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TAPESTRY CARTOONS A SHORT HISTORY


Cartoon painters at work in the 19th century

1731 became a turning point in the history of Aubusson. It was a time when the great painters of France were working with the industry. Jean-Baptiste Oudry had been appointed both painter to, and artistic director of Beauvais in 1726, Le Brun, Boucher and Dumons were working in Aubusson. The 17th and 18th centuries saw some of the greatest French tapestries produced. Scientific advances in the 18th century saw the introduction of many new colours for the dying of the wools. From an original palate of very few colours with the wools dyed with natural dyes, the quest for a greater number of colours reached a height in the mid 19th century when Michel-Eugene Chevreul the colour physicist who directed the Gobelins dyestuffs laboratory composed a palette of 14,400 colour tones. However, it was becoming apparent that these new colours were not light resistant and in 1919 Marius Martin director of the regional Decorative Arts School, suggested that the weaver's range should be reduced to simple and above all durable colours.



Weaving above a cartoon, on a low warp loom.
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