Wednesday, July 26, 2006
One of the cool things we did while in France was visit Cezanne's studio in Aix en Provence (sorry no photos allowed). To see Cezanne's studio exactly as it was when he painted in it so many years ago was a rare treat. He hand mixed the wall color himself - a sort of Paine's Gray that served as a completely neutral backdrop. Some of his still lifes were still set up around the studio. A couple of American artists bought the property several years back so the studio would not be lost. It warms my heart that folks cared enough to save this piece of history, and the bucolic setting that surrounds it. There's a small forest around the property that makes you feel as if you're in the middle of the country.
Aix en Provence itself is a lovely city. Tree-lined streets, old buildings sitting like jeweled dowagers waiting to be adored, and enticing shops filled with beautiful goods. We had lunch at Les Deux Garcons in Aix that day. Brigitte took us there for authentic French cuisine and for the history of the place. The restaurant has been in business for at least a 100 years, and Cezanne used to frequent it with his pals back in the day. The people watching was great. When we arrived, the waiter seated us behind the table of a middle-aged woman smoking a huge, fragrant cigar. She sat there the entire afternoon, smoking and sipping on her glass of wine, watching the people go by. Where else is one going to see such a sight? Lunch of course was delicious, with plenty of wine, bread and cheese, along with our main courses.