Posts Tagged ‘Paul Cézanne’

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

Read Full Post »


This list celebrates some of the ephemeral things that we saw during 2013. It’s an incomplete list, I know, as I spent much time in England and missed lots, the Aix Carnaval for instance which sounded great, plus the Transhumance.

But these things I saw and loved: (more…)

Read Full Post »


What a beautiful poster this is!

I am often struck by the quality of the graphics, photography and composition of posters for the most local and transient of events in Provence.  And this is a case in point.

It sounds as though it will be a wonderful Christmas concert – further details on http://academie-bach-aix.fr.

Now for a couple of exhibitions which may be of interest. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Details of next year’s big summer exhibition at Aix’s Musée Granet have been announced.

‘Cézanne et la Modernité’ will bring 50 works from the Pearlman Collection to town 11th July – 5th October.  These pictures will include watercolours by Cézanne as well as impressionist and post-impressionist paintings from the collection.

Henry Pearlman was a New York businessman with a passion for art – he and his wife built up a formidable collectionfountain by cezanne of 19th and 20th century pictures.  Since his death in 1974, the paintings have been kept at Princeton University.  They are going on tour in 2014, first to the Ashmolean in Oxford, then Aix, followed by Atlanta and Vancouver.  You can read more here: http://www.pearlmancollection.org/about

This watercolour from the collection by Cezanne is intriguing.  I wondered why he never painted urban scenes of Aix itself…but here is one!  It shows the fountain in the place d’Hotel de Ville.  I hope this is included in the forthcoming exhibition.

Read Full Post »

Having loved the ‘De Cézanne a Matisse’ exhibition at the Musée Granet, there was only one thing for it…hop on the navette to Marseille to see the other half of the show. 

Les Alyscamps - a last-minute loan

Les Alyscamps – a last-minute loan

It’s the first time the two museums have worked together like this – one budget, one catalogue, one project plan.  The curators had a wish-list of pictures to illustrate their theme of artists inspired by the Midi (more…)

Read Full Post »

What a wonderful exhibition has just begun in the musée Granet!  One half of ‘L’Atelier du Midi’, the other being in Marseille, ‘De Cézanne a Matisse’ is one of the major shows for the MP2013 Year of Culture.

Its theme is the South of France and the impact it had on painters.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

Today’s Guardian has a two-page feature on Aix: the journalist visits on the new direct train to Aix to try out part of the GR2013….and spends the night in the refuge at the top of the Sainte-Victoire.  Read on:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2013/may/17/aix-en-provence-france-direct-train-paul-cezanne

cezanneThere is also a lovely video overview of Cézanne’s studio: http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/interactive/2013/may/17/paul-cezanne-studio-aix-en-provence-france-audio-slideshow  (Thanks to Mike and to Carol for forwarding this).

And finally an interesting new book by British writer Peter Gumbel who lectures at Sciences Po.  ‘France’s Got Talent: the Woeful Consequences of French Elitism’ analyses the stranglehold exercised at the top by the 500 graduates of the top schools.  He argues that French meritocracy is a myth and that Hollande has made things even worse – his ‘old boys’ network’ as a bad as Giscard d’Estaing’s.   Not only are these individuals drawn overwhelmingly from the same upper class background, but they aren’t providing good leadership anyway.  Lots of detail and stats here:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/14/france-power-elitism-peter-gumbel?INTCMP=SRCH  or http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/liberte-inegalite-fraternite-is-french-elitism-holding-the-country-back-8621650.html

 (Just in case you are thinking two words – ‘Cameron’ and ‘Eton’ – as I was, apparently this is worse…..)

Read Full Post »


I have to confess to not liking comics very much because they always seem to be about fighting (Zap! Splat!) or sci-fi or supermen. But it seems to be a genre growing in popularity and this month’s ‘Rencontres du 9e Art’ festival in Aix is the largest in Europe.

Consequently, the town is full of colourful publicity banners and a fantasy-inspired roundabout complete with rockets and strange animals is giving rides at the top of the Cours Mirabeau.

sylvieBut I have been converted by the fascinating band-dessinée biography of Paul Cézanne which is magnified along 120 metres of panels in Luynes. This ‘Expo a Ciel Ouvert’ is something I have never seen before and is wonderful. Succinct text and colourful drawings tell the story of the artist in a fresh and immediate way – perfect for introducing young people to our local hero! An added bonus is the fact that the artists have used Cézanne’s own paintings as a backdrop. So young Paul and his friend Emile Zola splash around in the Arc with a background taken from ‘The Bathers’ and so on. You will recognise various bits of Aix in the pictues too.


It’s all based on a book by Alain Exiga, illustrated so cleverly by local artists Olivier Bauza and David Ballon and published by Editions Cerises et Coquelicots of Aix. ‘Paul Cézanne, un rebelle en Provence’ is 14,50€ and available in bookshops in town. The Expo a Ciel Ouvert is outside the Ecole Georges Duby at Luynes – it’s signposted up (look for ‘Palissade Cézanne’ or the school) and so very easy to find.

Read Full Post »

I do try and have some sort of coherence to my blog posts but today there is none – a series of random items which may be of interest to people in Aix.

RICHARD VIDAL NAQUETLet’s start with the news today that the Musée Granet has acquired another Cézanne.  Antiquary Richard Vidal-Naquet discovered the small format oil painting (19 cm by 16 cm) – of a young girl drawing. The subject is the painter’s young sister Rose and there is an authenticity certificate written by Maxime Conil, Aix lawyer and husband of Rose Cézanne, then the certificate of sale. It was purchased in 1913 by Aix collector Emmanuel Belval who had acquired it for 300 francs. The Community of Pays d’Aix has paid 300,000 euros for this plus two lithographs and a host of books relating to the work of Cézanne. For more info and to see the painting, see La Provence: http://www.laprovence.com/article/actualites/aix-le-musee-granet-soffre-un-cezanne-inedit

I am also in debt to La Provence for the latest news on wolves which have been attacking lambs in the Var. Now they have entered ’13’,  attacking a flock of sheep at Vauvenargues.  Young wolves are moving closer towards Aix, starting their own packs. It is a nightmare for the éleveurs, who, instead of leaving the sheep out, have to try and get them all under cover at night-time.  I do wonder at the sense ( lack of….) in reintroducing wolves into the countryside.

Now on to swimming:  I often go to the Piscine Yves Blanc which is at the Stade de Carcassonne, near the Torse Park.  It’s an Olympic-size pool, 8 lanes, and uniformally deep…good for doing lengths.  A couple of lengths are often reserved for training the synchro swimmers which is entertaining.piscine_yvesblanc It’s just 2,70 for a swim – you don’t have to be a member. However you do need to wear a swimming hat, and gents have to wear speedo-style bathers (no flowery baggy shorts!). You also need flip-flops to get you from the changing area to the pool as there are lots of cracked tiles.  It’s all a bit tired/municipal baths, but at that price, not to worry.  The link here gives the usual timetable but – and the reason for my post – the pool is closed from now until January 6th for ‘vidage’. It then reopens but is closed on January 13th for a sports event. http://piscines.agglo-paysdaix.fr/pageLibre0001010e.aspx

Flights – I did say this post had random items!  Ryanair have announced that they will be flying from Marseille to Warsaw from January, flights starting at 14€, and will have flights to the UK East Midlands from 31st March,  flights each way, Sundays and Thursdays.

Today’s Sunday Times Travel section has a very good piece on Marseille.  The writer clearly likes the place for its character, ‘brazen, bombastic, picaresque’ which he contrasts with the ‘hysterical tedium’ of the MP2013 literature which he said drove him mad. He’s very positive about the new museums being built, the Vieux Port, the new Silo and was ‘particularly impressed’ with the Chateau de la Buzine film centre.  That is until he got outside and found his car broken into and his suitcase gone. Sad.

While on the subject of museums, there’s a new contemporary art exhibition just started at the Musée des Tapisseries in Aix and do remember that the Gauguin and Van Gogh son-et-lumiere show at Les Baux is closing on the 6th January.

I’ll leave you with this rather funky Christmas tree made out of books anthropologie-book-christmas-tree-300x300and a link to see some more fun ways of building books into trees.  And now it’s back to peeling sprouts!http://www.freshdesignblog.com/tag/christmas-tree-made-from-books/ 


Read Full Post »

Here’s a lovely thing to do on a sunny day – très insolite as the French would say.  To paint his beloved mountain, Cézanne used to leave his studio at Les Lauves and go up a nearby hill to set up his easel and start work.  It’s quite easy now to follow in his footsteps and share the wonderful view.

The hillside has been landscaped so you climb up honey-coloured stone steps, through gardens of lavender, rosemary and oleander.

At the top, there is a paved viewing area with 9 panels showing different versions of the mountain completed 1902-1906.  Today these are in Basel (2), Zurich (2), NY, Philadelphia, Princeton, Moscow and Kansas City….but we can enjoy the reproductions and of course we have THAT VIEW!

It’s a tranquil spot – we were alone there when we visited yesterday – and amazingly there are no modern buildings to spoil the vista that Cézanne loved to paint.



To find it, follow the Avenue Paul Cézanne right to the top of the hill.

 Look out for these signs which point out the stone steps leading to the park.  There is no parking so you have to find somewhere nearby. It’s served by the no 5 bus-stop = Les Peintres.


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »