The landscapes room

Landscape between Provençal tradition and a contemporary approach


Etienne Martin, Le Relais, 1890, coll.Musée Gassendi


The principle of the collection of Provençal landscapes put together by Paul and Étienne Martin is founded on the dream of a rural Provence advocated by the félibre ideal embodied by Frédéric Mistral. The paintings by Raphaël and Aimé Ponson, Alfred Casile, Louis-Denis Valvérane, Théophile Mayan, André-Marius Guindon, Joseph-François Suchet, Paulin Bertrand, Félix Ziem, Eugène Martel, François Nardi, André Gouirand, Henri Aurrens, Camille Corot and Antoine Vollon completely invent an idealised, mythical Provence, reflecting a regionalist ideology that excluded all the avant-gardes such as the Provençal “Fauves”. The collection is mainly organised in scenes of everyday life, seascapes and still life.

A contemporary approach to landscape is provided by River of Earth, a large wall of dried earth by Andy Goldsworthy who made the Musée Gassendi the first of his Refuges d’Art [Refuges of Art]. This work placed in the gallery of 19th century landscape painters, the founders of the Musée Gassendi, invites us to reflect more deeply on the different approaches to representation of the visible world, where Goldsworthy presents the reality of the land as it really is, as opposed to the fictions of painting.

The tour continues into nature itself…

Works in the nature