with film star Richard E Grant. And the painter Matisse. And a BBC camera crew.
As you’ve probably guessed, I am watching a BBC Arts documentary – “The Riviera: a history in pictures”. (We have only seen episode 1. For UK viewers, episode 2 is on Monday at 9 pm, BBC4).
Joyfully, our companion/presenter/guide, Richard, is obviously glad to be there in the sunlight (he has holidayed there over many years) – and explains how the South of France coastal landscape influenced the artworks painted there by Renoir, Monet, Cezanne, Cross, Signac, Matisse and Braque (co-creator of Cubism with Picasso). Richard is not only pleasant company, he has really done his homework well and unfolds an insightful story of art.
Through what he says, you can see the influence of the particular light and harsh rocks landscape on the way these painters made art. And you feel like you’ve been sitting in sunshine, with a delightful, charming and witty companion.