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south of france galleries

With its inspiring and stunning natural scenery, it’s no
surprise that the south of France has been home to some of history’s most
influential artists. Several towns which hug the coastline of the French
Riviera, such as Montpellier, Toulouse and Arles all boast an impressive art
heritage, and have attracted the likes of Picasso, Van Gogh and Chagall. Here
are just some of the best art galleries to visit while staying at our south of
France villas

Musée Fabre, Montpellier

Hosting a number of important 19th century paintings,
the Musée Fabre is perhaps Montpellier’s most famous art gallery. It has
recently undergone a huge renovation with a €62m facelift, adding a new wing to
the museum, a new walkway, designed by Daniel Buren, and a new façade to its
Insense restaurant. Famous for being home to a number of Fauvist works, among
the artists whose work is on display are Frederic Bazille, Gustave Courbet and
Francois-Leon Benouville.

Carré d’Art, Nimes

Built in 1993 by English architect Norman Foster, the Carré
d’Art is Nimes’ museum of contemporary art, standing out against the other
museums as a gleaming modern showpiece. Constructed from a combination of
concrete, aluminium and glass, the Carré d’Art hosts a number of visiting
modern art exhibitions, and paves the way for the future of art in the south of

Van Gogh art trail, Arles

This is not strictly an art gallery, though still an
enriching art experience which also allows you to take in the scenery of the
beautiful city of Arles. Van Gogh’s time in Arles was a hugely important one,
as it was where he lived and painted with Paul Gauguin, famously cut off his
ear and faced a further decline into mental illness, and much of this has been
shown in the artworks created during this time. Today you can walk around Arles
and see some of the scenes portrayed in his paintings, with some of them even
remaining unchanged.

Musée Rigaud, Perpignan

The south-western town of Perpignan is a hidden gem when it
comes to art and culture, with the Musée Rigaud being the town’s main museum of
art. A former 17th century palace, the museum was once the workshop
of artist Hyacinthe Rigaud, who often created works for the court of Louis XIV.
Several other great artists such as Picasso and Cocteau also followed in
Rigaud’s footsteps, with the museum today home to an impressive collection of
paintings created by its former residents.

Ceret Modern Art Museum, Ceret

Close to the Spanish border is the town of Ceret, where
you’ll find another of France’s best modern art museums. The museum is home to
many of the artistic highlights of the past century, honouring the pioneers of
modern art such as Matisse, Picasso, Dali and Chagal. Located in the heart of
the city, there’s nowhere else you’ll find such an impressive collection of
modern art by several world-renowned artists.

Image: sabin
paul croce
, available under Creative Commons

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