Art works conserved in the church

The church of Aubusson houses a number of works of art, specifically two large tapestries and a monumental painting. Identify the display and production conditions of these works with this audio commentary.

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    Les œuvres conservées dans l’église
  • Image
    Les œuvres conservées dans l’église

The Return of Tobias tapestry

The tapestry entitled The Return of Tobias was created in Aubusson in the 18th century from a cartoon designed in 1715 by Antoine Coypel for the Old Testament tapestry woven by the Gobelins. Born in 1661, Antoine Coypel was a history painter and was appointed king’s painter in 1716.

The tapestry depicts an episode from the Book of Tobias, an apocryphal book of the Old Testament. Accompanied by the archangel Raphael, Tobias returns to his father with a fish gall to cure his blindness.

The scene plays out in an architectural setting of three archways, in front of a background landscape. On the left, the blind father, is rising from his chair to welcome the young Tobias. There are two female characters present in the scene: Anna, mother of Tobias, and possibly Sarah, his wife.

The Miraculous Catch of Fish tapestry
The tapestry entitled The Miraculous Catch of Fish was created in the 18th century in Aubusson and was donated to the Sainte-Croix church by Clémence Tabard, a descendant of a tapestry making family from Aubusson. It was stolen in 1989, but was subsequently retrieved and reinstalled in the church.

This art work depicts the story of the miraculous catch as told in the Gospel of Luke. Christ appears to his future disciples at Lake Geneserath where he orders Peter and his companions to let down their nets into the water. They catch a large number of fish, before giving up their work permanently in order to follow Jesus.
The Seven Works of Mercy painting
The Seven Works of Mercy was painted by Jean-Louis Bézard and exhibited at the Salon de 1842 before being donated by the state to the church in Aubusson. Jean-Louis Bézard won the Grand Prix de Rome in 1829.
This single scene depicts several groups of female characters engaging in the seven charitable acts listed in the Gospel of Matthew: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome strangers, clothe the naked, visit the sick, care for the imprisoned, bury the dead.
In the centre of the scene, a woman holds out her child towards a statue of the Madonna sheltered by a dais. The characters are depicted in a square surrounded by monuments reminiscent of an Italian town in the Middle Ages, located between the façade of a church and the loggia of a palace.

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Religious heritage