The Picasso Museum in Antibes is really something special. Picasso lived in the area for part of the year in 1946 and was offered space in this beautiful building to produce the larger works he aspired to.
The building, which looks out across the bay, was originally built as a Roman fort and later housed the Grimladi family before becoming a museum.
Picasso, who when he died left behind some 70,000 works, was incredibly productive during his two month period here – gifting the museum 23 paintings and 44 drawings to show his appreciation.
An early adopter of sharing his creative process, Picasso allowed several photographers to record him at work and the scenes are very evocative of that time. It was so inspiring to be in this space where this creative powerhouse actually worked and imagine the comings and goings in this villa.
You can find more images HERE.
I’ve been wandering around soaking up the vibe of the area at different times of the day and, because it doesn’t get light until around 8am and gets dark around 4pm, it seems that the brightest sunlight is mid-morning.
The old town of Antibes has beautiful old street lights on every building that cast dramatic shadows.
Old Antibes is quaint and charming. Very quiet in February which suits my purpose, it would be hard for me to imagine Iris and her friend, Alexander, walking these lanes deep in discussion if it was packed with tourists. I would have liked to stop a while and do some sketches but it was too cold to consider taking my gloves off.
Went on a long walk around the terrain this morning. Antibes and Juan-les Pins share a promontory on the Mediterranean and you can easily walk from one to the other. The coastal landscape is famously spectacular.
I was scouting for settings for particular events, notably a party Iris attends at a spectacular house on the sea, with a swimming pool. I can see that this would have to be set further past Juan-les-Pins as the landscape around Antibes does not allow for the type of luxurious 1930s villa I have in mind.
Sadly today I said goodbye to my little garret and dear friends in Antibes after five weeks – which has flown – and landed in rainy London where I will continue my research for the early parts of my story.
One of the many memorable landmarks in Antibes is this sculpture which is located right on the headland looking out to sea. Created by Spanish sculptor, Jaume Plensa and entitled Nomade, it’s eight metres high and also known as the ‘man of letters’.
Jaume Plensa: “Telles des briques, les lettres ont une potentialité de construction, elles nous permettent de construire une pensée”: ‘Like bricks, these letters have construction potential, they allow us to build a thought.’
Hopefully I will be inspired to find the right letters to construct and convey my thoughts!