I’m back from some good two weeks in Provence, together with family – and meeting some blogger friends. Most of the time I spent in Arles, on which I already made a post on my previous blog, some two years ago, so this may be some kind of repetition. Anyhow...

Arles has a long Greek, Celtic and Roman history and the city has still a number of more or less complete buildings from those but also from medieval times.
The days were hot and it was nice to find some refreshments in the gardens ... and especially in the bars and restaurants.
I did not make use of any of the fully booked hotels. (The statue is of the province’s most famous poet, Frédéric Mistral, Nobel Prize winner 1904.)
Of course the reputation of Arles is to a large extent linked to Vincent van Gogh, who spent some very productive months here 1888-89, joined...

... by Paul Gauguin, who portrayed Vincent.

Picasso was a frequent visitor, especially for watching the bull fighting in the old Roman arena. He offered a large number of paintings and drawings to the city, which you can find in one of the city’s many museums (Musée Réattu), most of them representing Arles ladies (“arlésiennes”). One painting (from 1937, the same year as Guernica, with Lee Miller supposed to be the model) is inspired by van Gogh’s portrait of Madame Ginoux, his landlady.
Another famous lady of Arles is of course the person with the so far longest confirmed lifespan, Jeanette Calmant; she died at the age of 122 in 1997. (She met van Gogh when she was 13.)

Other Arles personalities include fashion designer Louis Féraud and the Gipsy Kings. Another fashion designer, Christian Lacroix, was also born in Arles and there is of course a small Lacroix shop to be found. Actes Sud, an important book publisher, and Harmonia Mundi, a famous label especially for classical music, have their homes in Arles.
Arles pretends to be a European centre for photography with French National School of Photography. This year takes place the 40th Photography Festival, with exhibitions all over the city. It’s a must for all the world’s leading photographers to exhibit here.
Several exhibitions take place at some by the French Railways abandoned workshops; a large area which is under transformation (by Frank Gehry) to an “image city”, planned to be ready latest 2013, when Arles, in cooperation with the close bigger city Mareseille and Aix-en-Provence has been chosen to be European Capital of Culture.

However, what I personally prefer about Arles is just to walk around the old houses and the narrow streets, just feeling the atmosphere.
... and of course the beaches of the Mediterranean are not far away!


James said...

Outstanding post Peter. I enjoyed the photos and information very much. Provence seems like a very nice place to visit. I hope to do just that someday.
Cheers and welcome back!

from cali said...

Welcome back and WOW! I will need to look at this post a few more times to take it all in. What a pleasant task for me.

Virginia said...

I'm with Cali!. So much to see and read about. What a wonderful collection of images from Arles. Just beautiful. You were pretty busy with that camera Peter! Bravo.

Thérèse said...

"Two week in Povence" by Peter...
A wonderful compilation of images and so much to dream about for the ones who live far far away.

krystyna said...

Welcome back, Peter!
Nice to see you here!
I like the old houses too and you showed perfect those beauty and atmosphere.

Karen said...

Welcome back, Peter. Looks like you had a very good time in Arles. So many photos and they are wonderful.. Now I want to go there, too.

I like that you found a cat to photograph, too.

Shammickite said...

Peter, you're back! So good to see you here again. And what can I say about Arles? What a fascinating place. And not only for it's connection to Van Goug, but the architecture, the history, the atmosphere, and of course the sunshine. I'm so glad you had such a wonderful place to explore.
I too have been on vacation, to Newfoundland, and I am posting some pictures of the city of St John's, and the surrounding area.

Blind Fly Theater said...

Oh, Peter... You are back!!! You went away just as I showed back up... it is a pleasure to be in sync with you again! Bonjour, my friend.
And what a spectacular note to come back on... such a feast for the mind and eyes. It is amazing how full of life and pleasure your collages are. In fact, I will return again, just to soak this one post in. I will focus for now on the most exciting attraction for me... The connection with van Gogh and Gauguin. I have been in love with Vincent's work for decades now, and have had recurring affairs with Paul's work. I think there is a tie between van Gogh and Monet in my book when it comes to my favorite artists of all time... but, I'm sure I share those preferences with millions. I've never been able to fully jump-start a Picasso infatuation, though it is interesting.
I am also finding the vision of a future European Capital of Culture very tantalizing...
Well, I could go on and on... I think I'll save some soaking on a return visit tomorrow.
I really wanted to quickly hop over and say I'm so very happy to have you back, my friend!

Nathalie H.D. said...

Ah Peter, ce billet est une petite merveille du sud. Tu as bien fait de le poster. Ca a été un plaisir de te retrouver. La prochaine fois à Paris ?

Catherine said...

Lovely visuals in this post - your collages are quite stunning and the info is really interesting too..thanks!

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Welcome back Peter! U were missed! I'm glad to note that you had a great time!

Good pictures as ever!

Thanks for the write-up too! Pretty informative. I didn't know Gipsy Kings were from here......I listen to them often and they are a fav!

Cuckoo said...

Welcome back, Peter. We were missing you.

The paintings are marvelous.

It is nice to see people are wearing summer dresses in August end. Winter is far off.

How good or bad is Arles from Nice, another southern french place ? Can we compare or are they totally different ?

Cergie said...

Les vacances à Arles façon Peter ne devaient guère reposer....
(J'attends avec impatience les vacances au bord de la Mediterranean).

Olivier said...

beau contrasme avec la premiere photo tres calme, et la folie de toutes les autres. Une tres belle ville toujours en mouvemeht

lyliane six said...

J'aime beaucoup cette ville,tu n'as pas eu trop chaud? mais au moins toi tu as vu l'Arlésienne, mais mieux Nathalie, elle bien en chair et en os.Mon dos va mieux merci.
Bon retour et peut être à bientôt.

hpy said...

Je comprends qu'Arles a pu inspirer des artistes - et avec succès, si on regarde les échantillons que tu nous montres - mais à moi cela me rappelle qu'un de mes clients l'a demandé vendredi de trouver un camion pour y aller, et que je n'ai encore rien trouvé! Il faut que je commence à travailler un peu plus sérieusement...

Cezar and Léia said...

Welcome back dear friend!
All of us miss you a lot!
Wonderful post!A Cultural and beautiful city , a place to visit for sure!
I enjoyed a lot the collages about master artists!I would love to visit the Arles exposition about photography.
Thanks for sharing and I'm waiting for see more about "La mer"!

Bettina said...

How great to have you back, Peter ;-) and your vacation photos are just wonderful.
Hope you're now full of new energy to feed the rest of us with Paris stories again - you know it's addictive.

Maya said...

Picasso sure got around! We loved our time in Provence too. Just wandering the streets of the little villages was great! It will be awhile before I get photos up of that area. I still have most of my Paris shots to put up!

SusuPetal said...

Welcome home again, Peter.

A beautiful post of Arles, I've always liked to visit there, it's so full of history and beauty.

alice said...

Le sud grâce à tes photos me convient très bien, j'évite la foule, les bouchons, les ronchons et la chaleur!
Virginia t'a "panthéonisé", tu le sais? ;-))

Adam said...

Welcome back to Paris! Any new resolutions for the rentrée?

I've never been to Arles but it looks lovely.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back.

I enjoyed this large post very much. It looks like everyone else liked it too.

✿France✿ said...

Un endroit que j'adore merci pour ces photos

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

What a beautiful and majestic post you have published here!

Nature's Brickwork

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the "tour". Lovely photo collages.

Bergson said...

belle promenade j'aime beaucoup le montage des peintures

arabesque said...

salut peter! ca va?
j'espere que t'as eu une bonne vacance...^-^
your Arles tour is so informative... esp.that of frank gehry's latest creation and of van gogh's history and gauguin,both i literally admire...
welcome back and hoping to read and see more of your upcoming posts... can't wait!

thanx for droppin by...

arabesque said...

salut peter! ca va?
j'espere que t'as eu une bonne vacance...^-^
your Arles tour is so informative... esp.that of frank gehry's latest creation and of van gogh's history and gauguin,both i literally admire...
welcome back and hoping to read and see more of your upcoming posts... can't wait!

thanx for droppin by...

Kate said...

Peter, Thanks for your recent visit to my blog. I LOVE this outstanding post of yours, esp. re. the artists. Right now my internet service was erroneously cut-off and are waiting for its restoration. I'll be back as soon as it's restored!!

Parisbreakfast said...

Talk about a LOT of photos!!!
I could never top this!
FAB Peter vacance :)

sonia a. mascaro said...

Welcome back, Peter! Sounds you and your family had a great and lovely time.

I loved those wonderful photos and information very much. Provence looks a very beautiful place to visit. Thanks for sharing!

Rob Siemann said...

Absolutely fantastic montage! Yes, la Provence is a wonderful place!

Harriet said...

Welcome back Peter!

Had I known that you were going to be in Arles, I would have recommended that you stop by Le Calendal Hotel for an afternoon snack on their patio. A great place to sit and relax.

This is a great post. Enjoying the memories..........

Love your photo on Virginia'blog.

EMNM said...

Welcome back Peter!

Nice pics, i been in Arles two years ago, i like it very much

Virginia said...

My goodness! Your portrait on my blog has been a huge hit today. You'll be signing autographs next!HA
I'll have to find some more to post!! :)

Wania said...

Salut, Peter!
Je m’appelle Wania et je suis brésilienne.
J’ai aimé ton blogue et J’adore Paris aussi!

Belle promenade. Les photos sont magnifiques.
Bom retour!

À bientôt,

Cheryl said...

How Lovely! I spent a wonderful few days in Arles about ten years ago. We stayed at this apartment rental, $20 a night, dinner with the family and a trip to a nearby castle included. I would love to go back there.

Anonymous said...

No, I like mush, Peter and will drive miles to get it if I can't get Patty to fry it for me. LOL

PeterParis said...

Yes, if you haven't been to Provence, you must try it! :-)

from cali:
Welcome back as many times as you like! :-)

Many days without camera, a few with! :-)

PeterParis said...

If I add all my visits down there it will certainly make the year, maybe two!

Thanks, I'm happy if you are pleased! :-)

The cat was so nice, just stayed there and let me take several photos! :-)

PeterParis said...

I saw your Newfoundland pictures! Marvellous!!

For a quick look, you have really absorbed a lot... everything! :-)

A Paris, je veux bien! :-)

PeterParis said...

I would definitely say the same thing about your blog and posts which I only recently discovered! Thanks for coming here! :-)

Gipsy Kings are still around, but hardly working any more! :-)

Arles is very different from Nice (some 3 hours away by car). Nice is a much bigger city and is directly on the coastline, close to the Italian border, whereas Arles is fairly close to Marseille. (I can go on, but...) :-)

Tu n'auras pas d'images de la plage! :-)

Il y a des quartiers visités et des qurtier non visités! :-)

PeterParis said...

Oui, j'ai vu Nathalie, et Alain, en cher et en os! Oui, il faisait chaud, mais au bord de la mer ou au resto le soir on est bien! Je suis content pour ton dos! :-)

Le travail d'abord! :-)

I didn't bring the camera to "la mer" this time! Sorry! :-)

PeterParis said...

I feel "fit for fight" all right, but I may have to leave blogging soon again, for a while. I will make a few posts ... and then be back more seriously! When do you arrive? :-)

I hope you have a good excuse for being so late in sorting the photos! :-)

Arles is waiting for you! :-)

Unknown said...

Welcome back, Peter! Glad to know you had a great time in a place with amazing historical sites as you show on the 1st collage. Wonderful post!

PeterParis said...

Oui, j'ai vu!
Vaudrait mieux visiter Arles en avril, mai, septembre... ! :-)

No new resolutions! I see that you are now concentrating on walking tours and personalities! Nice! :-)

Nice if you are pleased! :-)

PeterParis said...

Bien, je ne suis donc pas seul! :-)

I did my best (to make it short)! :-)

A pleasure! :-)

PeterParis said...

Ca fait du bien de marcher! :-)

Glad you liked it! :-)

Even a short visit by you is nice! :-)

PeterParis said...

I'm sure you can! ... and with a painting on top of it all! :-)

Provence IS nice! :-)

Few people who have been around would say that they didn't like it! :-)

PeterParis said...

I know the Calendal, have stayed there quite often. This time I had a nice lunch in the patio! Good! :-)

Glad you like it also! :-)


PeterParis said...

Thanks for coming here! I visited you major blog, which really looks nice, but I have of course a language problem! I will be back anyhow and do my best to understand! :-)

Sounds like you made a good deal there! Glad you enjoyed! Any paintings from Arles? :-)

OK, good, noted! :-)

Rob said...

Welcome home! So much art, and as you know, Paris itself is a living art gallery.

claude said...

Je connais un peu Arles pour l'avoir visitée en compagnie de mon ex beau-frère, (le Père d'Alex. Il était d'Arles et d'origine Bulgare. J'y avais rencontré un de ses amis, le chanteur gitan Manitas de Plata.
Ma frangine que j'allais cherchée à la sortie de son boulot, a travaillé chez Louis Féraud, juste devant l'Elysée à Paris. Mon ex beauf connaissaît un tas de gens. C'est comme cela que j'ai dansé avec le couturier Ungaro, à leur mariage, ici en Sarthe.

Capy89 said...

Wish I were there ^^!
Thank you for the interesting information about Vincent van Gogh, he's my favourite artist!

Unknown said...

Thanks very much peter for sharing interesting photos and story. I enjoy reading this post.
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Neva said...

It looks like it was a great vacation.....the cat is adorable!

Mona said...

Wow! So much Art in Arles! And all my favorite painters too!

It sure seems like you had a lot of fun out there!

crocrodyl said...

Fantastic post Peter! So many beautiful photos from awesome city. I love the atmosphere of such places. I see that it is a great destination to spend nice time!

PeterParis said...

Nice to see you back here! :-)

Dusty Lens:
Art all over! :-)

Que du beau monde!! :-)

PeterParis said...

Vincent is a favourite of many of us! :-)

Thanks! :-)

The cat was nice and like to be photographed! :-)

PeterParis said...

Nice indeed! :-)

The whole Provence is worth to be visited! :-)

Ruth said...

Ahh, I dream of one day wandering there and finding my own blue shutters.

PeterParis said...

You will easily find the blue shutters! :-)

richard said...

Hi Peter - I'm a bit late in welcoming you back to Paris (and the blog world) - but your absence is worth it because we get post like these. The Pont du Gard is amazing, considering the antiquity. Beyond the destructive powers of the barbarians. Thanks for the visit to NZB and pointing out the Arles Photography event - and M Ronis who is approaching his 100th birthday and still living in Paris.

You remind me also that I have yet to visit the big van Gogh exhibition in Basel. (I should do it out of duty to UBS who are the main sponsors)

PeterParis said...

A bit late... but your comments are always welcome! :-)

GMG said...

Wow! Arles is wonderful and your post shows why...
Awesome collages!!

PeterParis said...

Thanks! :-)