Gargantua & his son Pantagruel

Aug '17

In 1994, Dirk Wynants found the name for his very first creation in the work of François Rabelais. The main characters, the giant Gargantua and his son Pantagruel are Rabelais’ most famous literary creations. Even today, the terms Rabelaisian and gargantuan are often spontaneously linked with an overabundance of food and drink, rude jokes and earthly pleasures. But anyone who really knows Rabelais’ work will also know that the boisterous humour and satire have a deeper meaning. Between the lines, Rabelais was defending daring and ground-breaking new ideas.

Gargantua & his son Pantagruel

Once upon a time

I. 'In the meantime, Master Appetite came, and then they sat very orderly at table. At the beginning of the meal, one Gargantua read a pleasant history of the warlike actions of former times, until he had taken a glass of wine. Then, if they thought it good, they continued reading, or began to discourse merrily together; speaking first of the virtue, propriety, efficacy, and nature of all that served at the table: bread, water, wine, salt, meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, herbs and how they were prepared.'

II. 'Come,’ said Pantagruel, ’let us now make ourselves merry one bout, and drink, my lads, I beseech you, for it is very good drinking all this month.’Then they did uncase their flagons by heaps and dozens, and with their leaguer-provisions made excellent good cheer. 

Even today, the terms Rabelaisian and gargantuan are often spontaneously linked with an overabundance of food and drink, rude jokes and earthly pleasures.

Gargantua & his son Pantagruel

Gargantua and Pantagruel table

Gargantua and Pantagruel are the most famous giants in European literature. Large, strong, high-spirited, intelligent, progressive and crazy about the good things in life; this is how we get to know father and son in the books of Francois Rabelais. In 1994, Dirk Wynants drew inspiration from Rabelais when designing the iconic garden table Gargantua: a strong and sustainable piece of furniture at which people can enjoy good weather, good meals and good conversations together. Dirk Wynants’ design firm, Extremis, was created together with Gargantua. Exactly twenty years later, Wynants celebrated this anniversary with the design Pantagruel. A chip off the old block. Pantagruel is robust, elegant and sober. The table top with lazy Susan, a rotating tray for delicacies, brings people of all ages together and makes it easy for them. A tool for togetherness, convenient for conviviality, which one can pass on to the next generations, including the good memories. 

Read more about Rabelais

Extremis published a beautifully designed book about Gargantua and Pantagruel, in which the author Leen Huet sheds light on the giants and their tables. Everyone who owns a Gargantua or Pantagruel table can retrieve a free copy by simply sending us an email request (info@extremis.be) of you and your friends or family, around one of these tools for togetherness. Here's the experience one of our critical readers wanted to share:
 
Dear,
 
Thank you for sending us the book “The Name of the Giant”! 

Pantagruel has a very important meaning for us. It has something to do with great memories and romance. We will definitely cherish the book, just like our table, and we hope we can enjoy all the good things in life for a long time coming …

Thanks again for the gift!
 
Gargantua & his son Pantagruel

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