Thanks to its sublime and varied landscapes, its brilliant colors and its exceptional light, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region attracts and inspires artists. Many have stayed there and even fallen under its spell to the point of taking up residence there. Here is an overview of some exceptional artists who have fallen under the spell of this region.
Marc Chagall in Saint-Paul-de-Vence
20 km from Nice, between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, the village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence stands superbly atop a rocky promontory. If this medieval village has inspired many artists such as Jean-Michel Folon, Joan Miró, or Fernand Léger, it is particularly associated with Marc Chagall. The painter lived there for nearly 20 years, from 1966 to 1985. The village is the setting for many of his paintings, including "Les Amoureux" in which he addresses one of his favorite themes: love. The artist rests today in the village cemetery, his final resting place.
Henri Matisse in Nice
Seduced by the light of the south, Henri Matisse lived successively in Ajaccio, Toulouse and Algiers before settling in Nice in the winter of 1917. He lived there until his death in 1954. Transported by the extraordinary light and the infinite expanse of the Mediterranean Sea, he painted many canvases in the capital of the Côte d'Azur. If he was inspired by the landscapes, he was also interested in the daily life of the people of Nice and the local traditions that he transcribed in his works. Today, it is possible to admire many works of Henri Matisse in Nice, in the museum dedicated to him, in the heart of the olive grove of the Cimiez gardens.
Jean Cocteau in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Small fishing port located on a peninsula opposite Nice, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat seduces artists of all kinds. And one of the most famous of them is the poet, illustrator, filmmaker, playwright and director Jean Cocteau. For more than a decade, he regularly went to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, to visit his friend Francine Weisweiller. Owner of the villa "Santo Sospir", she gave Jean Cocteau carte blanche to decorate it. The artist covered the building with poetic frescoes, up to the ceiling.
Auguste Renoir in Cagnes-sur-mer
It is on the heights of Cagnes-sur-mer that the master of impressionism Auguste Renoir decided to settle down at the end of his life, in 1908. Suffering from polyarthritis, his doctors advised him to ease his old age thanks to the pleasant climate of the South. He spent the last eleven years of his life with his wife and son in the house of Collettes, in the heart of an estate filled with olive and orange trees. Bought by the city, it is now a museum paying homage to one of the most famous French painters.
Pablo Picasso in Cannes
In love with the Mediterranean shores and more precisely the French Riviera, Pablo Picasso stayed in Vallauris and Vauvenargues before settling in Cannes. In 1955, he acquired the villa "La Californie" located on the heights of the city. He lived there until 1961 with his partner Jacqueline before moving to Mougins, a nearby village where he died in 1973. In his studio on the first floor of the house, he produced some of his masterpieces including the famous painting "The Bay of Cannes".