UNIQLO, the Japanese global apparel retailer, today announces that its UT (UNIQLO T-shirt) brand will launch a collaboration collection with Musée du Louvre on February 8th. This commemorative first series is part of a partnership between UNIQLO and the Louvre that will begin
Observing the ‘logic‘ hidden in historical masterpieces
The Men’s UT line, created by English graphic artist Peter Saville, is designed around the theme of “Art and Logic.” Saville has focused on the logic hidden in art – such as the inventory numbers assigned to the works held in the Musée du Louvre, or the “golden ratio” used in the composition of numerous artworks – and incorporated these elements into the designs. The Louvre exhibits 35,000 works in eight curatorial departments. To showcase the breadth of the men’s collection, representative works were selected from four of these departments. Well-known works such as the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Venus de Milo are reinterpreted through Saville’s urbane graphic style.
Commenting on this collaboration collection, Saville said, “I was intrigued by the fact that at the Louvre, the world-famous Mona Lisa is known as painting ‘No. INV 779,’ which is its internal inventory number. I was inspired by that. Like many people, when I look at works of art I’m also conscious of their constituent geometry. I thought that exploring that viewpoint on a T-shirt would be appropriate for this UT / Louvre collaboration. ”
Focus on the female form shown in artworks
A Women’s line with UT original designs is also available. It centers on numerous works with a “woman” motif left by the great masters, such as the Mona Lisa with her enigmatic smile, the devoted Holy Mother in La belle jardinière, and the sensual The Odalisque. Paired with floral motifs, the figures blossom vividly on the T-shirts. Sweatshirt items also focus on the theme of “woman,” but expressed in simple line art, giving these historical masterpieces a modern touch.
About Peter Saville
Graphic artist and international design legend. As co-founder of the independent U.K. label Factory Records he famously created a series of record sleeves for Joy Division and New Order. His early artwork reached a wide audience through pop music.
About Musée du Louvre
Formerly a royal palace, the Louvre has embraced the history of France for eight centuries. Open to the public since 1793, the Louvre collections are among the finest in the world, encompassing several thousands of years and spread across a large territory from America to the confines of Asia. Divided among eight departments, the collections feature works admired throughout the globe, including the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, and the Venus de Milo. After the French Revolution, the Louvre was created as a place where artists could admire the great masters and look for inspiration. Even today, the Louvre remains a place of inspiration for the greatest contemporary creators, architects, painters, sculptors, dancers, and musicians.
Musée du Louvre will launch an online store to showcase future collaborations, including the most recent one with UNIQLO. More information on www.louvre.fr
About Inventory Numbers
Little known to the general public, inventory numbers are essential for museums, not only because they allow the identification of an object in the museum’s collections, but they also bear witness to the institution’s acquisition policy. Tracking collections’ inventory is therefore one of the major tasks entrusted to curators. Certain works held in the Louvre today have several inventory numbers, due to their inscription in successive registers or to numbers which have been directly affixed to the object itself, in various forms such as a label stuck on the support, inscription in ink or pencil, stamp, seal, etc. Each of these marks is a clue to a successive owner or event in the artwork’s history, and their review allows us to better understand its history and to properly document its provenance.
The Mona Lisa, entered the royal collections of François Ier in 1518 upon the death of Leonardo da Vinci. It was not until 1824 that it was registered in The General Inventory of Royal Museums under number MR 316. It was then assigned the number INV 779 in The General Inventory of Imperial Museums written under the direction of Frédéric Villot in 1854, which gave each artwork an inventory number made up of the letters “INV.” followed by a number for just over 10,100 paintings. This inventory number, still in use today, is the only one retained for paintings acquired before the Second Empire.
The inventory number for the Venus de Milo is MA 399. The Venus de Milo was discovered in 1820 on the Greek island of Melos (now called Milo). The Marquis de Rivière, then French Ambassador to the Sublime Porte, gave it to the King of France Louis XVIII, who donated it to the Louvre the following year, under inventor number LL 299. In 1896, the curator of the A. Héron de Villefosse museum assigned it the number MA 399 in his publication The Catalogue of Ancient Marbles (the initials MA stand for “Marbres antiques”, Ancient marbles).
About the Partnership
UNIQLO concluded a four-year sponsorship agreement with Musée du Louvre beginning in 2021. UNIQLO sponsors the “Free Saturday Nights” which offers greater access to the Louvre and the educational program “Mini Discovery Tours”. Along with various other activities conducted in cooperation with the Louvre, UNIQLO will launch an ongoing series of collaboration items. This collection is the first in a series to be launched as part of this partnership.