Tapestry after a cartoon by Marc Saint-Saëns (1903-1979)
France, Aubusson, Picaud workshop
Woven in wool and cotton (cotton warp and wool weft)
Workshop mark on the left and signature of the cartoonist in the middle
This fresco artist, grand-nephew of the composer Camille Saint-Saëns, came to painting tapestry cartoons after meeting 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 is aware of the problems of mural art and monumental compositions. He uses this know-how in models intended for tapestry, privileging 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 recognizable style, elegant and colorful. The themes are inspired by nature (Suite of Seasons, Suite of Elements), mythology and theater (Commedia dell'arte). One of his most famous pieces, Theseus and the Minotaur (1943), is in the collections of the MNAM - Centre Pompidou. The city of Toulouse, where Saint-Saëns was born, holds 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 Capitole theater). Very involved in the creation of tapestry models, he founded, with Jean Picart Le Doux and Jean Lurçat, the Association des peintres cartonniers in 1947.