In this installment of Positive Vibes, we are thrilled to share how places can bring inspiration and how people – like Paul Cézanne – have used that inspiration to change the rules and innovate along the way.
Situated along the edge of the quintessential Provençal town of Aix-en-Provence, the white limestone Mont Sainte-Victoire overlooking the city along with the surrounding countryside were frequent subjects of works by Aix-native Paul Cézanne. So why was he so spellbound by this motif? Frankly, anyone who has traveled around Aix can certainly understand why these lurking peaks tempted his artistic palette so very much. No matter where you are, as you travel around the area – whether hanging out in a café or strolling along one of her breathtaking passages – its jagged summit seems to follow and create an ever-perfect backdrop.
While this 1000-meter high mountain that rises high above the vineyards and villages was actually the place where, at her the foothold, the ancient Romans gained their first key stronghold against the Teutonic barbarians in 102 BC – the rocky peak has contributed even more to the world of art, thanks to the ground-breaking artistic genius of Cézanne. In fact, he painted the mountain nearly 90 times since 1870, approaching it from different angles, showcasing different influences and colors, and demonstrating how he was actually changing the rules of art by painting perspective inaccuracies on purpose – a precursor to Cubism.
It was Cézanne’s unique perspectives that actually influenced other artists to take unusual risks in art, effectively evolving the art world. Picasso, Matisse, Braque, and Metzinger – studied Cézanne’s portrayals of Mont Ste-Victoire and his other motifs, leading them straight into Cubism and, in essence, 20th-Century modern art. The difference is that Cézanne tackled the various elements altogether, keeping him at the forefront.
Given his prominence in the groundbreaking genres of Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, and Cubism, Cézanne is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of modern art. As such Picasso’s famous quite rings true…Cézanne was the father of us all.” And his treasured Mont Sainte-Victoire soars above all.
As you start dreaming of your future travels, we invite you to check out the spectacular scenes that inspired Cézanne on our 9-day Provence & The French Riviera vacation that takes you to discover the picture-perfect town of Aix-en-Provence. This fascinating trip visits Provence, a region in southeastern France bordering Italy and the Mediterranean Sea, known for its diverse landscapes – from the Southern Alps and Camargue plains to rolling vineyards, olive groves, pine forests and lavender fields. To the south you will delve into the Côte d'Azur (or French Riviera), where the elegant city of Nice and glamorous resort towns such as Monaco and Cannes line the coast. Here, all your wishes can come true!