Provençal furniture by Janice Lert

provencal furniture 1Furniture has evolved over the centuries as our needs have been identified and satisfied by craftsmen able to procure the necessary materials — in the case of Provence mostly wood and metal. Under the French monarchy, the nobles were eager to copy the types and styles of furniture that were being used in the king’s court and thus furniture, like clothing, constantly evolved according to what was in fashion. However, the needs of a farmer in his mas in the provençal countryside were not necessarily the same as those of the noble living in a mansion house, so it is sometimes necessary to distinguish between two different movements. When we speak of typical provençal furniture today, we are referring to objects which represent a good synthesis of the two: lovely carved pieces of furniture that were originally useful in farmhouses but were adopted by the provençal community at large for their decorative qualities.


The new Van Gogh Foundation in Arles by Janice Lert

the new Van Gogh Foundation in Arles 1In the 1980s, when people in Arles began to realize that 100 years had passed since Vincent Van Gogh had set foot in the city, the need was felt to create some kind of artistic homage to the famous artist who had immortalized their city in his portraits and landscapes. As a result, in 1983 Yolande Clergue, wife of the Arlesian photographer Lucien Clergue, created the Van Gogh Association. Realizing that most 20th century artists owed something to Van Gogh, and knowing that her association would never have the means to possess true Van Gogh paintings, her idea was to invite contemporary artists to contribute works that were inspired by Van Gogh.


The Marquis de Baroncelli and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show by Janice Lert

Folco, Marquis de Baroncelli, was a member of the provençal aristocracy, born on November 1, 1869 in Aix-En-Provence. The Baroncelli family had arrived in Avignon from Florence, Italy, during the 16th century, when the city belonged to the Popes. They later married into a local aristocratic family, the Javons, so, even though Avignon was not legally French, the Baroncelli-Javons had a status in France as citizens and held close relationships with the kings of France.

Baroncelli and Buffalo Bill 0


Sur le chemin de R.L. Stevenson Association, 20 years old this year

Sur le chemin de RL Stevenson Association 1The “Sur le chemin de Robert Louis Stevenson” Association will turn 20 in 2014, a great opportunity to celebrate with a special event.

Date: 7-11 November 2014
Places : Florac to St-Jean-du-Gard


Van Gogh’s cafés in Arles by Janice Lert

During the 15 months that Vincent Van Gogh spent in Arles (1888-1889), the cafés were among his favourite spots. In addition to food and drink, he could get acquainted with the locals there, find heat in the winter (it is doubtful that his yellow house had any), and cool shaded terraces in the summer. Before Paul Gauguin’s arrival Vincent dined regularly in a public establishment, from the time when he arrived in February 1888, and arranged for room and board at the Hotel- Restaurant run by the Carrel family, through the period in the summer of 1888 after he had decided to move into the Yellow House. So it is natural that these cafés appear in some of his paintings.

Van Gogh s cafes in Arles 1


Association franco-britannique du Comtat Venaissin by Marie-Jacqueline Ballagh

Association franco-britannique du Comtat VenaissinWhen I first arrived in Carpentras, over a quarter of a century ago, I didn’t know anybody. I used to love browsing book and record shops but really it was just an excuse to talk to people. I also joined the parent-teacher’s association at my children’s primary school and by chance found myself sitting next to another expat.

He told me about a group of English people who lived in the area and who met once a week at the Café de l’Univers.