Petite harpe des bois (little harp of the woods)
Tapestry woven in the Picaud workshop.
Complete with certificate of origin signed by the artist’s widow, n°3/6.
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 refers back to « la harpe des forêts”, the sylvan harp, of 1953 (Bruzeau n°45). The link between music and nature is a leitmotiv in the work of Picart le Doux : these tapestries are often animated by birds outlined agains the vertical background of the strings.
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
Exhibition Catalogue le salon de musique, église du château, Felletin, 2002, ill. p.54