Aubusson tapestry woven in the Berthaud workshop.
Jean Picart le Doux is one of the foremost figures in the renaissance of the art of tapestry. His earliest contributions to the field date back to 1943 when he designed cartoons for the passenger ship “la Marseillaise”. A close associate of Lurçat, whose theories he would adopt (limited palette, numbered cartoons…), he was a founding member of the A.P.C.T. (Association des Peintres-cartonniers de Tapisserie), and soon after, a teacher at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs. The state gave him several commissions most of them at the Aubusson workshop, and some at the Gobelins : the most spectacular of these being for the University of Caen, the Theatre in Le Mans, the passenger ship France or the Prefecture of the Creuse département … In as much as Picart le Doux’s aesthetic is close to that of Lurçat, so also is his insipiration and his subject matter, although in a register which is more decorative than symbolic, where he brings together heavenly bodies (the sun, the moon, the stars…), the elements, nature (wheat, vines, fish, birds…), man, literary quotation …
This piece dates from the very early work of Picart le Doux, in 1943, the year of his very first tapestries for the liner « La Marseillaise » and for the interior decorator Leleu. Not yet a master of the specific techniques offered by the art of tapestry (Picart le Doux will not got to Aubusson until 1945), his first cartoons are very close to his poster work ; the subject also, an allegory for the season or a reflection on traditional agricultural activity, is redolent of the period.
Maurice Bruzeau, Jean Picart le Doux, Murs de soleil, Editions Cercle d’art, 1972
Exhibition catalogue Jean Picart le Doux Tapisseries, Musée municipal d’Art et d’Histoire, Saint-Denis, 1976
Exhibition catalogue Jean Picart le Doux, Musée de la Poste, 1980