Mastering the Fine Art of Tapestry
only in France!
19th May – 1st June 2019
Discover the historical context and contemporary forms of this rich, tactile medium as practiced for centuries in some of the most beautiful settings in the world, and participate in a unique learning experience of this timeless art.
You will see the sublime high points of Mediaeval craftsmanship embodied in the 15th C. suites of the Lady and the Unicorn and the 14th C. Apocalypse. In Paris you will tour the famed Royal Gobelins Workshop and delight in the treasures of the Musée du Moyen Age. For the first time we will be visiting the town of Beauvais, to see the historic tapestry centre. In the beautiful Loire Valley town of Angers, the Musée Lurçat and studio visits to contemporary tapestry artists will deepen your appreciation of the traditions and techniques of tapestry that still inform the creation of modern works of art. In Albi we will be seeing the Musée Lautrec, and the Musée Dom Robert in the spectacular setting of the Abbaye – Ecole of Sorèze.
This exciting study tour will be rounded off with a three day stay in Aubusson, to explore the town in the heart of the Creuse that is synonymous with this craft, and enjoy the revitalisation of the tapestry industry here since 2011.
DAY 1 Sunday May 19th
Check into Hotel Central St. Germain, 3, Rue Champollion, 75005, Paris. The Left Bank location is well situated for all our activities.
A welcome dinner will be organised for the group to meet.
DAY 2 Monday May 20th
A walk around the corner brings us to the wonderful treasures of the Middle Ages housed in the Musée du Moyen Age.
We will celebrate the sublime La Dame à la Licorne in its renovated setting. Other suites of Mediaeval tapestries on view include The Story of St. Stephen, The Offering of the Heart and Aristocratic Life.
A free afternoon to explore the delights of Paris.
DAY 3 Tuesday May 21st
Private coach to Beauvais, to view the tapestry manufactory and the historic town.
DAY 4 Wednesday May 22nd
A free morning, then a special guided tour of the Gobelins Tapestry Workshop.
The most important and long running workshop in the world situated in the 13th arondissement, Manufacture des Gobelins was founded as a dye works in the mid-15th century by Jean Gobelin. In 1662, Louis XIV purchased the manufactory, and minister Colbert united all the royal artisans, creating a royal tapestry and furniture works. It has specialised in tapestry from 1697.
DAY 5 Thursday May 23rd
Private coach to Châteaudun to view tapestries at the Château, including the recently renovated ‘Tancredi and Clorinda’.
Continuation to Angers. This historic town in the Loire Valley yields one of the most exciting experiences of the tour, viewing the 100 metre long 14th C. Apocalypse tapestry, the Book of Revelations made visible. Housed in the fortress chateau it is an overwhelming sight.
After booking into a quaint country style hotel, http://www.hoteldumail.fr we stroll through the Mediaeval town to make an afternoon visit to the Cathedrale St. Maurice that houses a large collection of tapestries.
DAY 6 Friday May 24th
A morning walk to the Château for a special viewing of the Apocalypse Tapestries.
Afterwards, a chance to explore the garden and buildings.
The Musée des Beaux Arts that each year offers a variety of changing exhibitions (optional).
Afternoon visit to the studio of tapestry artist Christine Pradel-Lien.
DAY 7 Saturday May 25th
Morning studio visit to Liciers Angevin. https://liciersangevins.jimdo.com/contact/
Then a stroll along the river to see Lurçat's answer to the magnificent Apocalypse, his Song of the World suite of ten tapestries woven from the mid 1950s to the mid 1960s reflecting on the atom bomb, the apocalyptic event of the 20th C. They are displayed in the heritage 12th C. St. John's Hospital.
DAY 8 Sunday May 26th
Private coach to the beautiful town of Albi, check into the Hotel St. Antoine.
DAY 9 Monday May 27th
Morning visit to the Musée Toulouse Lautrec and the Cathedrale St. Cecile.
Afternoon visit to the town of Sorèze to see the wonderful Musée Dom Robert and Twentieth Century Tapestry housed in a Benedictine Abbey that dates from 754.
DAY 10 Tuesday May 28th
Coach to Aubusson, check into Hotel la Beauze https://www.hotellabeauze.fr
Aubusson in depth. Located in the heart of the Creuse, Aubusson has existed on its weaving industry since the 14thC. For the first time we will be staying in this pretty Mediaeval setting and experiencing all it has to offer, celebrating the revitalisation of the town and tapestry industry since 2011.
Under the guidance of Susanne Bouret, conservator of textiles and local resident, we will stroll its streets and visit the individual ateliers open to the public as well as more formal centres.
DAY 11 Wednesday May 29th
Morning visit to the Musée de la Tapisserie. www.cite-tapisserie.fr This exciting new gallery and Centre for Tapestry opened on July 10th 2016, and exhibits a wonderful collection of both historic and groundbreaking contemporary works.
Chantal Chirac restores tapestry cartoons and runs a cartoon museum for their display and preservation in a picturesque building on the Pont de la Terrade.
DAY 12 Thursday May 30th
Thierry Roger is the last traditional dyer of yarn in Aubusson. www.aubusson-teinture.fr
The conservation studio of Susanne Bouret
France Odile Perrin-Crinere runs studio ‘Atelier A2.’ http://www.ateliera2.fr
Nadia Petkovic runs her studio, ‘Atelier de la Lune.’
DAY 13 Friday May 31st
We will travel to Felletin, a small town 10 km. from Aubusson to view the historic workshop of Ateliers Pinton, www.ateliers-pinton.com one of two remaining manufacturers that employs teams of weavers to make tapestries and also produces rugs.
A lively street market operates on Friday mornings, so we will indulge in a picnic lunch. Then an afternoon visit to the Église du Chateau to see the annual exhibition that incorporates the most innovative work produced in the previous year.
DAY 14 Saturday June 1st
Return to Paris by coach, end of tour.
Note: this tour entails a moderate amount of walking.
Date and length of tour: 14 days starting and finishing in Paris from 19th May – 1st June 2019.
Cost: $4,490.00 (AUD) for twin share, $5,950.00 (AUD) for single room.
Group size: 8 minimum, 10 maximum.
Tour price includes:
All museum and gallery entry charges specified in itinerary
Private coach transfer from Paris to Angers
Private coach transfer from Angers to Albi
Excursion from Albi to Sorèze
Private coach transfer from Albi to Aubusson
Excursion from Aubusson to Felletin
Private coach transfer to Paris
French speaking guide in Aubusson, Felletin
Tour price does not include:
Airfare to and from Paris
Meals apart from breakfast.
Hotels mentioned in the itinerary are subject to availability and others of similar quality may be substituted. This itinerary has been prepared with the assistance of Ian Jane at Bentleigh Travel who will be making all tour bookings.
BENTLEIGH TRAVEL CENTRE
Telephone: +61 3 9557 5898
Fax: +61 3 9557 4786
Shop 7, 271 - 275 Centre Road
P.O. Box 20, Bentleigh
Tour designed and authored by Cresside Collette, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019.