Couturier, Pierre Marie Alain
COUTURIER, PIERRE MARIE ALAIN
Pioneer of modern liturgical arts movement; b. Montbrison, central France, November 15, 1897; d. February 8, 1954. His father was a miller. Couturier received his education in various Catholic schools. In 1916 he went to war and the following year he returned, wounded and ill. In 1919 he went to Paris to study painting; there he joined M. Denis and Desvallières, who had just founded the "Ateliers d'Art Sacré." Couturier's special interest was stained glass.
In 1925 Couturier joined the Dominican Order and in 1930 was ordained priest. He executed frescoes and stained-glass windows in various houses of the order in Oslo, Paris, and Rome. He also painted, at Montbrison and at Namur, works in which his admiration for El Greco was apparent. In 1937 he became codirector of the review Art Sacré, which had been founded two years before by J. Pichard, OP. When war broke out, Couturier was in America, where he directed art at the College of Notre Dame, Baltimore, Md. He lectured frequently in Canada and the U.S. and published two short books, Art et Catholicisme (Montreal 1941) and Chroniques (Montreal
1946). In 1946 he returned to France and resumed his work on Art Sacré. His articles aroused wide discussion, and he took a very active part in the building of the churches at assy, vence, Audincourt, and ronchamp, where he engaged some of the greatest artists and architects of the period.
Bibliography: Art Sacré (May–June 1954), memorial number. p. r. rÉgamey, Catholicisme 3:264–265.