Inspiration: South France

“Provence has a treasure; it’s a Colombe d’Or. It has the precious scent of thyme and nostalgia and the golden colour of olive oil and happy days. The Colombe is a part of my life. For me, it’s a place that’s as full of promise as of magnificent memories. The Colombe is indefinable, inimitable.” (César)

Artists like Braque, Léger, Miró, Chagall, Villon and Picabia “all loved La Colombe d’Or, and went there regularly – to find some peace, or to have a party!” (p. 20) … “At La Colombe d’Or, art continued to make its history! Friendships also. There were also Lino, Serge, André and others, who arrived in the fullness of time and chance. And of course there were Yves Montand and Simone Signoret, whose profound friendship for the Roux family was what brought them together. It was at La Colombe d’Or that they got to know one another, fell in love, got married and settled down together for life.” (p. 80-83)

Art is everywhere in La Colombe d’Or: in the bedrooms, in the hallways and, most of all, in the dining room, casually adorned with a Picasso depiction of a flower vase, a Braque rendition of a lobster and a golden Miró that mirrors the warmth of the Mediterranean light. Works by these celebrated hands hang next to some by unknown artists now barely remembered, all displayed in a haphazard, almost 19th-century fashion: The paintings in the hotel’s collection do not have formal plaques or labels; there are no guidebooks, no pamphlets. Outside, a giant Calder mobile dances over the swimming pool, and a Léger mural of the hotel’s namesake, the dove, surveys the terrace.

There is a fantastic book by ASSOULINE on the Colombe d’Or that is recommendable.

The Maeght Foundation or Fondation Maeght is a museum of Modern Art on the Colline des Gardettes, a hill overlooking Saint-Paul de Vence in the southeast of France about 25 km (16 mi) from Nice. It was established by Marguerite and Aimé Maeght in 1964 and houses paintings, sculptures, collages, ceramics and all forms of modern art.

The collection includes works by many important 20th-century artists including Jean Arp, Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Sam Francis, Alberto Giacometti, Wassily Kandinsky, Ellsworth Kelly, Fernand Léger and Joan Miró among others.

The building was designed by the Spanish architect Josep Lluís Sert, houses more than 12,000 pieces of art and attracts “on average, 200,000 visitors … every year”.There is a small chapel dedicated to Saint Bernard, in memory of Bernard, the son of Aimé and Marguerite Maeght who died of leukemia, aged eleven.The foundation is entirely independently funded with no reliance on state subsidies. Adrien Maeght is the chairman of the foundation’s administrative council, which also includes Isabelle Maeght and her sister Yoyo Maeght.