Presentation of the conference “The Art of Imagiers” – From the 14th century to the present day

If we had to summarize some myths linked to the art of illumination in one sentence, we would say:
“It is the art of the monks who in the Middle Ages decorated the Bible with gold.”
However, the art of highlighting the Word is much broader.

Mr. Leray, from the Atelier Festina Lente in Fontevraud L’Abbaye, shakes up some preconceived ideas during his introduction and strives to present the universality and diversity of a poorly or little-known art.

Most of the conference is devoted to the workshop’s specialty, stencil art illumination or the technique of “Imagiers au pochoir”, the name under which it is today listed by the french Institute’s National Crafts inventory.

Manual technique of coloring and multiplication, this know-how appeared in the 14th century with the first woodcuts. Having fallen into disuse in the 1950s and threatened with disappearance, it now benefits from a new national and international exhibition as well as a renewed interest among enlightened amateurs.

Richard Leray, First Prize and Grand Prize of the French School of Illumination in this specialty, founding manager of the Festina Lente workshop in 1994, tells us the history of his profession, its technicality, its humanity and its future.

His workshop in Fontevraud-L’Abbaye, in the Loire Valley in France, is the only Stencil-illuminator workshop in Europe. He welcomes curious people, amateurs and collectors of art prints from all over the world.

The conference is accompanied by a projection of illustrations. Tools, instruments and originals from different eras, copies of old ones and creations, are offered and commented on.

  • Duration of the conference: 60 to 90 minutes + possible questions welcome at the end of the conference.
  • Cost: 300 Euros + 0.75 Euros per km from Fontevraud for travel costs.
  • Plan a hotel night if the transport time is more than 90 minutes.

Photo : Frédéric Pétry