July 04, 2008

Cote d'Azur 3 - Nice and Cannes

After driving through Nice a couple of times to get somewhere else, we decided "enough of the traffic!" and to take the train from Antibes to Nice to 'do' the main museums - those were MATISSE and CHAGALL.

From the train station we walked uphill (and uphill) to the Boulevard de Cimiez looking at the lovely old villas along the way. It is a pleasant walk and one can enjoy the silence compared to the bustling city left behind. Situated in a park surrounded by an olive garden, the Musee Matisse has a collection of paintings spanning the length of Henri Matisse's career. The collection of works was left by the artist (and his heirs) to the city of Nice where he lived from 1918 until 1954.

for more information on Matisse and this museum, check out the web site: http://www.musee-matisse-nice.org/anglais/index3.html

This is a photo of the exterior of the museum, note that the blue shutters are the actual windows and the rest is trompe l'oeil (French for "trick the eye"), an art technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects appear in 3D instead of actually being a two-dimensional painting.

We then walked down the street to the Musée du Message Biblique Marc-Chagall (Marc Chagall Museum of Biblical Themes)and although I wasn't the biggest fan of Chagall before walking in the door, I became an instant convert to his style and art. I loved this museum.
Small, intimate, surreal...classic Chagall! This museum's modern architecture is the perfect host to Marc Chagall's large format oil painting. The Musée contains only 17 large canvases, and a few other exhibits so you do not get intimidated by an infinite number of works of art glaring at you from every wall. This is a museum with human proportions.

Twelve of the pieces depict different chapters from the Old Testament. Vibrant and colorful, each painting displays the expressive and emotional style of Chagall. But it was the texture seen in each piece, the intenseness of colour and overlaying layers of images that so entranced me. The benches encouraged you to sit and take in the art from a distance, but the piece itself pulls you closer for further examination.

for more information on Chagall and this museum, check out this web site: http://www.destination360.com/europe/france/chagall-museum.php

Then we took the train south to Cannes and arrived just in time for the first day of the 61st Festival de Cannes - wow, just to be there to experience the excitement and craziness that overtakes this small town that comes alive for the world famous film festival. As an extreme movie buff I loved being able to attend a small part of this - can't wait until September when some of the art films I heard about here finally come to Calgary for our International Film Festival.

The 12 miles of beach become a tent city, one end used by small countries inviting film makers to their part of the world for movie magic; to the other end filled with schmoozing and boozing. The themed parties come complete with bouncers, chandeliers, and some amazing interior decorated decors.

the hotel where celebrities stay and are mobbed by the fans waiting outside

the famous red carpet

a carousel decorated with past movie posters... one of which being Audrey, of course

for more information about the most famous film festival in the world, check out their web site:www.festival-cannes.fr/en/festival

and back in Antibes (where the famous PICASSO museum was closed for repairs for a year and a half and supposed to open a week after we left town!!!) I did love the bathing suit models who say it all about a day on the beach along the French Riviera...

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