« After publishing in 1968 “The Search for Religious Art”, which he believes to be his spiritual testament, Mr Sahuguet discovers a new major theme: the Tree of Life. He tackles the technical demands of painting on wood panels and other wood surfaces like carriage wheels, and adopts a universal symbolism, introduced to him in particular by Hebrew scholar and writer Dominique Aubier. In formal and spiritual terms, Sahuguet produces over 40 Tree of Life works, taking a traditional path in a prodigious effort aimed not at restoration but at expressing the sources and essential inner workings of a timeless, universal symbolism based on the specific features of “biblical writing” ».
Philibert Secretan – Préface de l’Apocalypse de Jean’ vue par Charles Sahuguet. Editions Saint Augustin.
« Even before fully achieving what I wanted to do, Dominique Aubier guided me back to symbolism. I looked to every horizon where the Holy Spirit lives: the Bible, the Zohar, Ibn Arabi’s teachings, Persian miniatures, Scandinavian Eddas, Siberian Shamans, the Sioux people, Buddhists and the Incas greatly enriched my work. I discovered an all-encompassing, universal tradition; an everlasting symbology and symbolism independant of era, race, civilization or religion. It is from this universal tradition that arise specific traditions, symbols and symbolic systems.
The same spiritual presence inspires all men. This is how I discovered – and discover still – the regal path of the Tree of Life and of Absolute Structure ».
Charles Sahuguet painted a total of 96 ‘Trees of Life’ on wood surfaces.
A permanent collection of 39 panels (donated by Mrs Sahuguet in 1994) are on display at the Abbaye de Caunes-Minervois.
The symbolical ‘Battle of the Snake and Eagle’ panel has been on display at Espalion City Hall since 2002.