Spiritual, living cathedral

Exhibition

Chancel carpet

January, 6-10 & 13-17, 2014

From January 6 to 10 & from January 13 to 17, the vast chancel of Notre Dame (nearly 200 square metres), woven in the workshops of the famous Manufacture de la Savonnerie carpet factory about 1830, will be exhibit inside the cathedral.

After being kept in storage for upwards of thirty years, the carpet is once again on public display as a result of a partnership between the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, the Cultural Affairs Service of the Ile-de-France region and the state furniture depository, the Mobilier national.

Chancel carpet
Liturgical vestments in cloth of gold
presented by Charles X, Louis-Philippe, and Napoléon III

 

The vast chancel carpet of Notre-Dame de Paris is amongst the cathedral’s least-known treasures. It was woven in the workshops of the famous Manufacture de la Savonnerie carpet factory about 1830 and follows the long-established tradition of “Turkish-style” carpets introduced in France in the early 17th century. The carpet’s vivid design and extraordinary dimensions – nearly 200 square metres – make this one of the most remarkable pieces to have been produced by the Savonnerie. The carpet was commissioned in the reign of Charles X and was presented to the cathedral by his successor, King Louis-Philippe, to mark the baptism of his grandson, the Count of Paris.

The birth of the Count of Paris was celebrated by another, equally prestigious, gift, in the form of a complete set of liturgical vestments in cloth of gold woven by the most skilled silk-weavers in Lyon. A similar set of vestments had been acquired by the Cathedral in 1825 thanks to the generosity of Charles X on the occasion of his coronation and a further set would be presented in 1856 by the Emperor Napoleon III to mark the baptism of the Crown Prince.

The carpet and the vestments would be in evidence on all the great occasions in the life of the cathedral in the 19th and 20th centuries, whether liturgical ceremonies or landmark events in the history of France celebrated at Notre-Dame, during the Restoration (1815-1830), the July Monarchy (1830-1848), the Second Empire (1852-1870) or the successive Republics after 1871.

After being kept in storage for upwards of thirty years, the carpet is once again on public display as a result of a partnership between the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, the Cultural Affairs Service of the Ile-de-France region and the state furniture depository, the Mobilier national.

 

Free admission, during the cathedral’s opening.

 

 

Notre-Dame Cathedral wishes to express its thanks to the following :

The Historic Monuments division of the Ile-de-France regional Cultural Affairs Service
for the conservation work carried out on the carpet.

The Mobilier national (State furniture depository)
for providing access to its archives and collections.

Mrs. Chantal Gastinel-Coural
honorary curator of the Mobilier national
for her invaluable research and her generous assistance.

The Museum of the Château and National Domain of Compiègne
the Denon Museum at Chalon-sur-Saône
the Ingres Museum at Montauban
the Lelièvre Company and the Tassinari & Chatel Company
Mr Bernard Tassinari
the church of Saint Germain-l’Auxerrois
the Historical archives of the Diocèse of Paris
for affording access to their archives and collections.

TheÉtablissement public of the Château, Museum and National Domain of Versailles
for offering the use of display material.

The CASA Notre-Dame Association
for translating these texts into English (Brian Fergusson, in collaboration with Neil Malloy and Odile Pinard)

The Maurice de Sully association

 

Project ownership :
Monseigneur Patrick Jacquin
recteur-archiprêtre de Notre-Dame de Paris

Project management :
Laurent Prades, André Finot, Aglaë de La Genardière

 

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Le tapis monumental du chœur de Notre-Dame de Paris

© D. Bordes. Graphisme : NDP.

 

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Détail du tapis. Corne d’abondance.

© D. Bordes

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Détail du tapis. Mitre du trophée central.

© D. Bordes

 

JPEG - 80 kb
Chasuble de l’ornement Charles X

« relevé en
bosse d’or sur drap d’or »,
est élaboré la même année
que le tapis du choeur, en
1825, grâce aux libéralités
de Charles X. Il est décoré de
branches de chêne, tiges de
fleurs de lys au naturel, épis
de blé, grappes de raisins et
bouquets de pivoines. © D. Bordes.

JPEG - 67.1 kb
Chape de l’ornement Louis-Philippe

tissé en 1835, peu
après l’achèvement du tapis
du choeur, et offert à Notre-
Dame en 1838 par le roi des
Français, Louis-Philippe, à
la suite de la naissance de
son petit-fils, le comte de
Paris. L’ensemble est décoré
de palmes, d’épis de blé et
de raisins, rehaussés d’une
ombre portée carmélite. © D. Bordes.

 

JPEG - 85.1 kb
Détail du tapis. Motif central de la croix.

Le soleil sur fond vert a remplacé les armes de France. Dans la partie inférieure, on distingue les contours de la croix du Saint-Esprit initialement tissée. © D. Bordes.

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Détail du tapis. Volutes de feuilles d’acanthes.

© D. Bordes.

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