Anthony Bays Europe

Paris – Avignon – Aix en Provence – French Riviera

Impressionism and Post Impressionism were not just intellectual art movements : they were also the result of often violent personal struggles for the artists involved, struggles that left them shattered and elated in equal, and sometimes disproportionate, measure. Claude Monet was a near-broken 50 year old man before he knew fame; Van Gogh was reduced to scraping his tormented mind onto his canvasses; Gaugin fled to the Pacific islands for artistic freedom; Alfred Sisley died broken by failure, and even the mighty Picasso had known despair.

These were extraordinary men, but they were also men who lived and loved, who held dreams and raised families, who awoke in the morning to work, and retired at night satiated. And it is that insight into the success and failure of their lives, the beauty and the trauma of it all, that this program discusses as you travel through France.

There will be joyful moments, revelling with Picasso as he dances with his new young mistress in the sunshine of Provence, and there will be moments of sadness too, walking in the very field of harsh wheat and menacing black crows through which Vincent trudged just minutes before he shot himself.  Price on application



  • Day 1 To Avignon Transfer from Marseilles airport by private limousine to Avignon
  • Day 2 Around Avignon Visit the Papal palace, Roman Pont du Gard and vineyards
  • Day 3 The Lubéron Visiting the village of Gordes, 11th cent Abbey of Sénanque
  • Day 4  Around Arles Roman Arles, van Gogh’s asylum and medieval Les Baux
  • Day 5 Aix en Provence Its market and Old Town, and artist  Cézanne’s studio
  • Day 6 Avignon – USA Return to the USA