While in Angers, we also went to the Musée Jean Lurçat. The museum houses his large tapestry cycle, Le Chant du Monde (Song of the World) which was his response to the Apocalypse Tapestry. Though I think anyone having a response to the Apocalypse tapestry is a bit ballsy, seeing these massive tapestries was fantastic.
Below is the 6th episode in my video blog. After that, some more thoughts about the Lurçat tapestries.
The cycle has 10 huge tapestries. Jean Lurçat lived from 1892 to 1966. The weaving began in 1957 in Aubusson and it took about 10 years to weave in three different workshops, being finished a few months after Lurçat died. In 1967 the city of Angers acquired the tapestries from Lurçat’s wife and they have been shown in this room in the Hopital Saint-Jean ever since.
Lurçat was a painter. He started working in tapestry in the 1930s (that is, he designed for tapestry, he did not weave them himself).
The subject of the tapestries begins with the atomic bomb. Lurçat lived through both world wars and was designing these pieces during the Cold War.
The tapestry subjects move through the atomic bomb, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, a charnal house and in the fourth piece, a great black expanse where everything has disappeared called La fin de tout. From there things become less horrifying. My favorite of the tapestries was Champagne which was beautiful.
The next tapestry is about Sputnik and the rest of the cycle seems to focus on astrological subjects.
The piece is fascinating to study. In the gallery below are some details from Le Chant du Monde.