November 19, 2008

Jacques Lucas, la Maison sculptée/the Sculpted House


The Maison sculptée de l'Essart, located in Brittany, France, is an art environment that is inspired on Robert Tatin's Musée des champs, located in the Mayenne area.

Life and works

Born in 1944 in Poitiers, Jacques Lucas from childhood on was fascinated by the atmosphere of cathedrals and medieaval churches such as those one finds in Brittany. He studied art history, got a degree in archeology at Rennes University, worked for some ten years for the french national department of cultural affairs and in the 1960's as an autodidact painter began making paintings

In 1968 he bought a derelict house in Essart, a hamlet in the community of Amanlis in Brittany.

In 1967 he had met Robert Tatin and very inspired by the work of this artist who constructed a visionary environment near the cottage where he lived, Lucas decided to transform his house into an art environment too.

He began making all kinds of decorated structures such as walls, arcades. a chapel, bassins and free standing sculptures, a project he would continue for over thirty years, his most active period being the years from 1983 till 1986.

His activities resulted in a huge artistic structure with a facade stretching over some fifty meters and a large variety of decorated elements.


In 1993 Lucas moved to an atelier in Nice, where he concentrated on making paintings. The following years he would return to Essart during the summermonths to continu his project there..

In the 1990's he encountered problems with the tax authorities, which in 1997 resulted in a court ruling, formally saying that the house had to be sold.

An association of friends in november 2003 succeeded in buying the property and assured that Lucas could continue working there. Since 2008 he lives permanently in the house in Essart, mainly active in making paintings. Interviewed in the spring of 2015 by a regional newspaper, he explained that due to his age he no longer felt able to achieve the further development of the Maison sculptée
* article in newspaper Ouest-France, march 15, 2015

first published nov 2008, revised may 2015

Jacques Lucas
La Maison Sculptée
l'Essart
35150 Amanlis
Brittany, France

can be visited in the summermonths
see website for directions
Google maps

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