Fondation Maeght / Côte d’Azur

Visiting this place has always been my dream. Fondation Maeght is France’s most important private art foundation and among the world-leading cultural institutions. It was created by Aimé and Marguerite Maeght, a visionary couple of publishers and art dealers, who represented and were friends with some of the most important artists of the 20th century, including Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Georges Braque, Alberto Giacometti, Marc Chagall and many others. The Maeght Foundation was inaugurated back in 1964 and instantly became the new art mecca. Located near the famous village of Saint-Paul de Vence the foundation is situated in the incredible architectural complex designed by Josep Lluís Sert. Painters and sculptors worked in collaboration with the Catalan architect to create a place where art, nature and architecture blend in perfect harmony. The Foundation’s highlights include the Giacometti courtyard (remember Louis Vuitton’s resort 2019 collection? It was staged right here!), featuring an exceptional ensemble of sculptures by the Swiss artist, the Miró labyrinth, a whimsical sculpture garden by the Catalan artist, monumental mural mosaics by Marc Chagall and Pierre Tal Coat, a pool designed by Georges Braque as well as a mechanical fountain designed by Pol Bury. Visitors can also enjoy the sculpture garden, with a rotating selection of works by Calder, Takis, Miro, Arp and other, two rooftop terraces with spectacular views, exhibition galleries hosting temporary exhibition as well as selected works from the permanent collection, a consecrated chapel and a library. Looking back at the photos I took there, I still can feel this unique combination of nature and silence meeting some of my all time favourite artists (that created the appealing aura of Côte d’Azur).

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Saint Paul De Vence / Côte d’Azur

As you go north from Antibes, a place you have to visit is Saint-Paul de Vence. In this village located at the top of a hill, you should of course see the Fondation Maeght (a separate post on this art oasis is coming up shortly!). If you want to continue with the art path, why not see the authentic Matisse or Picasso at the legendary La Colombe d’Or? You can find it in the heart of Saint-Paul: it’s a real secret garden with original works given to the owner by the artists as payments for meals. It’s worth giving the village around an hour if you’re by car: its centre is overcrowded with touristic “art galleries” and restaurants, so the most important is the postcard-like, medieval, stone architecture that seems to be untouched by time.

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.