Braque pool, Fondation Maeght. Photo: Fern Nesson

On the art trail in Provence? Don’t miss the Fondation Maeght, a world famous cultural institution and one of France’s most important private art foundations. (In fact, it was the very first in the country– inaugurated in 1964 by Charles de Gaulle’s legendary Culture Minister André Malraux, who was a close friend of the Maeghts.)

The location in Saint-Paul de Vence is magical. Set on the brow of a hill permitting a distant view of the Mediterranean sea, the Foundation is devoted to 20th century modern art. The gardens include an outdoor courtyard dotted with Alberto Giacometti sculptures, a labyrinth by Joan Miró, a tiled pool by Georges Braque and a sculpture garden with several works by Alexander Calder and Joan Miró, amongst other notable artists.

Giacometti courtyard, Fondation Maeght. Photo: Fern Nesson

When I visited in July, the entire ground floor of the museum was filled with an extraordinary collection by Joan Miró. Prints, drawings, paintings and sculptures all projected pure joy. More sombre, but equally lovely, was a breathtaking room filled with Giacometti sculptures.

Calder sculpture, Fondation Maeght. Photo: Fern Nesson

Designed by architect Josep Lluís Sert, the building itself is architecturally striking. (Sert also conceived the studio of his friend Joan Miró in Palma de Mallorca.) Beyond the stellar permanent collection, temporary exhibitions are organised regularly. You’ll also find two rooftop terraces, a cafe, an art library and a gift shop.

DETAILS

Fondation Maeght
623 chemin des Gardette, 06570 Saint-Paul-de-Vence
Entry €16
Tel: +33 (0)4 93 32 81 63
Open every day from 10h-18h, September- June, and from 10h-19h in July and August.

Miro’s palette, Fondation Maeght. Photo: Fern Nesson
Work by Miro, Fondation Maeght. Photo: Fern Nesson
Work by Miro, Fondation Maeght. Photo: Fern Nesson
Fondation Maeght. Photo: Fern Nesson
Fondation Maeght. Photo: Fern Nesson
Fondation Maeght. Photo: Fern Nesson
Fondation Maeght. Photo: Fern Nesson
Fondation Maeght. Photo: Fern Nesson
Fondation Maeght. Photo: Fern Nesson
Fondation Maeght. Photo: Fern Nesson
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