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  • Visit museums dedicated to individual artists such as Chagall, Picasso, Léger and Renoir

  • Find out what made these artists and others travel to the south of France to live and work

  • Experience the work of leading 20th century artists in the peaceful hillside setting of the Fondation Maeght



    Fully booked - click here to view details of our June departure

"The programme was well balanced with a good mix of talks and visits. The visits were very well organised and everything worked beautifully"

“I loved it from start to finish"

- ACE customers on a 2023 Art on the Côte d'Azur tour with Sarah Burles

From the late 19th century onwards, the vivid colours of the Côte d’Azur, as well as the region’s mild climate and dramatic landscapes, captivated a succession of Europe’s leading artists.


Following in Cézanne’s footsteps, Monet and Renoir both visited the south of France in the 1880s, while Signac famously sailed into St Tropez harbour in 1892 and stayed, later building a house and inviting other artists to join him. Matisse arrived in Nice in 1917 and it was not long before his friend and rival Picasso joined him on the Côte d’Azur.


During our week in Nice and its environs we will consider what drew these and other artists to the south of France and explore the legacy they left in the region: from Matisse’s stunning Chapelle du Rosaire to Picasso’s work at the former Château Grimaldi in Antibes and Jean Cocteau’s ‘Salle des Mariages’ at Menton.


A number of these artists have museums dedicated to them, amongst which are the Musée Renoir, Musée National Fernand Léger and Musée Chagall. The latter is home to the twelve great paintings that make up the Biblical Message series, whilst the Musée Renoir offers an opportunity to visit the house of this great artist, where he spent the final decade of his life. It houses a number of his paintings and sculptures, and boasts beautiful views towards the sea.


The great strength of the Musée de l’Annonciade in St Tropez is the collection of works by Signac and the neo-Impressionists, Bonnard and the Nabis, and Matisse and the Fauves. Meanwhile, above the beautiful walled village of St Paul de Vence lies the Fondation Maeght, its pine-wooded grounds adorned with works by Giacometti, Calder and Miró. The Foundation possesses one of Europe’s most important collections of 20th century painting, drawing and sculpture: Braque, Chagall, Léger and Calder are all represented.


We will stay throughout the tour at the four-star Hotel Nice Riviera, ideally situated in the heart of Nice close to the Promenade des Anglais.


This tour will be led by Sarah Burles, MA, who read History of Art at the University of Cambridge before studying for a Masters at University College London and going on to a career in museum and gallery education. This included 12 years at the Fitzwilliam Museum as well as work in other Cambridge museums. Sarah has a passion and enthusiasm for making art accessible, engaging and enjoyable, and runs tours, courses and online lectures. She is an accredited Arts Society lecturer.

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