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Posts Tagged ‘Graveson’

 I’ve long wanted to visit Graveson to see the musée Chabaud. 

Village women knitting and looking after the little ones.

Village women knitting and looking after the little ones.

Auguste Chabaud was a prolific painter of Provencal scenes.  He loved to paint the people of the village gathered in the square, the church, shepherds in the nearby fields, animals and the landscapes of the Alpilles.

He was born in 1882, the eldest of two boys; his artistic talents were obvious and he went to Paris to train. Here  he met Matisse and Derain and was successful.  But when the family vineyard was devasted, he had to return to Provence to help his parents.  In fact his father commited suicide shortly afterwards.  Auguste worked on a ship, plying the coast of West Africa and then in 1903-6 did his national service including a stint in Tunisia.

Free of the army, he went back to Paris where he exhibited and enjoyed the life in the cafés and brothels.  He was mobilised in World War I where he was awarded the Croix de Guerre but sadly his brother Pierre was killed.  Chabaud then returned to Provence where he spent the rest of his time, painting in Graveson and the Alpilles and raising his 8 children.

The museum is currently showing his paintings inspired by Tunisia as part of the MP2013 programme.  http://www.museechabaud.com/

canalThroughout the village, there are panels showing his paintings exactly where they were done.  It’s fascinating to see the same scene today, in between the inevitable white vans which seem to clutter streets everywhere.  It’s a nice little place with a couple of bars and a restaurant.  The church is open for visitors and has a plaque in memory of the 50 or so young men of the town who lost their lives in the Great War.  Among them Pierre Chabaud.  What an enormous loss for such a small town.

Today, the artistic streak amongst the townsfolk seems to continue.  I was fascinated by the mailboxes – I have never seen these decorated like this before.  Afterwards we headed off to Les Baux to see the new show at Carrieres de Lumiere – post to follow…

 

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