Antibes’ art scene comes into full bloom in spring each year. The 21st April saw the arrival of the Antibes Art Fair, just days before the closing night of the Monaco Spring Art Festival, which plays host to some of the finest classical musicians of our time each year. There really is no better time to be an art lover on the Riviera.
‘If you want to see the Picassos from Antibes, you have to see them in Antibes’. Picasso
Perhaps the reputation of Antibes’ art scene lies with Picasso, when he took up residence in the Grimaldi Castle in 1946. It is easy to imagine why he chose this medieval fortress on Antibes waterfront as his studio; such a setting was sure to inspire his creative mind. He produced several works from the castle – now know as Museé Picasso – including paintings, drawings, tapestries and ceramics, 23 of which he later donated to the museum. Picasso’s second wife, Jacqueline, left many more of his works to the museum in 1990, and today it displays 245 of the artist’s masterpieces, amongst selected works of modern artists including Miró and Ernst. Open all year round, the Museé Picasso boasts a charming garden and a terrace café with a sea view. It is the perfect place to while away an afternoon.
Just minutes’ stroll away you will find Le Nomade hugging his gigantic knees as he stares longingly out to sea. This impressive sculpture by Catalan contemporary artist Jaume Plensa is created entirely of letters of the alphabet. Installed in 2007 at the end of the walkway at Port Vauban, it is sure to tug at the heartstrings of anyone that wanders near.
A little further along the coast, Monaco is abuzz with the sounds of the Spring Arts Festival. 2018 marks the 33rd anniversary of the annual event, which is currently taking place in several of Monaco’s grand concert halls. The festival was founded at the request of Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace, née Grace Kelly, and has since become a melting pot for some of the world’s greatest orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, the Royal Ballet of Cambodia and the Kimbanguist Symphony Orchestra. It also hosts a variety of conferences and masterclasses for the festival musicians each year. This year’s festival runs until 29th April.
Meanwhile, Antibes’ 40th annual Art Fair is in full swing. Each year art enthusiasts from across the world flock to the heart of the Riviera to explore the antique, modern and contemporary art on offer from the prestigious gathering of art galleries and dealers. The Antibes Art Fair opened on 21st April and will run every day until 8th May, and guided tours of the exhibition are available, on a limited basis.
We are so lucky to have this wealth of culture right on our doorstep. With the arrival of the warm weather, this really is a wonderful time of year to be a Parc du Cap resident.