Combat devant Florence (Combat before Florence)
Aubusson tapestry woven by the Goubely-Gatien workshop.
With partially erased certificate of origin.
An enthusiastic mural artist as early as 1937 (he participated in the Exposition Internationale), Lagrange designed his first cartoons in 1945, and became one of the founding members of the A.P.C.T. His early cartoons were expressionist (like Matégot and Tourlière), then his work evolved towards a stylisation (dating from his collaboration with Pierre Baudouin) which would bring him in the 1970’s to a highly refined style using very pure colours. As well as his important rôle in the tapestry renaissance movement of the period (and the state commissions that went with it), Lagrange would become a teacher at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, a regular collaborator with Jacques Tati, a designer of monumental elements incorporated in various architectural projects and a recognised painter close to Estève and Lapicque.
In the 1960’s, the artist made various large-scale works based on the mediaeval theme of battles and tournaments, in a geometrical and stylised vision, of which the most noted example is the “Hommage to Paulo Uccello” (280 x 680 cm, of which a copy is kept at the Faculty of Science in Besançon). Here, in a style that is still figurative, Lagrange illustrates a battle scene against the city of Florence in the background with its highly recognisable monuments (the Duomo, the bell tower of the Palazzo Vecchio..) The frieze-like scene, inspired by Uccello’s paintings, shows spears, horses and knights intermingled. Of note : the marled beige and brown background against which these elements stand out is specific to Lagrange and was only rarely used by his co-designers.
Cat. Exh. Lagrange tapisseries, Galerie La demeure, 1968, n°4 (reproduit)
Cat. Exh. Tapisseries d’Aubusson, Galerie d’Art Municipale, Luxembourg, n°4 in the catalogue (not illustrated)
Robert Guinot, Jacques Lagrange, les couleurs de la vie, Lucien Souny editeur, 2005, n°40, illustrated (dimensions given 226 x 268 cm)