Jean Lurçat (French: [lyʀsa]; 1 July 1892 – 6 January 1966) was a French artist noted for his role in the revival of contemporary tapestry.
He was born in Bruyères, Vosges, the son of Lucien Jean Baptiste Lurçat and Marie Emilie Marguerite L'Hote. He was the brother of André Lurçat, who became an architect. After his secondary education at Épinal, he enrolled at La Faculté des sciences de Nancy and studied medicine. He went to Switzerland and Germany (Munich) and in leaving his educational path, he went to the workshop of Victor Prouvé, the head of the École de Nancy.
In 1921, Jean Lurçat met Louis Marcoussis, he discovered Picasso and Max Jacob, and created decoration and costumes for Le spectacle de la Compagnie Pitoeff: "He who receives slaps", and then spent the autumn near the Baltic sea. The following year, he created his fifth tapestry, Le Cirque (the circus), for Mme. Cuttoli. His first personal exhibition took place in Paris in April and September. He made a large decoration on a wall (no longer visible today) at the Castle of Villeflix. Then he went to Berlin, where he met Ferruccio Busoni.
During the next two years Lurçat resumed travelling. In 1923 he went to Spain; in 1924 he went to North Africa, the Sahara, Greece and Asia Minor. Upon his return, he signed a contract without exclusivity with his friend, Étienne Bignou. His brother André built his new house, Villa Seurat, in Paris. He devoted a portion of the year 1924 to the making of his sixth tapestry, Les arbres (The trees). On 15 December, Lurçat married Marthe Hennebert and traveled in 1925 to Scotland, then Spain and northern Africa. Upon his return, he took up residence at La Villa Seurat. He participated in several expositions with Raoul Dufy, Marcoussis, Laglenne and others. He revealed, at the home of Jeanne Bucher, elements of decoration (carpets and paintings) of Le Vertige, a film by Marcel l'Herbier. In 1926, he exhibited in Paris andBrussels, and participated in collective exhibitions in Vienna, Paris, and Anvers. His fame began due to several articles devoted to him.
In December, 1932, Lurçat participated in the exhibition Sélections with Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Derain and Raoul Dufy; the event was organised in New York by the Valentine Gallery. Being aligned with the far left, from then on he often mixed his political opinions with his art. In 1933, he was living in New York. He created the decoration and the costumes for the Jardin Public (Public Garden), a ballet by George Balanchine. 1933 also saw his first tapestry sewn at Aubusson, following the new and revolutionary technique that he developed.
Lurçat died on 6 January 1966 in Saint-Paul de Vence.