Posts Tagged ‘Joseph Garibaldi’

…..is my new book which is being launched this week. (more…)

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News last night that they found another two bombs next to the Mucem site but these were quickly removed – it really is amazing that these have been lying there for nearly 70 years.  Meanwhile the redevelopment of the Vieux Port area has begun.  Once all the traffic has been diverted and the area cleared, they say we will have one of Europe’s largest pedestrianised squares.

Foster and Partners won the competition to do the redesign – Lord Foster was responsible for the stunning Millau Bridge, the Carré d’Art at Nimes and the courtyard at the British Museum – so I expect it will look pretty special.

I think the town needs a facelift and this was brought home very clearly when I visited the Joseph Garibaldi expo ‘Le Midi Paisible’ at Fondation Regards de Provence.  I hadn’t heard of this artist who was born in Marseille and painted in the area all his life.  He loved the south of France and faithfully recorded what he saw – the coast, inland villages, landscapes.  But most of all, he loved the Vieux Port where he had his studio.  His paintings of the ships (amazingly accurate rigging and masts – no wobbles…), the buildings and the luminous skies are a hommage to the city of his birth.

His life 1863-1941 ran in parallel to Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism – but he seems to have ignored it all and painted serenely on, in his own style.

I really enjoyed discovering an artist who deserves to be better known, especially locally.  This gallery specialises in Provencal painters and, next January, will be moving to a newly renovated building (formerly the station sanitaire maritime) where it will have space to show its permanent collection as well as having temporary exhibitions.  This will be part of the newly scrubbed-up docks area – bombs withstanding!

Coming out into the graffitied streets with cars parked on the pavements was a culture shock – I know Marseille will never be neat and tidy – and probably never was, even when Garibaldi was painting – but I think the clearing and development of the public spaceshas been long-overdue and will be a great plus for the city in its big year in 2013.

Now for a snack and I thank Juliet for a list of recommended cafés from Elle magazine.  These are all places where you can drop in for a bit of sustenance without sitting down for a 2-hour 3-course eye-wateringly expensive lunch.  They all serve up good soups and bio salads – the list is here: http://vegetarianprovence.wordpress.com/  I tried out the Green Bear Coffee which is right next to the Vieux Port.  It’s a friendly little café – not particularly atmospheric – but they have very good soups at just over 4€, fresh sandwiches and their dish of the day was vegetarian couscous at 6,80€.http://www.greenbearcoffee.com/Green_Bear_Coffee/Home.html

More details on the Vieux Port redevelopment and changes to traffic flows are on www.vieuxportdemarseille.fr

Somehow I think Joseph Garibaldi would have approved!



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