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Post Impressionism Artist Paul Cezanne & his Life in Aix-en-Provence

The post-impressionism artist Paul Cezanne was born in the town of Aix-en-Provence. In his life time, he was virtually an unknown painter. However today, Paul Cezanne is a celebrated household name all over the world and especially in Aix-en-Provence.

When visiting Aix-en-Provence, you can follow Paul Cezanne’s footsteps by exploring the streets, places, and landscapes that he loved and painted. In fact, pretty Aix-en-Provence provided Cezanne with endless artistic inspiration.

Aix en Provence - The home of Cezanne- Artist
marcovdz  on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Aix-en-Provence – In the Footsteps of the Post Impressionism Artist Paul Cezanne:

Cezanne’s Studio (Atelier De Cezanne)

For lovers of Paul Cezanne’s artworks, I highly recommend that you visit his painting studio where he workied in the final four years of his life. The studio is only 50m2 in size but it is full of objects that he used in many of his famous still life paintings.

Also, you can read letters that he wrote to his fellow friends & fellow painters, Monet and Manet.

During your visit, you will feel like Paul Cezanne just popped out to paint his beloved mountain, Sainte Victoire and will be back shortly to finish another painting.

A wonderful audio guide is available for 3€ and it is well worth the extra cost. For more information, press here.

Cezanne’s Family Home – Bastide du Jas de Bouffan

When Paul Cézanne was 20 years old, his father, the wealthy banker, bought the Jas de Bouffan Estate.

TIP: To visit this house, you need to book a guided tour in advance at the Tourist Information Office. To book send an email to: reservation.aixenprovencetourism.com

The guide takes you into what was once the family home of Paul Cézanne. You will see one of the main rooms which was once Cézanne’s studio. In addition, you will be able to explore the surrounding gardens.

The guides are excellent and tell delightful stories about Paul Cezanne, his life in Bastide du Jas de Bouffan and in Aix-en-Provence.

Family home of Cezanne - Artist of Aix
Bastide du Jas de Bouffan by Ivan Herman on Flickr
(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

To get there, you can walk there from Aix going westwards from Rue Celony to Cours des Minimes which becomes route de Galice. Or take a number 8 bus to the Corsy stop.

The gate to the house is on the left side of the road. The large, shady garden has plenty of seats to relax if you are early for your tour.

While you are relaxing in these gardens, remind yourself that Paul Cezanne began plein-air painting (painting outdoors in the open air) from this garden. In fact, he painted his first canvas of the majestic Sainte-Victoire mountain here.
For more information about this estate, press here

French famous landscapes -  Saint Victoire mountain - Aix en Provence
Sainte-Victoire mountain – Aix-en-Provence
Paul Cezanne artist - cubism style
Sainte-Victoire mountain from Bibemus Quarry – Paul Cezanne , Artist
Wikimedia Commons [Public Domain]

The Granet Museum

Musee Granet is a lovely museum with an impressive collection of art from the 14th to the 20th century.

Musee Granet in Aix en Provence
Musee Granet by Elliott Brown on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

In particular, it has a fantastic collection of the impressionists and post-impressionists. The Collection includes paintings, drawings and sculptures of famous artists such as Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Degas and Cezanne from the 19th century. It also showcases paintings of major 20th century artists such as Bonnard, Picasso, Braque, Dufy, Laurens, Léger, Klee, Bissière, De Staël and Dubuffet.

The Bibemus Quarries

Not far from Aix-en-Provence are the magnificent, orange ochre rock Bibemus quarries. Paul Cezanne often came here to paint as he loved the colors and rock formations. In fact, it was right here where Cezanne started experimenting with elements of cubism in his paintings, laying down the foundation of cubism art by the next generation of artists such as Braque and Picasso.

Paul Cezanne art
Bibemus quarry – Paul Cezanne art [Public Domain]

It is a beautiful place to visit even if you are not a fan of Paul Cezanne. The incredible orange ochre rocks are magnificent natural wonders and it should not be missed. Take note that the trail is a little rough and only suitable if you have no mobility issues.

The quarry can only be visited with a guide, but it is worth doing the tour. The guide will tell you the exact locations of Cezanne’s most famous paintings. The tour in the quarry takes around one hour. To book a tour, press here.

Another way to see these fabulous sites, is to book a two hour walking tour with the Aix Tourist Information. It only costs 10 euros per person. Press here for more details

If you plan to base yourself in Aix-en-Provence, great accomodation options are available on Booking.com. Click on this link to view your options.

I hope you enjoy your visit to Aix-en-Provence and the many wonderful sites of Aix’s highly celebrated ‘son’ Paul Cezanne!