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Cossé-le-Vivien (Municipality, Mayenne, France)

Last modified: 2022-03-04 by ivan sache
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Flag of Cossé-le-Vivien - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 18 July 2021

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Presentation of Cossé-le-Vivien

The municipality of Cossé-le-Vivien (3,199 inhabitants in 2019; 4,441 ha) is located 20 km south-west of Laval.

The hamlet of La Frénouse is the site of the "House in the Fields" decorated by Robert Tatin (1902-1983).
Robert Tatin started his professional life in Paris in 1918 as a painter and decorator and studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and at the École des Arts Appliqués. In 1930, he entered building trade, establishing in Laval a flourishing business that allowed him to travel to Europe, North Africa and New York.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, Tatin became a full-time artist; in 1947, he established in Paris a ceramics and painting workshop, where he met Jacques Prévert, André Breton, Alberto Giacometti, Jean Cocteau and Jean Dubuffet.
Tatin moved to Brazil in 1950, invited by Matarazzo Sobrinho, a rich industrialist, also director of the Fine Arts Museum in São Paulo; he traveled to Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile, until Tierra del Fuego, where he met Amerindians and definitively dropped academic dogma.
Back to France in 1955, he became an internationally-renowned painter and was awarded the Critics Prize in 1961.
Robert Tatin and his wife, Lise, acquired in 1962 a small, traditional house in La Frénouse. Until their death in 1983 and 1986, respectively, Robert and Lise Tatin transformed the estate into their "House in the Field", organized around the Meditations' Garden. In 1967, Tatin erected a first concrete Giant along the 80 m-long alley heading to the house, now the Giants' Alley lined with 19 giants: Joan of Arc, Vercingétorix, The Verb "To Be", The Verb "To Have", St. Ann, The Virgin of l'Épine, The Master Companion, André Breton, Le Douanier Rousseau, Gauguin, Seurat, Auguste Rodin, Léonor Fini, Alfred Jarry, King Ubu, Toulouse-Lautrec, Valadon-Utrillo, Pablo Picasso, and Jules Verne. The Giant's Gate features statues portraying the painters Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Leonardo Da Vinci, Goya, and Delacroix.
Tatin's "art environment" was open to visit in 1967 as a municipal museum; officially inaugurated in 1969 by André Malraux, Minister of Culture, the Robert-Tatin Museum (website) is now managed by the Department of Mayenne.

Ivan Sache, 18 July 2021

Flag of Cossé-le-Vivien

The flag of Cossé-le-Vivien (photo) is white with the municipal coat of arms, "Vairy or and azure", which was originally used by the Cossé family in the 10-11th centuries.

Olivier Touzeau, 18 July 2021