"Action is the foundation key to all success."
This wasn’t just an idle quote from the artist. Pablo Picasso thrived on action. He loved movement, changes, exploring new areas, dabbling in new ways to express himself as an artist. Even in his romantic relationships there was much movement – Picasso, it seemed changed his women each time he changed his style.
to Provence in 1946 seemed to have an even more profound change in the artist.
His blue period in Paris was over and from Antibes his first stop, he produced
some of his most joyful works.
As you look out of the fortified windows of Chateau Grimaldi out towards the blue Mediterranean, it’s easy to see where his inspiration came from and understand his enthusiasm.
“I’m not only going to paint, I’ll decorate the museum too,” he said jubilantly.
His painting, La Joie de Vivre reflected the mood of the sixty five year old; France was free once more, Europe was recovering from World War 2 and the master was in love.
then moved to Vallauris a couple of miles away -- to discover the wonderful
world of ceramics. He played, experimented and worked with unconventional tools
such as kitchen knives for surface patterns, plates and cups, whatever he found
His major artwork in 1952, War and Peace was the last of his political compositions. When Picasso donated the two compositions painted on hardboard panels of over 100m2 to the French State in 1956, Vallauris gained its own Musée Picasso.
spent some time in Cannes with new partner Jacqueline Roque but it was getting
too noisy there, too many high buildings were spoiling his view of the
Mediterranean, and besides, he was getting internationally famous.
move in 1959. This time the couple moved inland to Vauvenargues near Aix en
Provence at the foot of the famous Mount ST. Victoire.
When Picasso bought the property he was already in his seventies; he assumed he would spend the rest of his life there so had most of his bronzes and paintings stacked in the many rooms of Château Vauvenargues.
His appetite for painting did not stop though, he continued with a passion. The famous, Le Déjeuner sur L’Herbe, was painted in Vauvenargues.
When he turned
80 the couple moved back to the Cannes area in 1961; Picasso wanted to be
nearer his doctors. The village Mougins,
was not new to Picasso; he’d already been to this quiet hillside location.
Picasso spent the last 12 years of his life there until his death in April
The artist who said “love is the greatest refreshment in life” was lucky. He had Jacqueline by his side when he died.
Trailing with Picasso in the South of France:
Musée Picasso in Château Grimaldi Antibes www.antibes-juanlespins.com
Musée National Picasso Vallauris and War and Peace memorial, www.musee-picasso-vallauris.fr
Château de Vauvenargues, Aix-en-Provence; group visits only arranged through Musée Granet www.museegranet-aixenprovence.fr