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Marc Saint-Saëns

Le réveille-matin (the alarm clock)

 

Tapestry woven in the Baudonnet workshop.
Complete with signed label.
1959.

 

Lurçat approached Saint-Saëns, originally a painter of murals, in 1940. And during the war the latter produced the first of his allegorical masterpieces, tapestries reflecting indignation, combat, resistance : “les Vierges folles (the foolish virgins), “Thésée et le Minotaure” (Theseus and the Minotaur). At the end of the war, as a natural development he joined up with Lurçat, whose convictions he shared (concerning a simplified palette, outlined cartoons with colours indicated by pre-ordained numbers, and the specific nature of tapestry design…) at the A.P.C.T. (Association des Peintres-cartonniers de Tapisserie). His universe, where the human figure, stretched, elongated, ooccupies an important place (particularly when compared to his companions Lurçat or Picart le Doux), pivots around traditional themes : woman, the Commedia dell’arte, Greek mythology… refined by the brilliance of the colours and the simplification of the layout. His work would evolve later, in the 1960’s, towards cartoons of a more lyrical design, almost abstract where elemental and cosmic forces would dominate.

 

“Saint-Saens who produced a series of birds in 1949 only rarely represented the cock, a recurrent subject for Lurçat. In this piece the cock has no symbolic value but merely announces with gales of crowing and colour the arrival of the new day.” (Exhibition Catalogue Sain-Saëns, œuvre  tissé, Aubusson, Musée départemental de la Tapisserie, 1987 p.48)

 

Bibliography :
Exhibition catalogue Saint-Saëns, galerie La Demeure, 1970
Exhibition catalogue Saint-Saëns, the tapestries, Aubusson, Musée départemental de la Tapisserie, 1987, ill. p.49
Exhibition catalogue Marc Saint-Saëns, tapestries, 1935-1979, Angers, Musée Jean Lurçat et de la Tapisserie Contemporaine 1997-1998