Art of Provence from Cezanne to Matisse

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • Travel Editions


Best Western Le Galice, Aix-en-Provence
Located just a 10-15 minute walk from the centre of Aix, the three-star Le Galice Hotel offers a restaurant, bar, lounge and outdoor swimming pool. Bedrooms are spacious with en-suite bathroom, air-conditioning, TV, telephone, wifi, safe, minibar, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities.  

Best Western Le Galice Website 

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Lecturer - Gerald Deslandes

Lecture One: Van Gogh, Cezanne and the Landscape of Post-Impressionism

This lecture will look at the way in which the colours and strong shadows of Provence helped to influence the shift from the transient effects of Impressionism to what Cezanne called ‘something solid like museum art.’ It will compare Van Gogh and Cezanne’s approach to landscape and colour and will explain how their abandonment of an imitative approach to nature led to a new and more constructive approach to picture-making. It will place their work in the context of French realism and will explain how their depictions of rural life identified them with ‘primitive’ and socially committed artists who were at odds with the gilded traditions of the Paris salons.

Further details can be found at: see The Fondation Van Gogh

Lecture Two: Picasso, Matisse and the Discovery of the Coast

The talk will pick up on the themes of the first lecture by re-examining the somewhat false distinction between Van Gogh and Cezanne in terms of colour and form respectively. It will show how both artists influenced the work of the Fauves and the Cubists and how their portrayal of the coast as a holiday area contrasted with that of the bustling port of Marseille. It will also explain how the pleasures of modern tourism replaced the older idea of an earthly paradise, which artists had derived from the classical world and from the traditions of Japan and Islam. It will then relate these to the notion of the continuity of the Mediterranean classical world of southern Europe and north Africa, which is reimagined at Mucem, the new museum of the Mediterranean in Marseille.

YOUR LECTURER - Gerald Deslandes 
Gerald studied art history at Cambridge University and London and now teaches BA students and gives lectures to many different art societies. He has accompanied many cultural tours to more than 25 different locations in the UK and abroad, where Provence is among his favourites. He is also a former curator who has organised numerous exhibitions of contemporary art in the UK. 


Please note that all flight times are provisional and subject to airline schedules and changes.

Please note that EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) only allows access to the same state-provided healthcare as a resident of the EU country they are temporarily visiting. It is NOT an alternative to travel insurance and will not provide the same level of cover as a travel insurance policy. The EHIC will not cover any private medical healthcare or the cost of things such as repatriation to the UK or lost or stolen property. It is also important to note that each country’s healthcare system is slightly different, so the EHIC might not cover everything that would be generally free on the NHS. On the EHIC application website, there is a section called Access to Healthcare Abroad which clarifies all the conditions and inclusions.

Places of Interest

Full details can be found in the detailed itinerary of this Art & History break 

Click here to go to the itinerary

  • Europe
  • London
  • Nice
  • Provence
  • Aix en Provence
  • France
Tour Types
  • Air Tours
  • Art/History Tours
  • Cultural
  • 50 plus

Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Marseille. Visit to the waterfront Mucem to examine the museum's fascinating collection on the culture of Europe and the Mediterranean. This will be followed by an afternoon stroll around the Musée Cantini, to see the works by Picasso, Leger, Miro and more. Transfer by coach to Aix-en-Provence (approx. 30 minutes) for check-in to the hotel. This evening there will be a welcome drink followed by a lecture, 'Cezanne, Van Gogh and Post Impressionism', and dinner with wine at the hotel restaurant.

Day 2: Travel to Arles, where, after a walking tour of the cities highlights, there will be a visit to the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh, where one can see the development of his artistic legacy through the exhibited works. This afternoon, travel to Saint-Rémy de Provence, the tranquil village where Van Gogh, in his later years, wander the surrounding footpaths and painted some of his best known masterpieces. From here, visit the hospital of Saint-Paul de Mausole where Van Gogh was treated for mental illness for a year in 1889. He produced 146 paintings 150 drawings during his stay.

Day 3: Today is spent in Aix-en-Provence, exploring some of its many artistic connections. The first visit will be to Le Jas de Bouffan, the home of Cezanne's father, Louis-Auguste, where some of Cezanne's early works were painted and what became a great source of inspiration for him. Afterwards we visit Cezanne's Studio in the hills around the town. It is exactly as he left it, filled with the objects that he painted, and gives a wonderful sense of the man himself. This afternoon we visit the Musee Granet to enjoy the collection of works by 18th and 19th century artists including Cezanne, followed by the Collection Jean Planque, which is housed in a converted chapel, and features works by Picasso, Braque, Leger and many more. This evening enjoy a second lecture, 'The art of Provence: the Mediterranean, Picasso and Matisse' and dinner in the hotel restaurant. 

Day 4: Morning visit to the Carrieres de Bibemus which Paul Cezanne used for inspiration. From here, transfer to Nice for personal exploration with an afternoon transfer to the airport for the return flight to London Gatwick.

NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.


  • Return flights with Easyjet from London Gatwick to Marseille, returning from Nice to London Gatwcik
  • Three nights' bed and breakfast at the three-star Best Western Le Galice Hotel, Aix-en-Provence, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room 
  • Welcome drink and two dinners with wine at the hotel 
  • Two lectures 
  • Airport transfers, tour and entrance fees 
  • Gerald Deslandes and tour manager throughout 


  • Single room supplement 
  • Holiday insurance 
  • Meals other than those stated 
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc 
  • Porterage and gratuities 

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability

Touring with Travel Editions

Offering a wide range of extended tours and cultural short breaks for the discerning traveller, Travel Editions was established in 1994 and is now one of the leading specialist independent escorted tour operators in the UK. The company started with the idea of creating itineraries that were not readily available on the high street, and the team still remains focused on offering escorted tours that appeal to travellers rather than tourists.

Over the years, Travel Editions has developed and diversified its range of escorted tours to include rail tours, air tours, history tours, Christmas tours and even specialist interest tours that have specific appeal for walkers, foodies, art lovers, music addicts and flower enthusiasts. From enjoying wonderful walks and tasty local cuisine in Crete to visiting the art nouveau buildings of Milan and exploring the architectural gems of the Netherlands, Travel Editions creates amazing tours to suit every budget and interest.

As rail transport is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel, the company has carefully developed nearly 30 exciting escorted rail tours that include trips to France, Spain, Brussels, Arnhem, Luxembourg and the Italian Riviera. Travel Editions believes that the journey becomes part of the holiday, and is why this specialist tour operator also offers a range of tours by air, such as Delphi and Mount Pelion in Greece, the beautiful Italian city of Florence, and Paphos, Nicosia and the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus. Whatever the escorted tour or the destination, Travel Editions provides holidays that are packed full of cultural and historic treasures, as well as plenty of free time to relax and soak up the local atmosphere and the regional food and wine.

One of the best things about Travel Editions is that the team can tailor-make all tours to your group’s budget and specification, be it shopping till you drop in New York or tasting the most delicious gastronomic delights of Sicily. Not only can the activities be tailored to meet your requirements but so can the travel options, hotel selection (three, four or five-star hotel) and the whole itinerary. Alternatively, you can simply pick one of the many carefully curated escorted tours listed on the Travel Editions website.

In almost all cases, daily excursions are included in the price of a trip, and all excursions are taken by private coach. The size of the group varies depending on the escorted tour, and Travel Editions limits some holidays to lower numbers to suit the nature of the specific holiday. Walking, culinary and special interest tours are limited to approximately 20-30 passengers, and the Europe by Rail and Europe by Air holidays are limited to a maximum of 35 passengers. Then there’s the UK British Heritage Tours with a maximum capacity of 49, however, some are much less than this. No matter which tours you choose, you will never feel as though you are in a big group.

Travel Editions is passionate about delivering a personal service every step of the way, and its team of experts will arrange your holiday with minimum fuss and maximum effort. Customer service and attention to detail are at the heart of everything they do, plus you will always be treated as an individual and get the benefit of affordable prices by travelling as a group. Another bonus is that Travel Editions is ABTA and ATOL protected, which means your money and your holiday will be protected from the moment you book.

In addition to offering extended tours and cultural short breaks, Travel Editions offers a large range of special events in the UK that bring the culture and history of the United Kingdom to life. These events can be found in the Art & History Abroad programme and include expert speakers, entertaining concerts and impressive dinners in historic locations.




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