A Brief Introduction to the History of Art in the Cote D’Azur and why you should go there!

The South of France is no newcomer to the art scene with the cave drawings in the caves of Lascaux going back 20,000 years and made a world heritage site as some of the first ever discovered drawings in the world. The caves were once opened to the public but they are now closed as the pure volume of visitors coupled with air conditioning systems were starting to damage the paintings. The work can still be seen in a reconstructed site in Montignac and the original caves are being preserved carefully.

The region has witnessed the likes of Cezanne and Vincent Van Gogh who painted his famous Starry Night from his Asylum in St Remy de Provence and of course the Cote D’Azur being the home to Picasso and Matisse.

As you would expect there are art galleries of these great masters you can visit as a must see for art enthusiasts and even if you’re not really into it, it’s a nice way to do something culturally on a hot day!

National Picasso Museum or Musée national Pablo Picasso in Vallauris, Antibes

The museum houses the National Picasso Museum, including his famous War and Peace collection,The Magnelli Museum, and the Ceramics Museum. As well as holding many exhibitions throughout the year, you can experience a good variety of art all in one stop!

For full information on how to get there, prices and other information please visit: http://en.musees-nationaux-alpesmaritimes.fr/picasso/p-pratical-informations

Musee Granet, Aix en Provence

The Musee Granet holds Cezanne’s works and a large collection of artwork from famous painters, with most notably, their collection: ‘From Cezanne to Giacometti’. This collection alone will give you a good feel of the art and it’s progression throughout the 20th Century.

For further information please go to: http://museegranet-aixenprovence.fr

Matisse Museum in Nice and the Chagall Museum

The Matisse Museum holds the world’s largest collection of his work and is a must see when heading to Nice. The Chargall Museum is a short walk away and was actually created by Matisse himself, where he choose the interior od the building, created the garden and the stained glass. If you visit only one art gallery you must visit Matisse’s work.

Please click: http://www.musee-matisse-nice.org and http://www.en.musees-nationaux-alpesmaritimes.fr.chagall

You can currently a Matisse exhibition in Vence which is open until 31st December 2017 (http://www.vence-tourisme.fr) as well as the ‘Matisse in his Walls’ exhibition in France. I will be going to these exhibitions and will provide a full write up for you afterwards!

Van Gogh Museum/Musee Estrine in Saint Remy

The museum not only displays his work but also looks at his life, from the Potato Eaters to his later works. Wandering through their Van Gogh section and learning about his life gives you a great feel of his personality and the tragedy he suffered.

If you would like to visit the actual asylum where Van Gogh painted you can visit the Saint Paul De Mausole Monastery (http://www.saintpauldemausole.fr/accueil.fr ) . Where you can sense his

On a brighter note! They also display other art collections too and hold exhibitions.

To find out more please click on: http://www.musee-estrine.fr

Not a Museum Lover?

Maybe it’s more your style to wander through the streets, watching local artists at work and dropping into galleries here and there. Many a lazy afternoon can be spent in a quaint coffee shop in the art district, soaking up the culture of the resident artisans and the vibrancy of the region. WHERE IS THE ART DISTRICT? BEST STREETS TO WALK DOWN? Be careful though as if you are anything like me you will want to buy it all!

Current and upcoming exhibitions on the Cote D’Azur

For a fuil list of art exhibitions and other events on the Cote D’Azur please visit:


Please note that these comments are just how I feel, so I won’t be held accountable if you don’t ‘get’ any of the vibes I have mentioned!! I live, breathe, and work in art and I’m fascinated with visiting galleries and artists, and getting to understand them and their artwork.

More to come from me soon.

Enjoy! Helen

Helen Johnson, Commission an Artist