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Modern Art in the South of France - Post-Impressionists, Picasso, Matisse and onwards

A dazzling combination of light, landscape and world-class art.

An extraordinary range of genres to consider: architecture, stained glass, murals, ceramics, paintings, collage, sculpture.

The vibrant city of Nice is our base throughout: walks along the seafront are the perfect way to end each day.

The trip is led by art historian Mary Lynn Riley, who lives on the Côte d’Azur and teaches at the Musée Bonnard in Le Cannet.

Flights are not included.

  • Nice, 19th-century photograph.
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Picasso, Matisse, Bonnard, Chagall, Braque: the list of artists whose work was changed by the Côte d’Azur is a long one – and on this well-paced, five-day trip we will consider its revolutionary impact. What is really exciting about the region is the juxtaposition of first-rate museums and the places where the artists lived and worked. Sometimes, they are one and the same: as at the Château Grimaldi in Antibes, where Picasso – armed with asbestos-cement panels and tins of boat-builders’ paint – shook off the dread of the Second World War, and began a new phase of his career. The rooms are now hung with the magnificent works he created there.

Day 1

We meet at our hotel in Nice by 5pm, and start the trip with our first lecture – followed by dinner together.

Day 2

The Musée National Marc Chagall in Nice is built around his monumental cycle of 17 Biblical paintings and houses the world’s largest collection of works by the artist. Likewise the city’s Musée Matisse, a villa in an olive grove, where his late collages take pride of place.

Day 3

The collection at the Fondation Maeght in St-Paul-de-Vence includes work by Giacometti, Braque, Miró, Léger, Calder and Bonnard. Nearby stands the Chapelle du Rosaire, Matisse’s masterpiece of abstraction, simplicity and stained glass. Return to Nice for our second lecture.

Day 4

Drive to the Château Grimaldi in Antibes – perched on a plug of rock above the sea, and home to the Musée Picasso. Next stop is Vallauris, to see Picasso’s War and Peace murals and his ceramics, before the Musée Bonnard in Le Cannet. Dinner together in Nice.

Day 5

Our final visit is to the Musée National Fernand Léger at Biot, an exuberant celebration of his work in an epic Modernist setting. We return to Nice, stopping first at the airport by 12.30pm, then at our hotel.

Dates and prices

£1,170 per person sharing in a double room

£1,365 for one person in a double room

Flights are not included.

Accommodation and meals

The hotel: Splendid Hotel & Spa Nice (4 star). Included meals: daily breakfasts and two dinners (with wine).

Getting around

This is not a strenuous trip, although the coach journeys do involve some winding roads. A reasonable level of fitness is required to cope with museum visits, cobbles and stairs.

Guaranteed departure

There is no minimum number of clients required for this trip to run.


Joining and leaving the trip

Flights are not included, you make your own way to and from the starting and finishing point of the trip. British Airways flies from London Heathrow and Gatwick to Nice. Please note CTC does not arrange international or domestic travel. From the airport, you can take a taxi to Splendid Hotel & Spa Nice in the city centre. There is also an express bus (line 98) from the airport to the city, which stops at Congrès Promenade. From there it is a 6-minute walk along Rue Meyerbeer to the hotel (in the opposite direction of the seafront). Please note CTC does not arrange international or domestic travel.

Travel advice

Please check before you book to make sure you are happy with the advice for the places you are visiting.