Gérard Denizeau, Jean Lurçat, Paris, 2013, p. 73 (for the present lot illustrated)
Sotheby's would like to thank Xavier Hermel and the Fondation Jean et Simone Lurçat for their assistance with the cataloguing of this lot, which will be included in the foundation's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's tapestries.
Jean Lurçat (1892-1966), a true Renaissance man with a wide-ranging artistic practice, is best remembered for his radical and modern reinterpretation of the art of tapestry. Working in close dialogue with contemporary movements like Cubism and Surrealism, Lurçat created large-scale tapestries imbued with the colors and deconstructed compositions often associated with the work of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Le Géant is a remarkable early example of a tapestry executed in collaboration with his partner in work and life, Marthe Hennebert. Le Géant displays many attributes associated to Lurçat’s pictorial production in the second half of the 1920s: blank silhouettes, architectural ruins, and desolated landscapes, which denote a certain pessimism prophesizing the tragedies of the decade to follow. Many of the visual elements found here—giant, contorted figures, the sporadic use of bright colors, and an intuitive sense of proportions—became recurrent artistic devices in Lurçat’s later works, making Le Géant a particularly defining creation within the artist’s rich artistic career.
Overall in very good condition. The tapestry was professionally restored and cleaned in 1993 and has been beautifully maintained since that time and presents with a vibrant color palette. The tapestry is flat and stable overall and can be installed using the provided baseboard and Velcro strip sewn into the lining in the back. The lining appears to have been adjoined at the time of restoration to provide support, and the faint impression of the quilting is visible. The fabric with some light surface abrasions concentrated near the upper edge of the piece that are not visually distracting. The tapestry is ready to hang and presents beautifully when viewed in person, with vivid coloration and impressive artistry.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.