Pays de la Loire

Apocalypse Tapestry - Angers - Jean Lurcat

This page was updated on: Saturday, April 1, 2017 at: 2:33 pm

Apocalypse Tapestry in Angers


Galerie de l'Apocalypse

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.


The Fall of Babylon

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!


The Eagle of Doom

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 number of the Beast

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.

Some of Lurcat's tapestries are exhibited in the Galerie des Gobelins in Paris.

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

Pays de la Loire - Latest content

Ile chauvet Abbey - Romanesque sculptures

Ile Chauvet Abbey in Bois de Céné – Vendée

The ruined Ile Chauvet Abbey was founded in 1130 by Benedictine monks who developed and exploited the surrounding salt marshes throughout the Middle Ages
Marais Breton-Vendeen

Marais Breton-Vendeen and Baie de Bourgneuf

Marais Breton-Vendeen, a natural wetland situated off the Atlantic coast, was Europe’s largest salt producer during the Middle-Ages
Old species of donkeys in the Ecomuseum Marais Vendeen

Ecomuseum Marais Vendeen, Le Daviaud – La Barre-de-Monts

Ecomuseum Marais Vendeen - Le Daviaud, a vast natural zone turned into an open-air museum to showcase the marsh of Vendee's natural and historical heritage

Castle of the Dukes of Brittany – Nantes – Pays de la Loire

The castle of the Dukes of Brittany is situated in Nantes, the capital of the historic Duchy of Brittany which was attached to the Kingdom of France in 1532

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Please note: We will not sell or distribute your email address to any third party.