Modern painters on the french Riviera

In the 20th century, the french Riviera became a sanctuary of modern art. The world’s greatest artists found their inspiration in the Mediterranean light and art of living: Renoir, Bonnard, Matisse, Picasso, Chagall and their successors César, Klein, Arman, Niki de St-Phalle…

Thanks to the New Realists and the School of Nice, the city has become a world-famous centre of avant-garde art. The French Riviera is generally acknowledged as a heaven for contemporary artistic expression. With nearly a hundred museums and over 150 art galleries, the French Riviera offers the broadest range of museums in France after the Parisian region.

Our programme offers the opportunity to better understand our modern painting, starting from a chosen place, guided by a connoisseur. Thus, the luminous landscapes and charming cities will elicit the emotion that was expressed by the talented artists whose works we admire.


Day 1 : Nice - Arrival in Nice.

Welcome at airport or railway station and transfer to the hotel. Check-in. Overnight in Nice.

Day 2: Menton and Jean Cocteau, the “Belle Epoque” time of good life on the Cote d'Azur.

Departure to Menton on the Italian border. End of 2011 the city has inaugurated the new Museum Jean Cocteau which houses in a futuristic building, a fabulous collection of over 1,500 paintings, drawings, ceramics, photos of the years 1910 to 1950 bequeathed by the collector Wundermann Severin. Jean Cocteau doomed a passion to Menton and one can still admire his work in the wedding room of the city hall.

After Menton, we return to St. Jean Cap Ferrat, where we are expected in the Villa Rothschild for a lunch in the dining room, before visiting the mansion built by the Baroness de Rothschild to accommodate her collections, property surrounded by a garden as laid on the sea. Last step is Villefranche sur mer and its port. Walk through the streets of the town and visit of the Chapel of St. Pierre decorated by Jean Cocteau. Back to Nice.

Day 3 : Cagnes sur Mer, Antibes, Vallauris.

Morning drive to Cagnes sur Mer and visit the Villa Renoir with its romantic olives trees garden. We reach the enchanting town of Antibes. Stroll in the typical Provencal market, where you can see beautiful fruits and vegetables. Visit the Château Grimaldi where the Master lived during the autumn 1946 and which houses the Picasso-collection. Picasso had the use of the castle and hung a selection of his works there - ceramics, sculptures, gouaches and sketches, ranging from 1916 to 1947. Free time for lunch. In Mougins, we visit the Photography Museum which shows portraits of Pablo Picasso by the great photographers of his time: Villiers, Doisneau, Duncan, Lartigue, Roth, Quinn, Clergue, and Gatti. Next in Vallauris, visit the well known Atelier Madoura, where Picasso worked on many ceramics. Still now the potteries are very famous in the village. Continue the visit by the romanesque Chapel, where Picasso created his masterpiece called “War and Peace”. Overnight in Nice.

Day 4 : The painters and Religion : Saint Paul de Vence – Vence.

Drive to Saint Paul de Vence and visit the village and its superb modern art and sculpture collection at the Fondation Maeght, including works by Braque - the creator of cubism, Miro -the master of abstraction, Soulage and its black colours, Chagall, Kandinski etc.. After lunch at leisure, drive towards Vence, the typical little provencal town, with the old trees, the places, the little streets. You will visit the famous Rosary Chapel decorated by Henri Matisse. Let’s admire the beautiful yellow, green and blue strain glasses; we are near the villa Le Rêve, where Matisse lived between 1946 and 1954. Overnight in Nice.

Day 5 : Nice, the living paintings.

Guided visit in the old town of Nice, the famous flower market with its many kind of flowers and drive to Museum Chagall, the painter of colourful masterpieces, blue for the sky and eternity, red for passion, yellow for god and white for spirit.

Lunch at leisure. Next visit the Orthodox Church, which is the symbol of the Belle Epoque. Visit next the Museum Matisse, the painter of modern art. Overnight in Nice.

Day 6 : Departure

Transfer at the airport or the railway station.

Our services:

  • 5 x bed and breakfast buffet in a 3* hotel in Nice, rooms with privat shower/bath and WC
  • 1 x lunch in the Villa Rothchild in St Jean Cap Ferrat
  • 4 x full day local guide expert in art
  • 9 x admission to museums: Matisse and Chagall museums(Nice), Villa Renoir (Cagnes sur Mer), Picasso museum (Antibes), National museum (Vallauris), Orthodox church (Nice), fondation Maeght (St Paul), Chapel Matisse (Vence), St Pierre (Villefranche), Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild (St Jean Cap Ferrat), Photography museum (Mougins)
  • Private coach transportation as per program.


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