L’arbre qui chante (the singing tree)
Aubusson tapestry woven in the Tabard workshop.
Complete with label.
A Benedictine monk and an illuminator, Dom Robert met Jean Lurçat in 1941 at the Abbey of En Calcat : while he never abandoned drawing (his watercolours, painted to life, would serve him as a reservoir of ideas for his tapestries), his work as a cartoonist (he was a member of the A.P.C.T. from its inception) would take on a considerable importance (at least a hundred cartoons, all numbered) and would be highly thought of. His immediately recognisable style, absence of perspective¸motifs inspired from the natural world (in a Paradisiac style) where stylised flora and fauna combine in a festive and extrovert exuberance, where the influence of mediaeval tapestry can be clearly felt ; poetic and colourful, Dom Robert’s cartoons are the incarnation of their author’s spiritual asceticism.
Inaugurated in the Spring of 2015, the musée Dom Robert opened its doors in in the monastery-school in Sorèze in the department of the Tarn.
Dom Robert worked on the series of trees enlivened with birds all through the 1950’s , « l’arbre qui chante » being the first of them (before « les oixeauix rares » rare birds, “l’arbre d’or” the golden tree, “l’arbre d’émail” the enamel tree). As in l’arbre d’or” the shape of the tree, an agregate of yellow autumnal leaves, clearly outlined, stands out on a single coloured background, with the waves on the trunk suggesting bark. Birds, shapes and colours, sing together, in a profusion inspired by the mille-fleurs of mediaeval tapestry.
J. Cassou, M. Damain, R. Moutard-Uldry, la tapisserie française et les peintres cartonniers, Tel, 1957, ill. p.178
Multi-authored, Dom Robert, Tapisseries, Editions Julliard, 1980
Multi-authored, Dom Robert, Tapisseries, Editions Siloë-Sodec, 1990
Exhibition Catalogue, Hommage à Dom Robert, Musée départemental de la tapisserie, Aubusson, 1998
Multi-authored, la clef des champs, Dom Robert, Editions Privat, 2003, ill. p.72-73
R. Guinot, la tapisserie d’Aubusson et de Felletin, Lucien Souny, 2009, ill. p.111
Multi-authored, les saisons de Dom Robert, Tapisseries, Editions Hazan, 2014, ill. p.159