Marc Saint Saëns

Born in 1903 in Toulouse

This frescoist, grand-nephew of the composer Camille Saint-Saëns, came to painting tapestry cartoons after a meeting with Jean Lurçat. He had all his cartoons woven in Aubusson. (Source Musée départemental de la Tapisserie, Aubusson). Thanks to his experience as a fresco artist, Marc Saint-Saëns became aware of the problems of mural art and monumental compositions. He uses this know-how in models intended for tapestry, giving priority to the clarity and strength of the subject rather than a detailed representation of reality but without ever neglecting the decorative element.

His abundant production is marked by a very recognisable, elegant and colourful style. The themes are inspired by nature (Seasons Suite, Elements Suite), mythology and theatre (Commedia dell'arte). One of his best known plays, Theseus and the Minotaur (1943), is in the collections of the MNAM - Centre Pompidou.


The city of Toulouse, where Saint-Saëns was born, keeps several of his works, both in private collections and in public buildings (a series of four large tapestries was commissioned by the municipality in 1950 to decorate the Théâtre du Capitole). Very involved in the creation of tapestry models, he founded, with Jean Picart Le Doux and Jean Lurçat, the Association of Cardboard Painters in 1947.    

Discover his works