With your personal tour guide Boba (a Licensed Professional Tour Guide) discover the impressive artistic heritage and the unique Modern Art collections of the South of France. For a meaningful and a memorable Art experience, Your Guide Boba offers a wide variety of guided visits and/or art tours - for groups or individuals - to the most important museums of the French Riviera and of Provence (temporary exhibitions and permanent collections). Here is a short guide to some of the most important museums and art collections along the French Riviera and in Provence, which you can visit with Your Guide Boba:
Picasso Museum (Musée Picasso), Antibes: one of the finest collections of Picasso's work housed in the striking seaside fortress of Château Grimaldi. Other great artists' works are also here: Nicolas de Staël, Hans Hartung, … - Unique!
Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence: hidden in the woodland above St-Paul-de-Vence, this is a must-see museum of the Côte d'Azur and one of the most important collections of modern art in the world (Giacometti, Miro, Chagall, Calder, Braque, Léger, Bonnard, Kandinsky, Kelly, Tàpies, Chillida,…). Housed in the extraordinary architectural work of art, it offers its visitors a moving visual experience.
Matisse Museum (Musée Matisse), Nice: " When I realised I would see that light every morning, I could not believe my luck...I decided never to leave Nice and remained here for almost my entire existence " – Henri Matisse. An overview of different periods of Matisse's working life and evolution of his art, with the well-known Nu Bleu IV (Blue Nude IV).
Musée Océanographic de Monaco (Oceanographic Museum), Monaco: directed for a long time by Jacques Cousteau, this jewel of belle-époque monumental architecture houses one of the oldest aquariums in Europe with more than 6000 species of fish in their natural habitat, living corals and the famous Shark Lagoon. It also exhibits some exceptional collections of hundred-year-old marine specimens that Prince Albert I collected on his scientific expeditions. – Spectacular!
Marc Chagall Museum (Musée Marc Chagall), Nice: nostalgia for his origins and the mystery of divine. Chagall's Biblical Message is a collection of 17 monumental paintings evoking sacred texts of Judaism (the Torah and the Book of Genesis) and also The Song of Songs. – Divine!
Musée de l'Annonciade, Saint-Tropez: housed in a former 16th-century chapel, this remarkable museum brings back the time when Saint-Tropez was an active centre for the artistic avant-garde of the 20th century thanks to Paul Signac, who, seduced by the light, settled down in St-Tropez and invited other painters to join him (Cross, Matisse, Derain and Marquet). The collection of the museum spans from 1890 to 1950 mainly encompassing the movements such as pointillisme, nabis and fauvism (Matisse, Bonnard, Van Dongen, Braque, Derrain, Dufy, Roualult, Signac, Seurat, Vuillard, Bonnard,…).
MAMAC (Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain), Nice: the remarkable collection of contemporary art focuses on the relationship between French New Realism (Nouveau-Réalisme) – and the French counterpart to Pop Art (with the movement's most prominent artists: Yves Klein, Arman, César, Niki de Saint Phalle,…) and American expression of the Art of Assemblage and Pop Art (Andy Wharhol,…) but also American Abstraction and Minimalism (Frank Stella, Sol LeWitt, Ellsworth Kelly…)
Fernand Léger Museum (Musée National Fernand Léger), Biot: at the foot of the charming village of Biot, this museum allows an overview of Leger's creative line of thought, whose work, inspired by modern way of life and our industrial civilization, spans over the first half of the 20th century and blends Cubism, Abstraction, Mechanical Aesthetics, Figurative Art, Cinema,…
Musée National Picasso. War and Peace, Vallauris: focuses on Picasso's prolific work of ceramics (skillfully metamorphosed crockery and earthenware utensils) but also linoleum engravings and paintings. Thousands of artefacts created in Picasso's ceramic studio in Vallauris with his well-known iconography: fauns, nymphs, bullfighting scenes,… Picasso chose the 12th century Chapel of Vaullauris Castle to exhibit his two monumental paintings composing War and Peace.
Musée Bonnard, le Cannet: Bonnard's "intensity of the present moment" in a large overview of his work focused on the period between 1922 and 1947, during which he regularly stayed in le Cannet. Apart from being a great colorist, this collection witnesses Bonnard's main creative principle : 'transpose one's very first emotion into an image'.
Musée Cocteau, Menton: the museum features 250 Cocteau's works of art (drawings, photos and movie extracts) which is inspired by the Orpheus' Testament (Testament d'Orphée) shows the plurality of Cocteau's interests (painting, writing, cinema and photography) and the mythical figures that made an impact on his life and works.
Collection Lambert, Avignon: housed in a 18th century de Caumont mansion, the private collection of Yvon Lambert, gallery owner and collector, is the only place in France where one can admire so many master-pieces (of Minimal Art, Conceptual Art, Land Art, Video Art and Photography): Cy Twombly, Donald Judd, Daniel Buren, Christian Boltanski, Dennis Oppenheim, Anselm Kiefer, Miquel Barcelo, Julian Schnabel, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Douglas Gordon, Bertrand Lavier…
Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence: exceptional collections: "De Cézanne à Giacometti" (Mondrian, Picasso, de Staël, Léger, Balthus, Morandi, Klee, Tal Coat…) and "Collection Planque" (some of the most important masterpieces of the 20th century: Renoir, Picasso, Van Gogh, Bonnard, Braque, Dufy, Klee, de Staël, Dubuffet,…) but also a remarquable colection of 16th to 19th French, Italian and Flemish painting (Rembrandt, Rubens, Ingres, Rigaud, the Nain Brothers,…)
Vasarely Fondation, Aix-en-Provence: 44 monumental artworks by the founder of Op Art. Unique in the art history of the 20th century, spanning from abstraction to kinetic art, Victor Vasarely stands out in the contemporary art for having created a new art movement: Optic Art.
Fondation Hartung-Bergman, Antibes: amidst a hundred-year-old olive grove, a remarkable architectural complex (the plans of which were drawn up by Hartung himself) composed of a villa, the studios of two artists and outbuildings. Over 16 000 original works (paintings, drawings, engravings, lithographs and photos) representing all the creative periods of Hans Hartung and Anna-Eva Bergman.
This list is not exhaustive. I shall gladly assist you with any other art discoveries of your choice.
Provence and the French Riviera also reveal themselves through their artistic heritage, fully expressed in numerous museums. Whether you are an art amateur or a high-brow art connoisseur, you will be enchanted by the artistic and cultural treasures of Provence and the French Riviera. Benefit from detailed and eye-opening explanations during art walking tours with Your Guide Boba.