The recently renovated Musée Renoir in Cagnes-sur-Mer gives an insight into the latter years of the artist’s life on the French Riviera.
Just as the movie ‘Renoir‘, starring veteran actor Michel Bouquet in the title role, is announced as the French entry for the Best Foreign movie category at next year’s Academy Awards, the Domaines des Collettes or Musée Renoir in Cagnes-sur-Mer is reopening its doors to the public.
This museum is located in a beautiful house located in the heart of an immense garden of 300 year old olive trees, overlooking the Mediterranean and the Cap d’Antibes.
From 1908 to 1919, this is where the famed impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir spent the last few years of his life and created some of his most renowned masterpieces, despite being crippled with arthritis and mourning the loss of his beloved wife, Aline.
This is also where his son, Jean, one of the most important film directors of the 20th century, fell for model Andrée Heuschling, the red-haired beauty who inspired ‘Les Baigneuses‘ (The Bathers).
After undergoing some major renovation for nearly eighteen months, the museum now appears just as it did when the artist lived there. A bust of Renoir welcomes you as you enter the house, ready to explore the universe of the artist. Inside, you can discover the dining room, the kitchen, the various bedrooms, and Renoir’s atelier with his wheelchair, easel and brushes (pictured below).
Many proprietary items are on display such as old family photographs, but also around thirty paintings, fourteen of which are by Renoir, and nearly thirty sculptures, including some busts and medallions from the master himself.
The artist may indeed be famous around the world for his impressionistic paintings, his ‘Cagnes period’ was also marked by his experience with sculpture, alongside his good friend, Catalan artist, Richard Guino.
Admission is free for under 18s, and costs €6 for adults for a museum visit only. Group rates are available at €4 per person, for a minimum of 20 people. There is also a reduced rate of €8 which gives you access to the two museums, Musée Renoir and Château-Musée Grimaldi.
19, chemin des Collettes
Telephone: 04 93 20 61 07
All photographs © Florence Dubosc