‘Tout en Fraicheur’ which opens today in Aix’s charming Maison Dauphine Gallery brings together 5 local artists to celebrate the summer season in Provence.  Here’s a taste of what you can see.

Sainte Victoire au Ciel Jaune, Clothilde Philipon


Vue Sur Mer by Cécile Colombo


Sur les Etageres Impeccables by Perrine Rabouin


As well as paintings, there will be photography and ceramics.  All at Maison Dauphine,  rue du 4 Septembre, Aix.

Good to know:  above the gallery, there are seriously styish studio apartments for visitors to Aix.


The Route de Cezanne, which the artist used to follow from the Torse to Le Tholonet, is the only road in France to have ‘monument historique’ status. It opens to pedestrians and cyclists very occasionally and Sunday 26th June gives everyone this rare pleasure all afternoon. It’s 4.6km of twisty country roads, a bit hilly in places, but shaded from the sun by lots of trees. Artists of course have been following in Cezanne’s footsteps for years. Leo Marchutz, 1903-1976, was a German painter, lithgrapher and teacher who lived and worked at the Chateau Noir for three and a half decades.  His work can be seen in the Louvre, the Met in New York and, nearer to home, the Musee Granet. Celebrating Marchutz…


Anthony Marchutz will be discussing the first part of his father’s journal, Denise Lemoine will highlight recent discoveries and film director James Ruffato will present progress on his documentary on the artist.  Sunday 26th June, 10.30-11.30, Salle de l’Ours, Le Tholonet.

The Streets of Aix – Like You Have Never Seen Them Before!
On Sunday afternoon, June 26th between 2-6pm, at the Atelier Marchutz, there’s an ephemeral exhibition dedicated to the streets of Aix and the lithographs they inspired.

Lithography was Marchutz’s sole means of artistic expression from 1947 to 1964. They represent the core and largest part of his oeuvre. A selection of 25 of his architectural landscapes of Aix, will be paired with recent photographs of their urban motifs. The photos, veritable works of art in their own right, were taken by Joël Biletta, professional art photographer who has carried out numerous photo shoots of Marchutz’s work.  (5 av du General Peraud).

From Stone to Paper
Learn About a Largely Misunderstood Art Form

Lithography, or the art of printing from a flat stone, is a 200 year-old, largely misunderstood  process. Despite the fact that it had a pronounced influence on the works of Pierre Bonnard, Toulouse-Lautrec, Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse. . .

Leo Marchutz brought numerous innovations to the lithographic practice, which he lifted to a very high artistic level.

Learn more at The American College of the Mediterranean / IAU, on Tuesday, July 5th at 6:30 pm for a three-part conference on Leo Marchutz and lithography. They say, ‘You will never look at a lithograph in the same way again.’

The American College of the Mediterranean / IAU
2 bis, rue du Bon Pasteur, Aix.



Back after a two-year hiatus, the 20th C’est Sud festival is taking place next weekend.


Look out for lots of creative activity, harnessing the talents and energy of the young Aixois, taking place around town.  Stand-out events on the 25th include the construction of a Lego monument (parents can join in!) from 15:00. to a performance by ‘Cats on Trees’ on the big stage at 22:00…both in the Cours Mirbeau.

Details? Here you go: https://www.aixenprovence.fr/C-est-Sud-fete-ses-20-ans-Les-25-et-26-Juin


Each year, there’s an opportunity in Aix to push open the doors of some of the most elegant and private townhouses to visit their gardens. 

This coming weekend, 25-26 June, is the 16th edition of this celebration of Aix life.  Originator and organiser Andrea Ferreol has four gardens on her programme this year with 32 artists who will be displaying their work, or performing their music, or reading from literary works.  Throw in 2 masterclasses and dance perfromances from Ballet Preljocaj and you have plenty to inspire and entertain you.

These four gardens aren’t ones I’ve ever visited and think they may be new to the programme which is great for Aixcentric followers who visit each year.  They tend to be quite small, being town gardens, so you can discover and enjoy all four in one gulp!


Details and flyer here: https://www.aix-en-oeuvres.com/flaneries-2022/

Calling all Scots

The first ever Scottish Festival in the south of France will be held this weekend, 28 and 29 May, in Isle sur la Sorgue.  Sounds unmissable!  It will be opened on the first day at 10:00 by a Sean Connery double with a pipe-band.

Programme here: https://islesurlasorguetourisme.com/page/festival-ecossais+7682.html  Love the sound of the Taverne Ecossaise which would whisk me back to student days in Auld Reekie but not sure what ‘patisseries’ they would be serving with the whisky – maybe Tunnocks Caramel Wafers? And there’s a ‘Concours Men in Kilt’. What fun!


The summer show at the Musée Regards de Provence in Marseille is dedicated to two local painters, Antoine Ponchin (1872-1933) and Jos-Henri Ponchin (1897-1981), father and son in a family of 4 generations of artists.

I have written a book, ‘Art in the South of France’, to celebrate the work of some of these little-known Provencal painters and would have loved to be at the opening this week;  since I couldn’t be there, let’s take a virtual tour.  By the way, if you are new to these parts, make a trip to this gallery a priority as it’s special; interesting art, great building conversion, rooftop cafe overlooking docks and Mediterranean….

Jos-Henri PONCHIN, Marseille, Huile sur panneau 42 x 51 cm, Collection particulière


Antoine PONCHIN, Calanque de Carry le Rouet, Huile sur toile 73 x 92 cm, Collection particulière

Jos-Henri PONCHIN, Cabanon dans la calanque, Huile sur toile 49 x 65 cm, Collection particulière

Jos Henri PONCHIN, Villa Kérylos, Huile sur papier 32 x 41 cm, Collection particulière

Antoine PONCHIN Maison sur l’eau, Huile sur toile 120 x 98 cm, Collection Musée des Beaux-arts de Nîmes

Jos-Henri PONCHIN, Venise, Santa Maria de la Salute, Huile sur papier 41 x 33 cm, Collection particulière

The gallery is open 10-17:30, Tues – Sun.

A Paul Cezanne retrospective, just opened in Chicago and then travelling to London, is the artist’s largest individual exhibition since the 1990s. The two venues are the Art Institute of Chicago (15 May-5 September) and Tate Modern (5 October-12 March 2023).

In Chicago, there will be 90 oil paintings, 40 watercolours and two sketchbooks, with a slightly smaller selection in London.

One loan, a rather special one, is Cezanne’s palette and box of watercolour paints which were bought four years ago from the artist’s great-grandson, Philippe Cezanne by the Musée Granet.  They were displayed at the time and were I thought delightfully messy.

The shows, and catalogue, will also illustrate the influence that Cezanne had on his contemporaries and 20th-century artists. One interesting example is his Still life with Fruit Dish (1879-80), on loan from New York’s MoMA. It was once owned by Paul Gauguin, who described it as “an exceptional pearl, the apple of my eye”.  Gauguin included the painting in the background of Woman in front of a Still life by Cezanne (1890). This pair of pictures by the two artists will be shown alongside each other in Chicago. Tate Modern has decided to present only works by Cezanne. But the artist’s Still life with Fruit Dish will be shown in London for the first time, along with 20 other Cezannes never previously exhibited in the UK.


A walk along the promenade at Les Lecques, around the little port and out to sea along the jetty has always been a family favourite, but I’ve always struggled to find a vegetarian lunch after our walk.  It’s a typical French seaside resort with all the menu choices the locals obviously enjoy. Paninis/pizza slices have long been the only alternative.

So I was delighted to come across the Olala Café on a recent visit. Continue Reading »

Dufy loved to paint races – boats, horses – anything with lots of movement.

This year’s summer show at the Hotel de Caumont exhibits over 90 works by Raoul Dufy, a French artist who produced oils and watercolours as well as prints and ceramics. Continue Reading »

New to Aix’s post-Pandemic dining scene, and therefore new to me, Le Singe Vert presents a stylish terrace, all rattan furniture and fresh flowers, to passers-by at the bottom end of the cours Mirabeau.

It used to be the Haagen Daas icecream cafe but has been extended right back into what was a travel agency and on into a courtyard garden.  So what was a network of small offices has been transformed into charming little dining areas with period furniture, chandeliers, and wallpaper featuring the eponymous monkey. Continue Reading »