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Jean PICART LE DOUX

Flore des Tropiques (Tropical flowers)

 

Aubusson tapestry woven by the Hamot workshop.
Complete with certificate of origin signed by the artist n° 2 of 8.
1961.

 

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 cartoon appears in Bruzeau’s book as n°113 : « this rich and dense flloral subject matter prepares the ground for the large-scale composition : “Amazonie”. Another composition on the same theme “Forêt vierge” (virgin forest) would be woven in 1962” In fact, the origin of this exotically-themed series  (South America would also be a favourite theme of Lurçat) is “Orénoque” (Orinoco) (an example of which is kept in Angers, Musée Lurçat et de la Tapisserie Contemporaine) in 1956, thus the cartoons of 1961-1962 are variations on the theme : the same design motifs of plants (ferns, philodendrons,…) the same birds, the same colour range,… Just as with Lurçat, Picart le Doux would often use the same cartoons several times.

 

Bibliography :
Maurice Bruzeau, Jean Picart le Doux, Murs du soleil, Editions Cercle d’art 1972