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Riviera Paradise



Review of the lecture given by
Mary Alexander
on February 22nd 2017

Remembering my first visit to the Riviera when young, with two American fellow students in an old Ford van and the overwhelming impression I felt of coming at last to my spiritual home, I was looking forward to the lecture about the place I thought of as my personal paradise.

I was not disappointed;  Mary Alexander found the Cote D'Azur as fascinating as I did, especially the period in history that was the subject of her talk.  She spoke with an enthusiasm for her subject that carried us along with her as she described the coming together of the explosive mixture of artistic talent in the visual design arts that erupted in the Twenties and Thirties in and around Nice.

Formally this was the area where the rich and idle spent the winter months to escape the inclement weather in Britain but now from April onwards the area pulsated with vibrant energy as painters, writers, musicians, dancers, designers of fashion and interiors generated a fusion of the creative arts never before conceived.

The impresarios Serge Diaghilev and Paul Poiret were leaders of this exciting scene and attracted an influential new set of discerning patrons and collectors.  In the new resorts and hotels swimsuits and (GRACIOUS!) sun tans became the fashion.  Oh to have been there then!

Katrina McDonald


Related Links (open in new windows):

Mary Alexander's website

People of Interest:

Henri Matisse
Pablo Picasso
Raoul Dufy
Jean Cocteau
Coco Chanel
Cole Porter
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Gerald and Sara Murphy
Ernest Hemingway
Sergei Diaghilev
Paul Poiret