By Laura McPhee
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Additional resources for A Journey into Matisse's South of France
Originally grown as the source of a cheap alternative to olive oil, sunflowers and their derivative products remain a staple of Provençal culture. 24 St. Tropez: Clarity of Color From there it could take up to half a day by a rickety branch line known as the Pine Cone Rail through wild and isolated country, followed by an hour-long journey in a rented boat to reach St. Tropez itself. Tucked away at the tip of a peninsula, St. Tropez is the only north-facing town on the coast. The blustery northern winds often dissuade those seeking a warm and sheltered winter resort, and the intense heat of the summer means most visitors don’t stay long.
For decades these original works hung throughout the bar and hotel, until several Picasso drawings and two or three other works were stolen. Now the originals are kept under lock and key, though visitors can see reproductions where the originals once hung. Les Templiers. In addition to the extensive collection of paintings, the Pou family also maintained a scrapbook throughout the last century, in which visiting friends wrote good wishes and drew small sketches. Le Livre d’or (The Golden Book) was begun by artist Willy Mucha and includes a dedication to both Les Templiers and the village of Collioure: “Pour glorifier Collioure: Dernier lieu des esprits libres, poèts errants, et peintres assoiffés de couleur pure” (“In praise of Collioure: Last place of refuge for free spirits, errant poets, and painters thirsty for pure color”).
Tropez, the Greek colony of Athenopolis, was founded by Phryne, model for the sculptures of Athena created by the great artist Praxiteles. Phryne was cursed to have the head of a toad, but she was lucky enough to have the most beautiful body of any woman in Greece. St. Tropez’s first tourist and first known human sacrifice, the Greek muse and prostitute Phryne, before the tribunal that sent her out of Greece. ) Not coincidentally, Phryne was also a prostitute. And when put on trial in Athens for unseemly behavior, she is said to have lifted up her clothing as part of her defense strategy.
A Journey into Matisse's South of France by Laura McPhee