Pays de la Loire
Apocalypse Tapestry - Angers - Jean Lurcat
Apocalypse Tapestry in Angers
The Apocalypse Tapestry is the largest and oldest tapestry - known to date - made in Paris.
It is located in the Chateau d'Angers, in the Loire Valley.
Duke Louis I of Anjou, the brother of King Charles V, commissioned it between 1373 and 1383 for the marriage of Louis II and Yolande of Aragon in 1400.
The tapestry was then occasionally exhibited for religious celebrations, until King René bequeathed it to the cathedral of Angers.
It was set aside and forgotten for generations, then restored during the Second Empire (1852-1870), when Antiquity was fashionable.
It was then once more forgotten for decades in a storage room!
Until 1938, when Jean Lurçat re-discovered it.
In 1952, a building was erected on the site of the castle's kitchens in order to store and preserve it.
However, a new room was especially built for it in 1996.
This room is equipped with a sophisticated air filtering and control of temperature and light.
The 103m long by 4.5m high tapestry is composed of six panels of equal size.
These panels represent 75 different scenes.
The backgrounds of each panel are alternately red and blue and form an immense exchequer.
The front and back of the tapestry are identical.
The original colours are amazingly still intact on the back.
The scenes illustrate the texts of the last book of the Gospel of St-John.
Jean Lurçat Museum in Angers
A talented artist ahead of his time, Jean Lurçat revived the art of weaving in France!
He indeed introduced new designs, modern colours and strong lines and patterns in complete contrast to the traditional style.
His creations reflect a very contemporary spirit that owned him to be worldwide acclaimed!
The Musée Jean Lurçat et de la Tapisserie of Angers was founded in the former Hopital St-Jean.
This hospital, founded in 1174 by Henry II Plantagenêt, it is the oldest non-military hospital remaining in France.
It is located in the Quartier D'Outre, on the north bank of the river Maine.
The museum exhibits the brightly coloured tapestries produced by Jean Lurçat.
The Apocalypse Tapestry was a great source of inspiration for him, as he subsequently created the tapestry called Joys and Agonies of Humanity in the Face of Life and Death.
The 80m long tapestry is divided into 10 sections.
One of his most acclaimed creations is the Song of the World that is exhibited in the beautiful vaulted Salle des Malades (patients' dormitory).
Another museum, the nearby Centre Régional d'Art Textile (Regional Centre of Textile Art) chronicles the different weaving techniques.
N.B. Photos of the Apocalypse Tapestry are forbidden inside the exhibition hall in order to protect it.
Department of Maine-et-Loire
Coordinates Apocalypse Tapestry - Angers Castle: Lat 47.470000 - Long -0.560000
Photos via Wikimedia Commons: Galerie de l'Apocalypse by c6L is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 - La Chute de Babylone by Kimon Berlin user:Gribeco is licensed CC BY-SA 3.0 - l'Aigle du malheur by Remi Jouan is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 - Le chiffre et la Bete by Anonymous (supposedly Robert Poisson) is in Public Domain
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