A life of affluence can be found in the French Riviera. Perhaps it is the turquoise shimmer of the Mediterranean Sea that draws those to a place notable for its relaxing atmosphere. Or possibly, the heightened sense of luxury established by the visiting rich and famous is what makes being in the South of France a tremendously grand experience. This is a place in Europe where one goes to enjoy themselves. And for the lucky few, the French Rivera is home.
This was true for the pioneer of cubism, Pablo Picasso. A desire to lead a private life is what led the famed Spanish artist to find his kingdom, Mas de Notre dame de Vie, in Côte d’Azur.
The antique French country home, nestled within eight acres of opulent gardens, olive trees, and an authentic orangery, was purchased by the painter and his wife in 1961. Inside the walls of this oasis, Picasso could be found sleeping in the sunshine during his days, and working vigorously on his masterpieces come nightfall. These nocturnal habits allowed the artist to escape the distractions of the day, and enter a world of creativity and seclusion.
The home was Picasso’s sanctuary until his death in 1973. The 91-year-old artist left his prized possessions to his wife, Jacqueline Roque, who kept everything exactly how it was before Picasso’s death. It is even said she kept his glasses in the same spot he put them after wearing them for the last time.
Following Roque’s death in 1986, the estate sat vacant and in ruins for 30 years—until a Dutch investor bought the home and hired a Belgian architect to restore what Picasso and Roque had left behind.
The main house on Picasso’s property reflects the South of France’s ethos: tranquil, vibrant, lush. Two large living rooms with towering fireplaces allow for guests to find their comfort; a studio, breakfast room, and, of course, a gallery, follow. A spacious garden room, opening up to a terrace, is not only charming, but also reassures the idea that life in Côte d’Azur is good. Perhaps this is where one pours a glass of sauvignon blanc from the home’s wine cellar, which can spectacularly hold 5,000 bottles. Overall, the property has 15 bedrooms and 12 washrooms scattered across two levels.
This luxuriant French Riviera estate will hit the auction block on Oct. 12, 2017, with a starting bid of $20.2 million USD. With a climate as near to perfect as it can get, a scenery that could enchant anyone, and a beautiful history, the home of Pablo Picasso is ready for a new start.
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