At Essential Sailing, we love the history, culture and cuisine of the places we visit almost as much as the sailing to get there. Our Captain’s Blog brings you a taste of what to expect from our luxury crewed sailing holidays around the French and Italian Riviera. In this blog we admire the distinguished Maeght Foundation of Modern Art.

Sit back and be inspired.

Hidden amid umbrella pines above the village of St.Paul-de-Vence on the French Riviera, this is one of the world’s most distinguished modern art museums. The Maeght Foundation on the French Riviera is no ordinary museum. At its inauguration in 1964, André Mairaux, Minister of Cultural Afairs, described it as ‘a world in which modern art can both find its place and that otherworldliness which used to be called supernatural’.

The Maeght Foundation was the brainchild of Amié and Marguerite Maeght who were art dealers and close friends of many artists, including Matisse, Miró, Braque, Bonnard and Chagall, and it was their private collection that formed the basis of the museum. Their aim was to create a living home for creation with accommodation for artists, and the ideal environment in which to display contemporary art. To achieve this, they worked in close collaboration with Catalan architect José-Luis Sert, a former pupil of Le Corbusier.

The resulting buildings blend artfully into the natural surroundings, respecting the curves of the landscape, and incorporating beautiful terraces, gardens and ponds where contemporary artists have given free rein to their inspiration. Look for Miró’s Labyrinthe – a fantastic multi-level maze of mosaics, sculptures, fountains, trees and ceramics; Chagall’s vast, joyful canvas La Vie; and Cour Giacometti – a tiled courtyard peopled with skinny Giacometti figures. There is also a chapel on the grounds, built in the memory of the Maeghts’ son who died in 1953 at age 11, which contains striking stained glass windows by Braque and Ubac.

Inside the museum, the remarkable permanent collection consists exclusively of 20th century art and includes works by nearly every major artist of the past 50 years; these are displayed on a rotation basis throughout the year, except during summer when temporary exhibitions are held.

Richard Reeves is the founder of Essential Sailing and if you have been inspired to relax on a luxury sailing holiday, why not make this idyllic world your reality.

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