Hôtel de Lille

Diurne, or the art of rugs according to Marcel Zelmanovitch: “When modernity meets artisanship”

Categories : Exhibitions / Museums, published on : 4/6/22

Situated on the Rue Jacob, in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the Galerie Diurne has been celebrating the art of rugs for 40 years.

The world at your feet

Diurne represents 40 years of creations made on the roof of the world to be placed at our feet. Relics from the depths of time, distant and phantasmagorical artefacts, rugs gathered from the ends of the earth to occupy a central place in our homes. Those of the Galerie Diurne come from Nepal and India, handcrafted to order using designs by Marcel Zelmanovitch, its founder, and other artists who bring their skills to the table. The architect and artist Charles Zana notably designed a complete collection entitled Cosmati, in homage to Italian mosaic artists.

Rug art and the art of rugs

It was in 1982 that Marcel moved to 45 Rue Jacob, a location amidst galleries and antique shops, on the site of an art brutgallery. He was then one of the first artists to take an interest in tapestry as a medium to express the beautiful, the unique or the transcendental. A favourite decor of the lords of the Middle Ages, tapestry and rugs had fallen into disuse, relegated to the rank of minor decorative item, only just good enough to accessorise a room. Marcel Zelmanovitch saw beyond that. He travelled through Nepal and developed a relationship built on trust with an old-fashioned workshop where rugs are made using an artisanal method of weaving and knotting by hand, individually and to order.

Marcel decided to engage with this art. A trained painter, he began specialising in the creation of unique art rugs. Geometric or vegetal, abstract or figurative, his creations astonish and go beyond all received ideas about tapestries. Several dozen collections are present today at the Galerie Diurne, and although he recently passed the torch of commercial management to his son, Marcel is not about to stop creating!

The Diurne brand is a worldwide success

For 40 years now, the creations of Marcel and the Galerie Diurne have found homes in the most beautiful places in the world, in architects' houses, five-star suites and convention centres, in Paris, Chicago, Berlin and Tokyo. Monumental rugs, colourful or discreet, all can be made to measure by Marcel, or be chosen from one of his many design collections. The latest, Des fleurs & des fleurs, celebrates the renewal of spring in an explosion of soft and fresh colours, with patterns sketched by hand before being woven in accordance with the ancestral Nepalese method. To celebrate its anniversary, from June 2022 the gallery will offer three exhibitions of two collections redesigned and reissued especially for the occasion.

Inspired by a poem by StéphaneMallarmé, moved by an artistic ideal and passionate about traditional Tibetan craftsmanship, Marcel Zelmanovitch is firmly in the tradition of the characters who make Saint-Germain-des-Prés a unique district in the world, one which effervesces with activity and innovation.

Marcel Zelmanovitch's Saint-Germain-des-Prés

He explored this district first as a student, then as a painter, gallery owner, and creator and has done so again as an artist-painter since his son took over the Galerie Diurne. However, he has never frequented a hotel as special as the Hôtel de Lille.

“The Hôtel de Lille is an integral part of the soul of the district. A very special hotel which has managed to quickly find a place in our hearts. All the time that I have lived here, it has been a pleasure to see that artistic emulation and love of beauty still animate the people working and living on this side of the Seine.”

The favourite places of Marcel Zelmanovitch in the district:

- To meet the grandson of the legendary Madeleine Castaing: Galerie Fréderic Castaing, 30 Rue Jacob 75006 Paris

- To admire the meticulous work of recognised hand-painted wallpaper specialists: Papiers Peints de Gournay, 15 Rue des Saints-Pères 75006 Paris

- For a drink on a Parisian terrace: Le Comptoir des Saints-Pères, 29 Rue Jacob 75006 Paris


Galerie Diurne: 45 Rue Jacob, 75006 Paris, website and e-shop: diurne.com