Musée Robert Tatin
A visionary environment conceived and created by Robert Tatin (1902-1983) in Cossé-le-Vivien.
Similar studio museums...
- Giverny, France - the home and gardens of Claude Monet (1840-1926), who developed them over forty years.
- Rudolph Tegner Museum and Sculpture Park, Denmark - a Modernist construction established across 16 hectares of heathland by sculptor Rudolph Tegner (1873-1950).
- 575 Wandsworth Road, UK - a home and artwork conceived by Khadambi Asalache (1935-2006) over twenty years.
Born in Laval, Mayenne, Robert Tatin began to train as a painter in 1909, and studied in Paris from 1918-1922, before returning to his home town to learn carpentry and establish a building business. However, the turning point came in 1945, when, deeply affected by the impact of the Second World War, he made the definitive decision to embark on an artistic career. He established a ceramics and painting workshop back in Paris, where he mingled with artists including Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), André Breton (1896-1966), Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) and Alberto Giacommetti (1901-1966). Five years in South America, mostly in Brazil, further expanded his knowledge of ceramics and freed up his practice. He returned to France and, in 1962, came back to Mayenne, bought a small house in Cossé-le-Vivien with his wife Lise, and began constructing his 'Maison des Champs'.
Tatin created the 'Maison des Champs' as a museum, conceiving it as a 'bridge between East and West'. It was a project developed over twenty-one years, between 1962-83, in partnership with Lise. Successive gardens are dedicated to myths, legends and history, elaborated in a series of symbolic cement sculptures and open-air architectural constructions, all surrounding the couple's home. Though Tatin also totally transformed this space, it remains a domestic setting, with the artist's studio an integral part.