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Travel to the French Riviera Town: Le Cannet in the Footsteps of the Artists

The picturesque French Riviera town, Le Cannet is the artistic & avant-garde soul of the Cote D’Azur. It is only 3 kilometers north of Cannes and is perched on a hill. This lovely town offers the most exquisite views of Cannes below and the blue, shimmering Mediterranean seas beyond.

Le Cannet’s Artistic Past

This French bohemian town boasts a rich artistic past. Many famous artists stopped by for visits only or for extended periods of time. Inspired by the views, they set up their easels and painted the incredible views surrounding them.

In particular, three notable artists left their mark in Le Cannet – the post-impressionist Pierre Bonnard, Henri Lebasque and Theo Tobiasse . Bonnard loved this town so much, that he resided here for the last twenty years of his life. Henri Lebasque was his next door neighbor.

Pierre Bonnard Painting of Le Cannet
Pierre Bonnard Painting of Le Cannet [Public Domain]

Le Cannet and the Arts

Today, this town continues to draw the artisans from near and afar. Hence, Le Cannet is named ‘Villes et Metiers’ d’Art’, a town of the arts!  As a visitor, you cannot miss the artistic presence.

Where to go? What to see? My Le Cannet Travel Tips

1. Le Cannet Old Town

Wander through the picture-perfect streets of the charming old town. The streets are dotted with beautiful artisan studios, galleries, craft shops and jewelry workshops. In between, you will find lovely boutique shops, quaint cafes, delicious bakeries and restaurants.

Le Cannet will tantalize all of your senses.

Walk along Rue St. Sauveur. At the top of the street you arrive at the town’s square ‘Place Bellevue’. From here you get the unbeatable views of the Bay of Cannes below.

Just sit and relax in one of the outdoor cafes or restaurants and sip on the region’s famous orange wine. Watch the sun set across the Riviera, painting it’s hues across the skies, reminding us of the artistic beauty of life itself!

The French Riviera town - Le Cannet - La Place Bellevue
The French Riviera town – Le Cannet / Photo by Jpchevreau

Visit the Mural called: Le Mur des Amoureux de Peynet. This mural was painted by the artist Raymond Paynet and it is located on the façade of one townhouse in the old town. The mural depicts a newly wed couple flying over Paradise, with cherubs holding up the bride’s veil. It is called ‘The Lover’s Wall’ – a visual poem to all newly married couples. Address: 2-18 Jard de l’Edem, Le Cannet

Le Mur des Amoureux de Peynet - The French Riviera town - Le Cannet
Le Mur des Amoureux de Peynet – Le Cannet
Photo by okshare (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

2. Musee Bonnard

To celebrate the close connection of Le Cannet with the world famous French painter, Pierre Bonnard, the town established a beautiful museum dedicated to him. It is the only Pierre Bonnard museum in the world.

Musee Bonnard in the French Riviera town Le Cannet
Le Cannet – Musee Bonnard / Photo by MOSSOT

Musee Bonnard is definitely worth visiting. As well as showcasing a wonderful permanent collection, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Press here for more details about current exhibitions, opening times and ticket prices.

3. The Bonnard Walking Trail

After a visit to the museum, go on a walking tour “In The Footsteps of Pierre Bonnard”. The tourist office in Le Cannet offers free guided tours showing the places linked to Bonnard. Press here for details.

4. Saint-Sauveur Chapel

This centuries old chapel is an absolute gem and a must visit when in Le Cannet. In 1889 Theo Tobiasse, a famous Israeli/Lithuanian/French artist, was asked to decorate the Saint-Sauveur Chapel around the theme: Celebration of Life.

Saint-Sauveur Chapel - Le Cannet
Saint-Sauveur Chapel / Photo by Jpchevreau

Tobiasse’s artworks bring this historical chapel back to life. Inside the chapel, Tobiasse paints magnificent frescoes on the walls. Like Marc Chagall, he intertwines biblical themes with universal messages of peace, love and harmony.

The artist also designs colorful stain-glass windows that glisten their beautiful colors within the chapel.

Outside, above the entrance to the chapel, Tobiasse creates a beautiful mosaic made from marble, natural stone and glass.

You can visit this chapel on your own. However, if you want to hear the stories and meanings behind the symbolic frescoes, guided tours in French or English are available. To make a booking for a tour, call at least 48 hours in advance. Tel: +33 4 93 46 34 27

Everything in Le Cannet can be visited by foot, so no car is needed!!

For more travel tips on other French Riviera towns, see the articles below: