"I arrive, I love, I leave"

Pierre Loti, ambiguous exotic

Pierre Loti en costume de dignitaire Chinois, Pékin 1900-1901 © Collection Musée Pierre Loti, Ville de Rochefort - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
Pierre Loti dressed as a Chinese dignitary, Peking 1900-1901 © Collection Musée Pierre Loti, Ville de Rochefort


from tuesday 25 june to sunday 29 september 2013

  • Atelier Martine Aublet, central mezzanine
  • Collections or twin ticket


Claude Stefani, Conservator for the Rochefort municipal museums

About the installation

Emblematic writer on exotism, Pierre Loti was also the youngest member to enter the French Academy in 1891. A naval officer, dandy voyager and director of his own life, Loti enjoyed paradoxes. 

In this installation there is no question of presenting all facets of Loti's personality. Only a few aspects of his character have been chosen; those which most specifically relate to particular themes: the western view of other civilisations, the relationship maintained with them and the uncommon figure of the exotic dandy.L'installation est articulée autour de sept thématiques :

The installation is based around seven themes:

  • Loti the actor, which shows Pierre Loti wearing three different costumes that resume the facets of his character.
  • Childhood: the unmoving journey, the "museum of childhood", two collections that explain the origins of Loti's naval career.  
  • The voyage of the Flore, entering the exotic, which evokes the discovery by Loti of three Polynesian cultures: those of Easter Island, the Marquesas Islands and Tahiti.
  • Crowned friends, which examines the relationships of Loti with high society. 
  • The myth of the sailor, a central character in Loti's maritime novels. 
  • Loti and the Orient which shows two aspects of Loti through the Islamic world and Egypt.
  • The last voyage, which concludes the installation, evoking Loti's fascination with death.