This important exhibition in two parts brings together no less than 22 masterpieces between the Granet Museum of Aix-en-Provence and the Museum of Fine Arts of Marseille in the Palais Longchamp. Two exceptional settings for a foray into the South of France of the painters of the end of the 19th century, through the 1960s. For almost a century, the coasts of the Mediterranean in France, but also in Italy and North Africa, were the favorite subjects of these painters seeking light and marvelous nature: the Impressionists from the 1860s besieged the great outdoors to paint “sur le motif,” or in nature, directly from the banks of the Seine or from fields of poppies.

 

 

The South of France’s Great Outdoor Studio

From June 13 to October 13, a special exhibition runs in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille “Le Grand Atelier du Midi.” All the creativity and modernity that the south of France inspired in the artists painting on site between 1880 and 1960 is revealed. From Cézanne to Matisse, and from Van Gogh to Bonnard.

By Caroline Taret - Photos ADAGP - June 18, 2013

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It’s this approach that Van Gogh or Cézanne explored and transcended during their stays in Provence, like Auguste Renoir, Pierre Bonnard or Paul Signac. As the organizers explain, the idea is to “make explicit how the south was a fabulous laboratory for the elaboration of Modernity in painting.” Indeed, the two sections of the “Le Grand Atelier du Midi” exhibition permit the visitor to infiltrate to the heart of the research that animated these artists, between investigations around color and simplified forms. Outline up against matter. It was precisely at the end of the 19th century that the two terms finished by confronting one another like two schools that became one.

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Le Grand Atelier

du Midi

June 13-November 13, 2013

de Cézanne à Matisse – Musée Granet à Aix-en-Provence

de Van Gogh à Bonnard – Musée des Beaux-Arts de Marseille Palais Longchamp

www.mp2013.fr/grand-atelier-du-midi

Signac and Cross’ Post-Impressionism, Matisse’s Fauvism, the emotion of Bonnard, who painted the wonderful mimosa from his window, and of course Van Gogh’s Arles and St Remy periods at the end of his life.

 

As Van Gogh hoped, the south was finally a land of gathering for artists, a community that created in parallel for want of creating together to lay the foundations of modern art. This exhibition pays tribute to them, and it’s an event supported by L’Occitane en Provence.

 

 

Claude Monet, Antibes - 1888
Huile sur toile, 65 x 92 cm
Londres, The Courtauld Institute
© The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The courtauld Gallery London

Auguste Renoir, Rochers à l’Estaque - 1882 - Huile sur toile, 66.4 x 81 cm
Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Legs de John T. Spaulding - Photograph © 2013 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Granet Museum exhibits Cézanne’s vision - a native to the city - and his research seeking the modernity that would inspire the Cubists in its form and Matisse in the use of color. We rediscover the village of L’Estaque, dear to Renoir and Signac, Matisse’s Nice, and the works of Picasso produced in Mougins, Antibes and Cannes. And to go even further, it’s the at times tragic dimension of the region that captured the Surrealists Picabia or André Masson, to the point of brushing up against abstraction with the mysterious Nicolas de Staël.

In Marseille, the exhibition is entitled From Van Gogh to Bonnard and stages the south like a huge open-air studio that implied a luminous “joie de vivre:”

Paul Cézanne, Le Rocher rouge - 1895-1900
Huile sur toile, 92 x 68 cm - Paris, Musée de l’Orangerie
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée de l'Orangerie) / Hervé Lewandowski

Auguste Renoir
Rochers à l’Estaque
1882
Huile sur toile, 66.4 x 81 cm
Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Legs de John T. Spaulding
Photograph © 2013 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Aix-en-Provence Paul Cézanne
Le Rocher rouge
1895-1900
Huile sur toile, 92 x 68 cm
Paris, Musée de l’Orangerie
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée de l'Orangerie) / Hervé Lewandowski Claude Monet, Antibes - 1888
Huile sur toile, 65 x 92 cm
Londres, The Courtauld Institute
© The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The courtauld Gallery London