French painter and designer, born at Bruyères, Vosges. He studied in Nancy before moving to Paris in 1912. For a time he was influenced by *Cubism, but more important and lasting influences on his painting came from his extensive travels during the 1920s in the Mediterranean countries, North Africa, and the Middle East. His pictures were dominated by impressions of desert landscapes, reminiscences of Spanish and Greek architecture, and a love of fantasy that led him to join the *Surrealist movement for a short period in the 1930s.
Lurçat is chiefly remembered, however, for his work in the revival of the art of tapestry in both design and technique. His designs combined exalted themes from human history with fantastic representations of the vegetable and insect worlds, and he succeeded in reconciling the stylizations of medieval religious tapestry with modern modes of abstraction. In 1939 he was appointed designer to the tapestry factory at Aubusson and together with Marcel *Gromaire he brought about a renaissance in its work. He made more than a thousand designs, the most famous probably being the huge Apocalypse (1948) for the parish church of Assy (Haute-Savoie). From 1930 onwards he did a number of coloured lithographs, stage designs, and book illustrations, and in the 1960s he renewed his painting activities. He also wrote poetry and books on tapestry.
Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)