If you caught the latest Jacquemus fashion show with its star-studded cast and magnificent backdrop, you must be intrigued by the choice of venue – La Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul de Vence, nestled within the picturesque landscape of the South of France.
Founded in 1964, Fondation Maeght is a testament to the enduring connection between art and nature. Designed by the eminent architect Josep Lluís Sert in collaboration with leading artists of the time, the architecture of Fondation Maeght blends human creativity with the surrounding natural beauty. The visionaries behind this cultural institution, Aimé and Marguerite Maeght, sought solace in art following the tragic loss of their young son, and with the support of artist friends like Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, and Georges Braque, they transformed their grief into a sanctuary for artistic expression.
Central to Fondation Maeght’s allure is its extensive collection of 20th-century art, featuring masterpieces by Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Joan Miró, and Wassily Kandinsky. The foundation’s architecture serves as an ideal backdrop, guiding visitors on a charming journey through the evolution of modern and contemporary art.
Beyond being a visual treasure trove, Fondation Maeght’s picturesque surroundings, adorned with sculptures and installations by renowned artists, provide a tranquil retreat for contemplation. From the recently renovated Alberto Giacometti courtyard to every corner of the foundation, there’s an enchanting ambiance that immerses visitors in the world of art.
Adding another dimension to the experience is the gastronomic menu curated by Michelin-starred Les Agitateurs, who have taken charge of the on-site restaurant. This collaboration allows you to savor gastronomic delights against a backdrop of artistic splendor, creating a truly immersive sensory experience.
La Fondation Maeght is a unique and timeless haven where art, architecture, and nature coexist harmoniously. Collaborating with Catalan architect Josep Lluís Sert, world-leading painters and sculptors contributed works integrated into the building and its natural surroundings. The complex encompasses internal and exterior spaces, featuring a sculpture garden, courtyards, terraces, patios, exhibition rooms, a chapel, a library, and a bookshop.
The foundation boasts one of Europe’s largest collections of 20th-century paintings, sculptures, drawings, and graphic arts, including works by Bonnard, Braque, Calder, Chagall, Giacometti, Hepworth, Kandinsky, Léger, Miró, Richier, Tal Coat, Ubac, and contemporary artists like Adami, Bergmann, Calzolari, Chillida, Christo, Del Re, Garouste, Hartung, Immendorff, Kelly, Lam, Mitchell, Monory, Takis, and Tàpies.
The beautifully landscaped sculpture garden within Fondation Maeght serves as a sanctuary for modern and contemporary art, featuring works by Fernand Léger, Pol Bury, Alexander Calder, Takis, Jean Arp, Eduardo Chillida, Erik Dietman, Barbara Hepworth, and Joan Miró. Noteworthy works, such as a monumental mosaic by Pierre Tal-Coat and Marc Chagall’s “Les Amoureux,” are seamlessly integrated into the architecture.
The foundation’s Saint-Bernard chapel, consecrated in 1964, houses a 12th-century Spanish crucifix donated by Cristobal Balenciaga, along with a slate relief Stations of the Cross by Raoul Ubac and a stunning stained-glass window titled “Oiseau Blanc” (White Bird) by Georges Braque.
The Giacometti Courtyard features an exceptional group of plaster sculptures by Alberto Giacometti, including “Homme qui marche I and II,” “Femme debout I and II,” and “Grande tête,” commissioned for the Chase Manhattan Bank plaza in New York but finding their permanent home at Fondation Maeght.
A magical site-specific work, the Miró Labyrinth, was devised by Catalan artist Joan Miró with the assistance of ceramicists Josep Llorens Artigas and Joan Gardy Artigas. This monumental piece, incorporating ceramic, Carrara marble, iron, bronze, and concrete, brings sculpture, architecture, and nature together in a labyrinthine exploration guided by a white line representing Ariadne’s thread from Greek legend.
For art lovers eager to experience this fusion firsthand, Fondation Maeght warmly welcomes visitors to explore its galleries and grounds. Guided tours are available upon request.
Address: Fondation Maeght 623 Chemin des Gardettes 06570 Saint-Paul de Vence, France
The Fondation is open every day from 10am to 6pm (10am to 7pm in July and August).