Aubusson craftsmanship

Cartoons restoration

The restoration and the study of the old cartons is compulsory to the study of Tapestry production along the centuries.

A tapestry could not have been weaved without the intervention of a cartoon-painter, who drafted the sketch of the piece to be weaved. For a long time considered as mere tools, the painted cartoons take little by little their place in art history. The restoration of old sketches is a way of pushing the work of those specialized artists back to the forefront. The consideration of the tapestry cartoons into the collections is a key point of the production of knowledge regarding tapestry and its know-how. The interpretation phenomenon can be studied for example through the evolution of the work, from the artist’s sketch to the tapestry cartoon, and then to the weaved work.

The cartoon is placed under the warp threads to guide the weaver all along the weaving process, and endures degradations due to its repeated use: pin holes, doodles and weaving indications etc. The old cartoons have sometimes even been cut out to sample an element of the setting or characters, becoming stencils to draw these patterns down to new creations.

In a same way as for the paintings, the preservation and the restoration of old cartoons, often rediscovered at random in Creusois attics, needed the intervention of restoring experts, mostly graduates from art schools and experimented in the field of objects of collection.