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  • Visit museums dedicated to individual artists including Bonnard, Chagall, Picasso and Léger

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

  • Discover the varied collections held at the Fondation Maeght and the beautiful Ephrussi de Rothschild Villa

“I just loved this tour. It has given me new perspectives on so many artists. Wonderful!”
“I loved it from start to finish"

- ACE customer on a previous Art on the Côte d’Azur tour

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 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 Andrew Spira (MA). Andrew is an art historian who studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art and City University, London. He has worked at Temple Gallery, London; as a Curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum; and as Programme Director at Christie’s Education. Andrew has been leading cultural tours across Europe for over 20 years, and lectures widely on topics ranging from Russian icons to Renaissance art and the paintings of Picasso, Matisse, the Cubists and the Fauves. He is the author of books including Simulated Selves: The Undoing of Personal Identity in the Modern World (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020) and Foreshadowed: Malevich’s Black Square and its Precursors (Reaktion Books, 2022). Having led ACE’s Art on the Côte d’Azur tour in September 2023, he very much looks forward to introducing another ACE group to the region next summer.

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