Painters loved to come here, in the south of France, where the richly diverse landscape could evoke the most wonderful inspirations, turning a canvas into an image of freedom and wonder. Aix en Provence where Paul Cézanne was deeply inspired by its surrounding nature, he and this region attracted also Pablo Picasso to come and live and paint here.
Cézanne’s painting of The Bathers shows his intention to blend the bathers with the landscape, using the same colors for body and environment. What keeps me inspiring is that he and Picasso, and quite a few others, were clearly the daredevils of their time, blurring the clear-cut lines of traditional painting with their bold use of color and creation of unique appearances that convey emotion, beauty, sensuality, and streaks of character.
Although Picasso enjoyed recognition and fame and wealth during his lifetime, most other painters before him did not. While they miss out on the millions of dollars their paintings can fetch today, they should rest in peace as their art works are not only recognised but also meticulously preserved and tastefully displayed in dedicated museums, attracting art lovers from all over the globe.
Granet Museum and its extension the Chapelle Granet – dating back to 1828 – are tastefully renovated and transformed into large spaces that have retained the quiet and contemplative atmosphere of their past. An ideal atmosphere to reflect on the art on display. Thinking that you have seen it all, in books, posters, documentaries, and movies, I am mostly surprised and often touched by seeing the real thing.