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“Masterpieces of Tapestry 1918-2018”

A piece of France’s history, made of art, craftsmanship and expertise, is preserved in Paris in a very special place.

I am referring to the Mobilier National where, for more than three centuries now, thousands of objects, items of furniture and textile products, that decorated the interiors of presidential residences and public buildings, have been conserved and restored.

Every time I come here I experience a deep sense of wellbeing and I have the impression of going back in time.

When the Mobilier National organizes an exhibition it does so

The exhibitions organized by the Mobilier National are organized with painstaking care, and each item to be displayed in the Galérie des Gobelins is carefully selected. Last year I visited a marvellous exhibition, “Sièges en Société, du Roi-Soleil à Marianne” where the scenography was provided by Jacques Garcia.

Surely you will have seen some posts on my Instagram page, and if you have not, then now is the time. More than three hundred artefacts were on display here, including marvellous four-poster beds, armchairs, and gilded wooden sofas, all from the stock of the Mobilier National.

A few days ago we visited the exhibition “Au fil du siècle, 1918-2018, Chefs-d’œuvre de la tapisserie” (Masterpieces of tapestry – 1918-2018).

The items are displayed along a thematic path in chronological order which gives the visitor a clear perception of the profound political, artistic and sociological upheavals of the last century. In the first section the masterpieces of the Gobelins, Beauvais, Savonnerie and Aubusson are on display.

Then when you climb the monumental staircase the atmosphere changes entirely: the soft lights and dark blue walls highlight the masterpieces of Pablo Picasso who, upon request by the patron Maria Cuttoli, created a work that was then produced by Manufacture Aubusson. You can also admire: Fernand Léger with a textile work that reproduces the decoration created in 1923 for a ballet at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysees, a wall textile by Le Corbusier and Pierre Baudouin, the coloured concentric circles in contrast with black by Sonia Delaunay. There are also works by Matisse, François Morellet, Hans Hartung, and Zao Wou-Ki, whose works are on display at an exhibition dedicated to him at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris.

My favorite piece is a carpet by Nicolas Schoffer, which closes the exhibition, created in 1972 by Jean Coural, director of Mobilier National at the time.

 

I strongly recommend this exhibition which closes on September 23rd.

 

Au fil du siècle, 1918-2018
Chefs-d’œuvre de la tapisserie
Mobilier National
Galerie des Gobelins – Paris
from 10 April to 4 November 2018