As there were several art lovers in our party, we headed off on a local train to Aix, the home of Cezanne, to visit some art galleries.
We walked through Marseille past triumphal arches….
…smart new trams….
…and up the broad street that leads to the imposing station steps….
…where we caught a local train that brought us to the much more modest station in Aix-en-Provence.
As you can see, we were once again blessed with perfect weather, sunny but not too hot and perfect for a stroll round the town.
After admiring a fine fountain at the bottom of the street…
…we walked up the celebrated Cours Mirabeau, a tree lined and traffic calmed thoroughfare rich with shops, fine houses and cafes.
It has somewhat less grand fountains along its way.
Near the top of the Cours…
…we found a convenient cafe and gave ourselves a moment of rest before starting the serious business of the day, a visit to two galleries.
There were some impressive doorways to be seen near the cafe.
After our coffee, we walked through the quiet back streets of the town…
…until we came to the Granet museum.
In the museum, there was a special exhibition of the work of Charles Camoin (1879-1965), a local artist described as a French Expressionist Painter Associated with the Fauvism Movement.of whom I had never heard. It turned out that he had painted a lot of pictures that were well worth looking at.
Mrs Tootlepedal liked the one on the left, a picture of the artist’s mother in her salon and now she thinks that she should have a salon too. I liked the one on the right as it shows the view of Notre Dame across the harbour that I had taken many pictures of myself.
But there were many other paintings that were most enjoyable. (A search for Camoin in the image section of Google will show up lots of the pictures that we saw in the exhibition).
After a good browse round the Camoin show and a rather quicker dash trough the permanent collection (not so interesting) we headed out through the quiet streets…
…in search of lunch. It is not hard to find an eating place in Aix and we were soon sat down.
After lunch, we hit the second of our museums, this one devoted to the collection of Jean Planque, an art dealer who had managed to acquire a fine selection of works by his contemporaries. The collection was housed in the Chapelle des Pénitents Blancs which had been brilliantly converted to be a gallery.
It was a pleasure just to be in such a sympathetic space but the collection of works including paintings and drawings by Degas, Renoir, Gaughin, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Bonnard, Klee, Leger, and Dubuffet as well as other less well know figures was worth looking at too.
After we came out, the party separated and Mrs Tootlepedal and I wandered about enjoying the ambience.
We passed many fine buildings…
…and a tower with two clock faces and a tunnel….
…on our way to and from seeing the cathedral…
…which had the builders in as cathedrals often do.
We had a brief look inside and although it was traditionally gloomy in a cathedral like way, it was more decorated than British cathedrals are.
We visited a side chapel which had remnants of the first stones from 600 AD. I took an art shot in black and white.
Then we went back outside into the sunshine and walked gently through the town. Mrs Tootlepedal was a bit alarmed by the free manner in which this young lady was swinging her leg over the edge from high up on a building. She hoped that it was firmly attached to the rest of her body.
We avoided stopping at any of the many cafes which were crammed into every available corner …
…and made our way right through the centre of town. We took a seat in the shade in a handy park near the station for a while…
…and looked at the vegetation in an idle manner…
..and then had a cup of coffee and a tarte aux pommes each before catching the train back to Marseille. The others had returned on an earlier train but we met later for another fine fishy meal. I had scollops followed by a delicious sorbet. The day was an education for me.