The French Riviera has a lot to offer with regards to art. French Riviera art is about painting, sculpture, architecture, pottery, and many other art forms are represented as well.
Nice and Grasse offer some fine examples of Gothic and Baroque architecture; there are also many examples of ancient Roman architecture, such as in Frejus and Cimiez (Nice).
Grasse is internationally renowned for its perfume factories, and its international perfume museum.
Some very famous painters were inspired by the beautiful light conditions, and spent a lot of time here, which is reflected in a number of museums dedicated to their art.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, one of the great impressionist painters, moved to Cagnes-sur-Mer in 1908, where he lived until his death in 1919. His house, known as "Maison Renoir" was bought by the town of Cagnes-sur-Mer and is now open to the public. Twelve original paintings as well as some twenty sculptures are exhibited permanently in the house. Open daily to the public; more information on is available on the web site of Cagnes-sur-Mer.
Henri Matisse, famous French painter, lived in Nice from 1917 until his death in 1954.
His self-proclaimed "chef d'oeuvre" or masterpiece is the Chapel of the Rosary, in the town of Vence.
Since 1963 Nice is home to a Matisse museum, located at 164 Avenue des Arènes de Cimiez, 06000 Nice.
See also the Nice Matisse Museum website.
Pablo Picasso, Spanish artist, spent most of his life in France; the last twelve years of his life Picasso spent in Mougins. The "Museum of Photography Andre Villers" presents a large number of portrait photographs of Picasso, taken by several renowned photographers, including those taken by Andre Villers.
The Picasso Museum in Chateau Grimaldi, Antibes, where Picasso stayed and worked for 6 months in 1946, permanently exhibits work from Picasso.
The Museum of Oceanography in Monaco offers fascinating exhibitions and presentations of marine life and marine environments, notably on the Mediterranean. Jacques Cousteau, famous French ocean explorer, was a director of the museum.
The Kerylos Villa in Beaulieu-sur-Mer was built in the early 20th century, by French archeologist Theodore Reinach. The villa is an exact replica of an ancient Greek villa.
The villa is open for the public; in addition, guided activities such as pottery (including baking and glazing) are on offer.
Very much recommended! More details on the Villa Kerylos website
The Museum of Modern Art , known as MAMAC, in Nice, houses permanent and temporary exhibitions of the most famous names in modern art, local, national and international.
Address: Place Yves Klein, 06000 Nice. More information on the MAMAC museum website.