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Destinations · Europe · france · French Riviera · Museums and galleries ·

Musée Renoir (Cagnes-sur-Mer)

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Musée Renoir (Cagnes-sur-Mer)

There are few places on the French Riviera where the buzz of the cicadas is so dizzyingly loud as in the park surrounding the house that once belonged to the French impressionist Auguste Renoir. Its alleys fringe 300-year-old olive trees and profusely blooming lavender bushes, while the terrace by the house has a breathtaking panoramic view of the Mediterranean.

Foto: Musée Renoir (Cagnes-sur-Mer)Foto: Musée Renoir (Cagnes-sur-Mer)

Having recently reopened after reconstruction, the stone house, Les Collettes, was purchased by Renoir in 1907 on a trip to Cannes to seek relief for his arthritis. Like his peers, Renoir had been entranced by the Mediterranean colours and the exceptional light of southern France, and the house was fated to became the last home in which he would reside. The inside of the house is as spartan as can be, revealing the unpretentiousness in which the artist spent his days. Although the rooms are smallish, they have high ceilings and large windows; the kitchen has a very elementary cooker – everything is purely functional, without any unnecessary embellishment. Arguably the most significant room in the house is the grand atelier, with a stone fireplace on one side, and in the middle of the room – a wooden easel attended by a wooden wheelchair. Renoir also had another, smaller studio in the house, one with a view of the sea. Overcome by arthritis, the artist continued to paint until the hour of his death, on 3 December 1919. In whole, the house has 14 of Renoir's paintings on view, as well as family picture albums and other documentary objects that illustrate the life of the artist. Also exhibited are Renoir's sculptures, which were made with the help of his younger friend, the artist Richard Guino; Guino literally took on the role of being “Renoir's hands” during the great artist's final years. Today, Renoir's house-museum is one of those quiet, inspirational places where you just want to simply “be”; allow yourself to absorb its colours, smells and sounds, and of course, the glimmering light reflected by the turquoise waters of the nearby sea.

19 Chemin des Collettes

06800 Cagnes-sur-Mer

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