels of the Egyptian kings and queens.

Production: Culturespaces Digital ® – Création artistique : Virginie Martin – Mise en scène et animation : Cutback – Supervision musicale et mixage : Start-Rec

The Orientalists, Ingres, Delacroix, Gérôme

Short programme

In the 19th century, the gates of the Orient opened for Western painters drawn by the mysteries of distant lands. Dazzled by the light of the Deep South, revealing the reliefs of arid landscapes and the colours of spectacularly patterned architecture, the Orientalists Delacroix, Gérôme, Ingres and other major names in European expression invited us to embark on a veritable pictorial expedition to the exotic and bewitching new world of their dream Orient.

Delacroix’s travel diaries open the narrative, plunging visitors into the heart of an itinerary teeming with the play of light and shadow, the scent of spices, the rhythm of oriental instruments and unprecedented moments captured on the spot.

Then other great names – Constant, Frère, Vernet, Gérôme, Guillaumet, Belly, Richter and Dinet, among others – will set the scene for an inspiring elsewhere that they hope will be both marvellous and luxurious. They invite visitors to meander through the narrow streets of Oriental cities and souks, to step into sun-dappled interiors, to join in the dance of the Oriental soul, and to stroll through the patios of sumptuous palaces.

Visitors accompany the artists on their peregrinations and experience the gruelling journey across a merciless desert, stopping off at the oases. They will also encounter wild animals, the hunting of which was an eye-catching subject for these Orientalist painters. Finally, moucharabiehs offer a glimpse into the mysterious world of harems. This sensual, fantastical world remained inaccessible to Orientalist painters, who therefore imagined representations of it.

The fumes of the hammam reveal bathers with unreal curves, and finally the curtain rises on Ingres’s La Grande Odalisque, a masterpiece of dreamlike, idealised Orientalism. The dream comes to an end, and visitors wake up in the heart of 19th-century Parisian salons, having experienced the Orientalists’ dream of the Orient like an evanescent mirage.

Production: Culturespaces Digital ® – Création artistique : Virginie Martin – Mise en scène et animation : Cutback – Supervision musicale et mixage : Start-Rec


Adults: 15,50€ | Seniors (+65 years): 14,50€
Children (-7 years): free | Children (7 to 17 years): 12€
Concessions (students 18 to 25 years, jobseekers, teachers): 13€
Family (2 adults and 2 children): 42€ (2nd child free)

Groups (+ 20 persons): 13€
Schools (+ 20 persons): 8€

Pass Baux-de-Provence
(2 sites: Carrières des Lumières + Château des Baux).
Adults: 19€ / 20,50€*  | Seniors (+65 years): 17€ / 18,50€*
Children (-7 years): free | Children (7 to 17 years): 14€ / 15,50€*
Concessions (students 18 to 25  years, jobseekers, teachers): 14€ / 15/50€*
Family (2 adults and 2 children): 53€ / 60€*

Half price at the Yves Brayer Museum on presentation of the ticket Pass Baux-de-Provence.

*With events on the Château des Baux ( July and August)

Practical information

Carrières des Lumières
Route des Carrières
1520 Les Baux-de-Provence

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Tourist Office

Maison du Roy, Rue Porte Mage,
13520 Les Baux-de-Provence
Tél. +33 (0)4 90 54 34 39

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Opening hours
Monday to Friday: 9.30 am to 5.00 pm
Weekends & public holidays: 10.00 am to 5.30 pm
Closure: 25 December and 1 January