Art Term

Abbaye de Créteil

Established in 1906, the Abbaye de Créteil was a group of French writers, artists and composers who were inspired by the work of Renaissance writer François Rabelais

Albert Gleizes, ‘Portrait of Jacques Nayral’ 1911
Albert Gleizes
Portrait of Jacques Nayral 1911
© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2019

In 1906 a group of French writers, artists and composers established the Abbaye de Créteil at a villa in Creteils south-east of Paris. The movement included the painters Albert Gleizes, Charles Berthold-Mahn, Jacques d’Otemar and Roger Allard; the poets Charles Vildrac, Georges Duhamel, René Arcos, Alexandre Mercereau, Jules Romains, Henri-Martin Barzun and Pierre-Jean Jouve; the composer Albert Doyen; and the printer Lucien Linard.

The group was partly inspired by the French Renaissance writer François Rabelais, who had written about a self-supporting commune in a monastery called the Abbaye de Thelema that had championed group labour and intellectual self-improvement.

The Abbaye de Créteil community lasted only two years – ending in February of 1908.

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