21—30 May, 2013
IMPRESSIONS of FRANCE: Paris, Provence & Nice
Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso – with artistic commentary by best-selling author and art historian Ross King.
Tuesday, 21 May: Depart from USA for Paris
Wednesday, 22 May: Arrive in Paris and transfer to Hotel Lotti (www.hotel-lotti-paris.com) for two nights. We will meet with author Ross King at the hotel. King's book, The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism (2006) was met by much critical acclaim and considerable commercial success. By contrasting the works of Ernest Meissonier and Édouard Manet, the book chronicles the dramatic transition by which the Impressionist painters changed the artistic vision of the late 19th and early 20th century. King received Canada's 2006 Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction for this book.
Thursday, 23 May: Morning visits to Musée de l'Orangerie (www.musee-orangerie.fr) and Musée Marmottan Monet (www.marmottan.com), with time to rest up in the afternoon before an evening visit to the Musée d'Orsay (www.musee-orsay.fr), with dinner at the museum's gracious restaurant (shown at left). The former restaurant of the Hôtel d'Orsay, on the first floor of the museum, is still as magnificent as it was when it opened in 1900. The sobriety of the new construction by the architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte sets off the dazzling chendeliers and the painted and gilded ceilings of this dining room, listed as a Historic Monument. The chef, Yann Landureau, offers traditional French cuisine, interspersed with dishes that are linked to museum current events.
Friday, 24 May: The morning is free before we transfer to Gare to Lyon to take the TGV train to Avignon. We will then transfer to La Bastide Rose (www.bastiderose.com), where we will stay for the next four nights. We have the Bastide for our exclusive use during this time. We will have drinks on the terrace (at left) before dinner at 8:30 pm.
Saturday, 25 May: Today will be devoted entirely to Cézanne when we visit Aix-en-Provence. Included will be a visit to Cézanne's studio, the family home at Jas de Bouffan and, of course, the Le musée Granet (www.cezanne-en-provence.com) in Aix itself. The house is still in some disrepair but one is able to distinguish many scenes that he depicted in his works while living there. The studio is in a small park on the edge of town and had a fine view of Mt. Ste. Victoire.
Aix itself is a bustling University town boasting the beautiful, broad, tree-lined Avenue Mirabeau. There are many small cafés and brasseries here where you can get a light lunch before the museum visit in the afternoon.
Dinner will be back at the Bastide.
Sunday, 26 May: This morning will be spent in nearby L'Isle-sur-Sorgue, which has one of the premier antique markets in Europe. On Sundays, the banks of the river are lined with stalls and the stores are all open. It is also the day for the regular food and bric-a-brac market, and will surely take up the full morning whether you buy, stroll or just sit and watch the world go by – a highly recommended pastime!
We will then drive to Avignon for the afternoon, stopping for a light snack before visiting Le musée Angladon-Dubrujeaud (www.angladon.com) in the afternoon. The museum is home to a collection of works by major artists from the 18th, 19th & 20th centuries, kept by Jean and Paulette Angladon-Dubrujeaud, heirs to the famous Parisian couturier and collector, Jacques Doucet. Jean and Paulette Angladon-Dubrujeaud, painters and engravers, generously provided for their former home to be transformed into a museum to hold the collection they had inherited and added to. Perhaps one of the most striking pieces is a Modigliani painting.
There will be time for you to explore a little on your own before returning to La Bastide for dinner in the evening.
Monday, 27 May: Today we will visit two extraordinary places: Les Baux de Provence (left) and Arles.
With titles such as "Listed resort," "Town of Outstanding Taste," and one of the "Most Beautiful Villages in France,"Les Baux de Provence continues to strengthen its image as a prestigious location within the Alpilles regional country park. the village is unique because it has a slightly more magical atmosphere and is slightly more famous than other places. Yet the essence that gives Provençal villages their very special charm and scent can also be found here – small squares, shady pavement cafés, narrow streets and shops. We will spend the morning here and have lunch (included) in one of the finer restaurants here.
In the afternoon we will visit Arles. Arles is a good example of the adaptation of an ancient city to medieval European civilization. It has some impressive Roman monuments, of which the earliest – the Arena (left) and the Roman theatre – date back to the 1st century B.C. During the 4th century, Arles experienced a second golden age, as attested by the baths of Constantine and the necropolis of Alyscamps. In the 11th and 12th centuries, Arles once again became one of the most attractive cities in the Mediterranean.
Within the city walls, Saint-Trophime, with its cloister (shown at left) is one of Provence's major Romanesque monuments. And, of course, for all lovers ot art, it was the city in which Van Gogh painted many of his famous canvases.
This evening we will have a farewell reception at the Bastille.
Tuesday, 28 May: This morning our coach will take us to the Mediterranean, where our first stop will be the lovely city of Antibes. The Musée Picasso (www.antibes-juanlespins.com/les-musees/picasso), located in the Chateau Grimaldi, re-opened in July 2012 after two years of restoration, so it should be a highlight of the day.
We will have lunch nearby (included) here before the afternoon museum visit. We will continue the short distance to Nice, our destination for the last two nights, where we will stay at the Palais de la Mediterranée (palais.concorde-hotels.com), situated right on the Promenade des Anglais. The evening will be free.
Wednesday, 29 May: In the morning we will visit the Russian Orthodox Church and The Matisse Museum (www.musee-matisse-nice.org), which is located on a hill above town next to Roman ruins. The museum contains not only works of art, but many of the objects that were frequently used in the paintings by Matisse.
From here we will go to the hilltop village of St. Paul-de-Vence, where you can have lunch at one of the fine restaurants in the village.
In the afternoon, we will visit La Fondation Maeght (shown at left – www.fondation-maeght.com). Painters and sculptors collaborated closely in the realisation of this Foundation with Catalan architect Josep Lluís Sert by creating frequently monumental works integrated into the building and gardens: the Giacommetti courtyard; the Miró labyrinth filled with sculptures and ceramics; mural mosaics by Chagall and Tal-Coat, a pool and stained glass window by Braque. A true museum in nature, the Maeght Foundation is an exceptional site that contains one of the most important collections in Europe, with paintings, sculptures, drawings and graphic works of art from the 20th century (Bonnard, Braque, Calder, Chagall, Chillida, Giacometti, Léger, Miró...) and contemporary artists (Adami, Kelly, Kuroda, Monory, Tàpies). Depending on the possibility of opening, we will visit the Matisse chapel in Venice.
Dinner this evening (included) will be at one of the fine restaurants in town.
Thursday, 30 May: Transfer to Nice for departure for USA. If you are traveling on Delta, there is a direct flight to JFK at 1:50 pm. All other airlines necessitate a change in Paris.
Reservations: $750/person deposit. Please make check payable to Adventures, Inc. and mail payment with booking form to Jean Glasel, 15 Colton Street, Farmington, CT 06032. Email Jean at email@example.com or call 860.674.1114 if you have questions or need further information.
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