(credit Maryanne Jacobsen)
During the 19th and 20th centuries, many of the most famous painters in the world were drawn to the ‘midi’ particularly Provence, attracted by the climate and the clarity of the light. The vivid light which is captured on canvas has been inspiring professionals and amateurs for years.
(credit Alain Demarte)
This unique light, across the sunlit landscapes, many believe is partly due the Mistral wind, which removes dust from the atmosphere and therefore greatly increasing brightness and luminosity.
But it is not just artists who have been inspired by the light in Provence. Deborah Lawrenson is a British author whose novel ‘The Lantern’ is set in a Luberon hamlet and according to Deborah ” while the story was all in my mind, the beauty of the Luberon region that provides the backdrop was just there to be captured in words.”
Deborah and her husband have been coming to the region for over 30 years and they had always wanted to buy a place of their own. After they bought an old hamlet on a hillside, nearly seven years ago, Deborah started writing the book which describes many aspects of the Luberon valley and the property. Deborah says, “I love opening the shutters and looking out at the great blue curtain of the Luberon mountains every morning, the way that it changes with the light during the day. The ridges seem elemental, interrupted only by old village settlements. It’s very special“.
Paul Cezanne, born in Aix-en-Provence, lived and painted in this area for most of his life and the Saint-Victoire Mountain featured often in his work as well as L’Estaque. This picturesque fishing village just west of Marseille was painted many times by Cezanne who showed the ever-changing light and seasons.
Vincent van Gogh spent only two years in Provence but his paintings showing the areas of Arles and Saint-Remy de Provence were some of his greatest works. During this short but intense period he produced over 400 paintings and drawings.
Across the Luberon valley the far-reaching panoramas have also been a source of inspiration for many Provencal artists. Paul Guigou, who was born in Villars, focused a lot on the contrast between light and the intense blue skies in his landscape works. The stunning village of Menerbes was home to many artists, including Pablo Picasso who lived there in 1940, and the annual exhibition ‘Rencontres des toiles’ draws painters, photographers and sculptors from all over the world.
This vivid and captivating light is a regional magnet for property buyers as well as artists. Stepping out onto a garden or terrace with a panoramic landscape just invites inspiration.
Perhaps it is time to take a trip to view this area of ‘light fantastic’ and if you are looking for a property where the light is never dull then you might just have found the right place.
HERE ARE A SELECTION OF PROPERTIES TO LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE:
AIX EN PROVENCE
With stunning views of the Aix en Provence only 10 minutes from the centre, magnificent prestigious contemporary property with a dominant position on a landscaped plot of about 3600m2 with a nice south exposed big terrace, a heated infinity pool with Jacuzzi and offering panoramic views of the Sainte Victoire and the surrounding villages.
THE LUBERON – APT
In the heart of the countryside, in a lovely environment enjoying a stunning view of the Luberon and the Mont Ventoux, very charming property with nice garden on a land of more than 2.5acres and a pool surrounded by a large terrace.
THE LUBERON – SAIGNON
Magnificent stone house benefiting from an exceptional view on the Mountain of Lurs, the Mounts of Vaucluse and their perched villages.
THE LUBERON – GORDES
Within walking distance from the heart of one of the most beautiful villages of the Luberon, this splendid contemporary stone house offers panoramic views over the Luberon and Alpilles. The property also offers grounds of 1100m2 with olive trees and a heated swimming pool.
THE LUBERON – GORDES
On top of the world! One of the most unique properties currently for sale in the Luberon. Magnificent volumes and exceptional views create a magic place, set in 6 hectares of authentic terraced gardens with hundred-year-old olive trees and truffle oaks benefitting from a panoramic landscape.
Photo credits courtesy of :
Maryanne Jacobsen: www.maryannejacobsen.com http://paintdance.blogspot.fr
Alain Demarte: www.demarte.fr
Deborah Lawrenson: www.deborah-lawrenson.co.uk/thelantern-extract.html