Albert Gleizes, ‘Portrait of Jacques Nayral’ 1911
Albert Gleizes
Portrait of Jacques Nayral 1911
Tate
© 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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