In the Footsteps of the Great Artists:

The Birth of Modern Art


July is lavender and sunflower season - the perfect time of the year to experience Provence in her full glory, as you meander through the fragrant purple hills and bright yellow fields that have made Provence landscapes legendary.

Traveling with Discover Provence you will be treated as one of the family.  Chandri has been taking guests to this region for over 20 years, and will bring you into her friends’ homes and businesses.  You will experience Provence as if it were your own home.

Your accommodations are in a fully equipped Provence mas complete with swimming pool and kitchen, where you can choose to have your morning breakfast, or join the group at the main house for lively conversation.  Your home is in the beautiful village of Rustrel, “The Colorado of France”, known for her beautiful red clay panoramas.  Here, we will be joined by local experts in the fields of food, wine, art , and the history of the region.

Your stay includes all breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners, all local transportation, entrance fees, and excursions as listed below. Excursion dates are flexible due to festival schedules.



In the Footsteps of the Great Artists:

The Birth of Modern Art

Everyone says, “It’s the light” that brings artists to Provence, but until you travel there you can’t understand that, truly, IT IS THE LIGHT!  The mistral wind, a local subject of daily conversation, blows fiercely throughout Provence, clearing the air of any pollution, particles, anything blocking the powerful rays of the sun.  The light here is sharper, clearer, and more magnificent than can be imagined.  And it is here that modern art was born.

Van Gogh:

Van Gogh spent his most productive period in Provence, in the Roman city of Arles and in St. Remy.  This period included his strained relationship with Gauguin, which precipitated the artist famously cutting off his ear.  The Café Van Gogh remains in the Place du Forum (Roman Town Square) just as the artist painted it a century and a half ago.  The newly created Van Gogh Foundation in Arles exhibits a rotating gallery of Van Gogh paintings, breaking the hundred year absence of the artist’s work in the city.  Van Gogh spent his final days in the Sanatorium in St. Remy where he remained productive, creating some of his best-known work.



Cezanne’s home city of Aix-en-Provence remains the site of the artist’s atelier (studio), preserved precisely as the artist left it a century ago.  We will travel to Aix and visit the artist’s beloved Mt. St. Victoire, which captivated the artist and is the subject of numerous of his most famous works.  Cezanne died climbing his beloved mountain, carrying his easel and paints. Cezanne’s exploration of the underlying forms of nature was to inspire many artists after him, notably Picasso, who called Cézanne "the father of us all".



Picasso stayed faithful to Cézanne, buying several of his paintings for his personal collection, and eventually acquiring the 17th-century turreted chateau of Vauvenargues on the northern slopes of Sainte-Victoire itself. "I have just bought myself Cézanne's mountains," he said.  Picasso moved to Aix-en-Provence from the Riviera and stayed from 1958-1965 with Jacqueline Roque, his second wife and protective companion for the last 20 years of his life. He produced many fine paintings here, in muted colors, influenced by the austere mountain terrain.  It is here, close to the spirit of Cezanne, that he chose to spend the last years of his life.


Your specialized art and artist tour of Provence includes:


  • Visit to Arles where we will trace the footsteps of Van Gogh, and visit the Van Gogh Foundation.  We will also tour the Rencontres d’Arles, the illustrious and world’s largest photography festival.  Every summer since 1969, Arles has surveyed contemporary photographic creation and practice and become a yearly meeting place for all genres of the medium, from photojournalism to fine art photography.


  • We will visit the atelier de Cezanne – Cezanne’s studio, which remains exactly as the artist left it a century ago. 

  • Free time to stroll down le Cours Mirabeau, one of the most beautiful boulevards in the world.  You can choose to stop at Les Deux Garcons café , where you will become part of history joining artists and celebrities as diverse as Cezanne, Picasso, Churchill, Edith Piaf, Jean Paul Belmondo, and Jean Cocteau.

  • Visit to the Musee Granet  including works by Cezanne, Giacometti, Picasso, Leger, and Mondrian.


Les Baux de Provence

  • Visit to Les Baux de Provence, a perfectly preserved medieval city that still echoes tales of maidens in distress and knights in shining armor, including entry into Carrieres de Lumieres, a unique experience of art, sound and light, currently exhibiting Picasso and the Spanish Masters.


St. Remy

  • Visit to the Sanatorium where Van Gogh spent his final days

  • Explore the open air market

  • Visit the birthplace of Nostradamus


Saint Saturin Les Apt

  • Lunch in the local spectacular, and yet still undiscovered by tourists, four star resort and restaurant in Saint Saturin Les Apt, Le Domaine des Andeols.



  • Travel to the Avignon Theatre Festival – the largest and most prestigious in the world, and experience the excitement of a city that swells from 100,000 inhabitants to 1,000,000 for the festival.


L’Isle sur la Sorgue - The Venice of France

  • Built on a the banks of a river and the antique center of the region. L’Isle sur la Sorgue is known as the Venice of France. We will have an opportunity to visit the world famous Sunday Antique Market and meander through the beautiful village.


Fontaine de Vaucluse:  Site of the Deepest Natural Spring in the World

  • We will travel on to L’Isle-sur-la-Sorge’s sister village on the river, Fontaine de Vaucluse, site of the world’s deepest natural spring.  Here we can visit the Call of Freedom a museum dedicated to the French Resistance during World War II. Here you will have the option of taking a kayak down the scenic and crystal clear river, ending back at L’Isle sur la Sorgue