Art in Aix- en- Provence
Breathtakingly beautiful and set within picturesque countryside sits the pretty university city of Aix-en-Provence. Set beneath the towering mountain Sainte-Victoire it is easy to see why the area is so inspiring to all but especially artists. With art history floating in the warm air all around the city and mesmerising modern art to be seen this is a very special place to visit no matter how much of an artist you are.
A palette of colour, inspiration, history, stunning views, fine food, wine and of course art await you in the city of Aix-en-Provence, and although part of the Côte d’Azur region in Southern France this city oozes elegance and luxury that is quite different to the other cities and towns along the Côte d’Azur coast.
Aix-en-Provence is famous for being the birthplace of the Post-Impressionist artist Paul Cézanne and it is clear to why the artist made the area his home and was so inspired by the scenery around him. Everywhere you go in the city you are reminded of the artist and how he left a lasting message of inspiration for all future artists.
Cézanne was heavily influenced by his surroundings. Landscapes feature abundantly in his vibrant pieces of work that reflect the diverse beauty of the area around him. He especially found the mountain of Sainte-Victoire of particular interest and it featured in many of his paintings. He found influences in the beauty of nature and the immense power the sun had on colour.
While visiting the city follow in the footsteps of this impressive artist and learn about his life and art by following the letter ‘C’ that is stamped in the ground. The trail includes Jas de Bouffan his childhood home and Atelier Cézanne his studio that provides an insight into this fascinating artist and his creative world. Lastly, you will come to his final resting place at St Pierre cemetery. While walking try to observe the landscape as Paul Cézanne once did, looking closely at its magical beauty.
Not only is Aix-en-Provence famous for Cézanne and his many works on the local landscape but he also led the way when it came to the art movement Cubism. What is Cubism? Cubism is a way of viewing different angles all together in one piece. It creates a fragmented view of reality creating an abstract image that is both interesting and totally unique. Cézanne used the three-dimensional form to represent objects and created abstract pieces that inspired the movement and took impressionist art of the late 19th century forward into the 20th century allowing for new artistic explorations.
While visiting the city don’t forget to explore what is happening now in the world of art as well as the amazing history of art the city exudes. The Foundation Vasarely is a futuristic contemporary art space made up of interconnected metallic cubes that create drama before you even enter. The building was designed by Victor Vasarely himself and its sheer construction of steel, ceramic and silk printed enamel is sure to impress; as are the pieces housed within.
Dedicated to contemporary art is the Gallifet Art Center that couldn’t look more different on the outside to the modern design of the Foundation Vasarely. Contemporary art is housed in a renovated mansion that fuses the mix of old and new beautifully. With pretty courtyards exploding with contemporary pieces taking some time to reflect on your visit couldn’t be more perfect in the inspiring surroundings.
Other great places to include on your visit are the Caumont centre d’art a restored 18th-century mansion that provides an interesting setting for art, including pieces by Cézanne and Chagall, and The Musée Granet which is devoted to paintings, sculpture and archaeology.
No matter where you wander in Aix-en-Provence art will follow you, it is part of the atmosphere within the city and in the air that surrounds the landscapes. It is impossible not to see the splendour that Cézanne saw and that so many artists of the future will observe, but the beauty of this area is for all to see whether you are an artist or not.