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The French Riviera: 

Got Art?

 

                        Picasso, Cocteau, Matisse, Chagall, ...

One more reason to put the French Riviera on your summer bucket list!

If there is one thing you can find on the Côte d'Azur, it's art.

From the moment you step off the plane, and inhale the salt air of the Mediterranean, and take in the color of the sky and the landscape, you will understand the inspiration for Picasso and Matisse, among so many other artists, who came here to paint or to sculpt or to dream.

Suddenly, those famous paintings we are so familiar with make sense. You think, "yes, I see why Matisse painted that balcony with the light coming through the french doors." Or, you think you see Picasso himself in his striped shirt holding the umbrella for his mistress on the beach. You begin to understand how someone could be so captivated by the color that it would become an obsession to capture it on canvas. The colors hypnotize, mesmerize, and invite you in.

I have a few favorite museums on the French Riviera. The first is the Chagall museum, L'Museé Chagall, on the hill overlooking Nice. It's the perfect size for a museum, at least by my standards. In one room, you will find a mere handful of Chagall paintings, so exquisitely placed that you can lose yourself for a while at each one. Less is more, as they say.

Another favorite, and not to be missed, is the Picasso Museum in Antibes. Even without the art pieces, it would be worth the price to visit this little stone villa with a view of the sea. It's my dream house, and seemingly, it was Picasso's dream house as well. There are sculptures and paintings and pottery by Picasso, along with traveling exhibits by other European artists, all scattered throughout the small rooms with stone floors and arched windows all looking out on the blue, blue Côte d'Azur.

Another somewhat bizarre museum, but worth the price of admission, is the chapel in Villefranche-sur-Mer, La Chapelle de St. Pierre des Pecheurs. The walls of this tiny chapel on the waterfront were painted by the artist, Jean Cocteau, in dreamlike images. It's a bit like an acid trip.

These are just a few of the museums and fabulous places you can visit on your coming trip to the French Riviera. For more ideas, see The Beginner's Guide to the French Riviera: Stop Dreaming & Start Packing, available now on Amazon, and look here for more travel tips.

 

Bon Voyage! Mary Kay

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