Saturday, October 17, 2015

Jean Picart le Doux

 Some years ago I had a set of playing cards by the French artist Jean Picart le Doux. The 50s/60s vibe from them was just brilliant and I have kept an eye out since for another deck but to no avail. But le Doux was mainly known for work in the not very appreciated field of tapestry. A simple google image search will reveal some astonishingly vibrant and exciting work done for public commission in the 1960s in particular. His large tapestries are worth a small fortune now but he also produced signed lithographs which can be picked up for maybe 100 pounds or so and also smaller tapestries in small limited editions which sell at auction for upwards of 600-700 pounds. Le Doux's first tapestry work was seen in the late 1940s and he was active in the field for thirty years and more. As a graphic artist beyond the warp and weft he also illustrated books and designed postage stamps.

The images on this post are from magazine adverts in the 1960s for a French drink called Byrrh. It is a testament to just how vibrant this tapestry art scene then was that these are not all by the same artist. Two of them are by le Doux but there are two other artists also represented here and there were a number of other big names working in this medium in the mid-twentieth century. To me they are very exciting and regular readers might now be thinking they have seen some of le Doux's work recently on Front Free Endpaper and they would be right. The cover of my latest Short List was illustrated with a photo of a contemporary print by le Doux that was for sale in that list.

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