Gallery or art park at La Commanderie de Peyrassol
Welcome to a place steeped in history. The Commanderie de Peyrassol, founded in the 12th century by the order of the Templars, has a proud appearance. On this hidden Eden of 850 hectares – in the hollow of the Var hills – 92 hectares of vines are cultivated. Here and there, in the sandstone of the plots of land, 68 works of contemporary art emerge. The visual artist Bernar Venet signs a large proportion of them, not forgetting Jean Dubuffet, César and Patrick Fleury. The visit in the park is free! What a surprise that this door open on the vines or this bust hanging in the trees… A gallery – an art object in its own right with its asymmetrical steel footbridge – hosts 12 additional pieces that can be admired during a guided tour. Passionate about wine and a great collector, Philippe Austruy wanted – as soon as he bought the Commanderie de Peyrassol in 2001 – to give a new framework to his collections. Some pieces of art have even been imagined in situ by the artists. Take advantage of the walk: the self-guided tour costs only 8 € (15 € with a guide), 17 € with the visit of the cellar and the wine tasting. Also worth a try: the restaurants and guest rooms in the spirit of hunting relays.
Commanderie de Peyrassol RN7 83340 Flassans-sur- Issole – Tél. 04 94 69 71 02
The collections of Château Vignelaure
Château Vignelaure has passed from “Laura’s vineyard”, the muse of the poet Petrarch, to the hands of art lovers. It was the former owner Georges Brunet who, when he created the new cellar in the 1970s, took the opportunity to dig an underground art gallery. The works of César, Cartier-Bresson, Miro, Lartigue found their place there over the years and through encounters…Then the back labels on the bottles of red wines, for each vintage, inspired the artistic personalities. In 2007, they are once again two enthusiasts; Mette and Bengt Sundstrom, a Scandinavian couple, who perpetuate the collection. Monumental works of art, in bright colours, bloom in the gardens of the Provençal house. In spring, the contrasts are stunning. The visit is free, and can be done after the visit of the cellar. An incredible stroll.
Château Vignelaure Route de Jouques 83560 Rians – Tél. 04 94 37 21 10
Art and Architecture Walk at the Château La Coste
On this vast estate (125 hectares of organically cultivated vines), olive trees, forests and vineyards have integrated some forty masterpieces into their landscape. Renowned for its Art and Architecture walk, a real arty hike of about 2 hours, Château La Coste has scattered in its park explosive pieces of contemporary art, with a small preference for Japanese masters. Tadao Ando designed the Art Centre and renovated the chapel on the highest plot of land on the estate. Louise Bourgeois’s Spider by Louise Bourgeois is a key figure on the property, as is Frank O. Ghery’s Music Pavilion. More recently, Andy Goldsworthy has woven a strange nest; his oak room in a cavity. Per Kirkeby’s brick maze denotes this vegetal universe. Strolling around the maze is planned by hand with guided tours, every day at 10.30 am and 2.30 pm. (15 €) Château La Coste