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Sfumato Invisibile (En)

Olfactory Art Installation / Mixed Materials / 2019 /  Press Review 
Sfumato Invisibile

What if it was possible to feel the invisible beauty of The Mona Lisa?

The olfactory art installation SFUMATO INVISIBILE was designed and composed by Alexandra Bachand in tribute to the celebrations of the 500 years of the death of Leonardo da Vinci (1519-2019).



The installation SFUMATO INVISIBILE by Alexandra Bachand is a poetic ode infusing through the art of perfume, a voice, a very real presence to the Florentine woman remained invisible behind the iconic picture of the Gioconda. Following a lot of historical research and inspired by a trip to Italy in the footsteps of Lisa Gherardini, the artist perfumer created an immersive work in which she has authentically composed a perfume with vaporous, amber, earthy and smoky wake, as a tribute to the pictorial technique of the painting, called sfumato. A glass bell containing workshop fragments reveals symbolically the aura of the enigmatic woman immortalized by the famous portrait of the Mona Lisa painted in the Renaissance by Leonardo da Vinci. While the essential is invisible to the eyes, SFUMATO INVISIBILE transports us on a suspended note, to a mythical period of the history of art and sublimates the power of a timeless beauty sought by so many people still today.


What if it was possible to feel the invisible beauty of the Mona Lisa? 

In the footsteps of Monna Lisa, Alexandra Bachand, Quebec artist and perfumer, founder of the perfume house LA GRANGE DU PARFUMEUR went to Italy after long historical research to plow history. That of a great time and more particularly, the places that saw the birth of the grand Tuscan master and Florence, hometown of Lisa Gherardini. The artist wondered how, after so many years, could this woman remain so much in the shadow of the icon? The perfume at the heart of the installation seeks to give her a very real presence, a breath, an authentic voice that has been invisible for too long. The perfume echoes the timeless enigmatic grace that emerges from the portrait painted in the sixteenth century by the great master, according to the pictorial technique of sfumato, the "smoky" Italian that gives a vaporous appearance to the contours.

Inspired by the unparalleled elegance of iris pallida, the blue gold of fine perfumery, Alexandra Bachand traveled to Italy to extract iris rhizomes from Sienna to authentically compose with materials rare and unique first of the Italian terroir. The artist also makes a wink to Quebec since 1999, has chosen in its iris (versicolore) its floral emblem. In order to feel fragments of the past associated with Leonardo da Vinci, she first goes to Vinci, to discover her native house, rich in history, surrounded by olive trees offering a spectacular horizon on a hilly and mountainous territory. In search of the essence of the Florentine woman, she went to tread the old cobblestones of Florence, cradle of the Renaissance. She discovers there the place of childhood of Lisa, then the district where she lived at a certain time with her family a few steps from the residence of Piero de Vinci, father of Leonardo. A short film (5 min.) Of this epic journey directed by Eric Delbaere, joins the installation.

By presenting the preserved perfume under a glass bell made of scented fragments from the grand master's workshop, the installation highlights its historical value and presents the fragrance as a suspended note symbolically captured in a head space - a modern invention in perfume to capture and analyze odors - a nod to the inventive genius of Leonardo.
For Alexandra, her art explores a way of profoundly and authentically touching those who explore it. In an invisible way, the perfume she composes writes a poetic, emotional and immersive story.

"If the essential is invisible to the eyes, the perfume transports us to the heart of what is more symbolic and more personal. Sublimated by the olfaction, these fragments of the past become moments of the present that one could not imagine being able to live. SFUMATO INVISIBILE reveals unsuspectedly the beauty of an art, a terroir, a mythical period of history and instills a real presence to the woman behind the icon. "

- Alexandra Bachand

The perfume SFUMATO is available in limited edition


SFUMATO INVISIBILE was presented in partnership with Orford Music and presented during the music and arts festival in the summer of 2019 on the theme of Bella Italia

Festival Orford Musique 2019
[From July 5 to August 15, 2019] /  Orford Musique 
Rotunda of Espace Yves-Trudeau
3165 Park Road, Orford (Quebec) J1X 7A2

SFUMATO INVISIBILE was presented at the 38th FIFA Edition (The Festival of Films on Arts) Benefit Event on 19 November 2019.

[ November 19th, 2019]  / FIFA 
Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA)


Sfumato Invisibile - FIFA
Below: images taken from the short film that is part of the installation.
SFUMATO INVISIBILE - THE FILM. Film director, DOP: Eric Delbaere