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Welcome to Rodin, Cocteau, Renoir...

True land of the arts, France has always inspired many artists, it is not Leonardo da Vinci who would deny it, the genius of the Renaissance having found in Amboise the ideal place to finish the most famous painting in the world (the Mona Lisa). But the hexagon has also inspired many French writers, composers and sculptors, as shown in this selection of artist's houses that can be visited all over the country.

5 places that have inspired painters and sculptor

Auguste Renoir in Cagnes-sur-Mer
Weakened by a lung disease, it was in 1903 that the great impressionist painter settled in the Alpes-Maritimes, seduced by the warm Provencal light. 4 years later he acquires the Domaine des Collettes (photo above) where he will live until his death. Transformed into a museum in the 60's, this neo-Provencal style house designed according to his wishes will inspire him with shimmering landscapes, some of which can be seen on site: in addition to moving intimate archives, the museum has a collection of 16 original paintings and 30 sculptures.

Gustave Moreau in Paris
A true temple dedicated to the Symbolist painter, this provincial-looking house where he lived as a child is quite unknown with the exception of its very instagrammed spiral staircase. With its numerous paintings but also personal objects spread over 4 floors, the museum succeeds in the artist's wager: to make his work prosper through time. It also allows you to see what the home of a successful artist looked like in the 19th century. A beautiful address with an old-fashioned charm to discover.

Paul Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence
The workshop (photo below) of the precursor of post-impressionism and cubism is located in his beautiful hometown where, from the sunny alleys to the café terraces, his presence still seems palpable today. Perched on the hill of Lauves, he settled in 1902 in his house-studio with pink shutters which will not cease to stimulate his creativity. Filled with his memories, furniture and personal objects, the place transformed into a museum is worth the detour, if only to see his last still lifes.

Rosa Bonheur in Thomery
It is a real castle that the great 19th century animal painter and sculptor occupied for more than 40 years. From 1859, she settled in this castle of By in Seine-et-Marne (photo on the right) which then received crowned heads and personalities from all over the world. The place still retains its prestige today: tea room, prestigious suites, swimming pool and spa welcome art lovers but also relaxation.

Auguste Rodin in Meudon
Where he lived his last 20 years and where he is buried, the Villa des Brillants welcomes admirers of the father of modern sculpture with his most famous work, The Thinker. A museum since 1919, the artist's former studio houses a fine collection of works (some of which are reproduced in resin and can be handled by the public), including a beautiful Gallery of plasterwork that the sun illuminates on sunny days.

Equally inspiring showcases for other arts


Jean Cocteau in Milly-la-Forêt

In a 2-hectare estate with gardens, orchard and wooded park, the "bailiff's house" is located in the south-east of Essonne where, far from the bustle of Paris, the multidisciplinary artist (playwright, poet, graphic designer, filmmaker...) settled in 1947. He gave free rein to his creativity even in the decoration: leopard wallpaper, furniture of all types and periods, extravagant canopies ...

This former 18th century mansion with a Louis XIII style is today a living testimony of the one who will join the French Academy in 1955.

Jacques Prévert in Omonville-la-Petite
Fitted out by a friend, a movie set designer, and surrounded by remarkable landscapes, this house where the artist lived the last seven years of his life is located near Cap de la Hague in the English Channel. It was in the 1930s that the poet, who became popular thanks to his colloquial language and his play on words, fell under the spell of this "corner of paradise", but he did not buy this friendly house until 1970. Opened to the public in 1995, it well restores the atmosphere of what was once a discreet refuge for him, his family and their friends.

Chateaubriand in Châtenay-Malabry
It was in this house in the Hauts-de-Seine that one of the precursors of French Romanticism wrote most of the famous "Memoirs from beyond the grave". From 1807 to 1818, he laid out the estate and created the Vallée-aux-Loups park covering 14 hectares. Even if he had to part with it 2 years after losing his ministerial status, the place still preserves many documents on the writer as well as period furniture.

Maurice Ravel in Montfort-l'Amaury
One could imagine that the incredible worldwide success of the Boléro would have endowed its author with a large luxurious home, but no, it was in a modest house in the Yvelines that he spent the last 16 years of his life. Situated near the Rambouillet forest, which the composer could see from his home, it was where most of his works were born and where he kept his piano as well as many unusual objects that belonged to him. The small house imposes visits divided into small groups, but don't let this deter you, the discovery is worth the effort.

Valérie from Comme des Français


Discover other artistic places worth to be known :
- The magnificent Caillebotte property
- The Mecca of George Sand's intellectual life
- Josephine Baker's castle