Painting and Photography

The matchless light and landscapes of Provence have attracted and inspired hundreds of great painters and photographers through the centuries. These are just a few of them (check back soon for new additions).

Click here to read more articles about Paul Cézanne, the grand master of Aix en Provence who rightly has a separate section all of his own and here to read about the Victor Vasarely Foundation, also in Aix.

Click here to read about Vincent van Gogh in Arles, and in Saint Paul de Mausole, near Saint Rémy de Provence.

Click here for a tour of the painters of the Quarries of Lights, near Les Baux de Provence and here for a guide to the artists inspired by the village of Ménerbes in Vaucluse. logoClick here to book a hotel in Provence

The Sea at L'Estaque by Paul CézanneThis gallery of masterpieces accompanies our guide to L'Estaque, the little town outside Marseille which, for over half a century, attracted a stream of great artists including Paul Cézanne, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Raoul Dufy and Georges Braque.

Couleurs Cezanne at les Baux de Provence by Gianfranco IannuzziIf you have visited the South of France, the chances are that you have seen one of Gianfranco Iannuzzi's unique and poetic son et lumière installations in some of Provence's loveliest settings.

Arman portraitMany towns in Provence play it safe when exploring the region's rich artistic heritage. But in the summer of 2011, Les Baux de Provence tried a bold experiment that turned the whole village into a giant installation fêting Arman, the avant-garde artist.

Roger Blachon, Only One ZizouWelcome to the wacky, dream-like, erotic and comic world of the artist, designer and illustrator Roger Blachon, who took like a duck to water to Marseille's exuberance and the locals' infinite ability to laugh at themselves.

Rene Seyssaud, Olive Trees in the AlpillesRené Seyssaud plunges you into a riot of colour. His intense images evoke Expressionism and Fauvism without quite belonging to either movement. He brings a brilliant colourist's eye and muscular, off-kilter compositions to rural life in Provence.

Three Sailing Boats by Joseph GaribaldiJoseph Garibaldi was born in Marseille, died there and rarely strayed very far in the intervening eight decades - which, perhaps, is one reason why he's still relatively unknown today.

American boat in the Port of Marseille by Felix ZiemThe painter Félix Ziem is relatively unknown today though Vincent van Gogh thought his brilliant blue skies the most beautiful in all of art. The work of this Mediterranean maestro is on view at the Musée Ziem in Martigues, where he worked and lived for several years.

Flag apart Jesús Díaz de Vivara-part is a festival of modern art which takes each summer in some of the loveliest countryside, towns and villages in the Alpilles. In 2017 a-part was held from 24 July-27 August.

painting by Jacques HeroldTo celebrate the centenary of the surrealist artist Jacques Hérold, the Musée Cantini in Marseille presented around a hundred of his paintings, drawings and sculptures in 2011. It was the first time Hérold (1910-1987) had had a major retrospective at a French museum.

lombard alfred nudeAlfred Lombard isn't a familiar name, but his gorgeous, sensual, light-filled images - brilliant fragments of the artistic explosion that rocked Provence in the early 20th century - are exciting to discover.

photo exhibition arlesThe Rencontres d'Arles is one of the biggest and most important photography festivals in the world. In 2019 it celebrates its 50th year and runs from 1 July-22 September.

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