Today we visited the 'Atelier- musée Jean Lurçat' in Saint-Laurent-les-Tours.
Jean Lurçat (1 July 1892 – 6 January 1966) was a French artist very well known for his beautiful and modern approach to tapestry.
Handwoven and colourful tapestries.
Next to that he was a painter, pattern-maker, writer, poet, political activist and Resistant.
When going by car, you go up a steep hill.
On the top of the hill are the Saint-Laurent towers and a castle with his former workroom and living quarter.
Inside, on the ground floor magic can be seen.
Ceramic tiles with strong images in the kitchen: moon-men, star-ladies, insects, flowers, masks, mermaids and other fantasy creatures.
The whole house is touched by this artist.
Beams are painted.
Handmade tiles on the floor.
Paintings on the wall, painted doors and cupboards.
A traditional Dordogne chair Bram and myself used to have.
Ofcourse his paintings too.
But entering the first room I was immediatly in love with his tapestries.
Most of them are woven in a workshop in Aubusson. He has always given the weavers all credits for the work they made for him, which can be read in this letter he wrote to them.
When you look at them you can see that this is work done by weavers with many years of experience. It is craftmanship in the right way. Traditional handweaving mixed with modern design.
Those stairs where used by Jean Lurçat to draw the design for the tapestries on paper on the wall.
The tapestries themselves:
It is a bright world. Full of stars, moons, buildings, vines, leaves, butterflies, birds and human beings.
It is about heart and happiness, and about the sun and moon.
A beautiful fantasy bird.
And I wondered: was this E a mistake or was it on purpose?
The bright red sofa in the livingroom was given by Christian Dior.
Ceramic vases and plates are everywhere in the house.
After the visit, we went to his tomb next to the little church from Saint-Laurent-les-Tours.
From there you can see the towers on the hill.
On his tomb is written: c'est l'aube.
Meaning: It is dawn.
Jean Lurçat was not only an esthetical artist, but also very involved in politics.
He was absolutely left-wing.
During his life he was also thinking about progress for society and mankind.
His work must be seen also this way.