The Provencal Mother, Source of All Inspiration!

As protector, moral support, and example to follow, the maternal figure has a special place in the hearts of the people of Provence. A boundless source of inspiration, she has been paid tribute from the four corners of the region since time immemorial.
By Mélissa Darré

Glorified with the brush strokes of one, the poetic descriptions of another, the symbol of the Provençal mother – radiant, loving and often possessive – continues to inspire. This devotion is rooted in core values of the region: a deep attachment to family ties and respect for tradition.

So many artists – whether famous or anonymous – have fallen under the spell of this mother figure, referring generally to their own mother through their works. Thus, in 1957, Augustine Pagnol saw a “castle” erected in her honor with the words of her son Marcel, in a book recounting his childhood memoirs.

An adopted child of Provence, the painter Vincent Van Gogh, too, made a smiling portrait of his mother in an oil painting, an expression of love. More recently, the Marseille fashion designer Simon Porte has emerged in the fashion world with his label Jacquemus, which is none other than his mother’s maiden name. He admits that she inspires each of his collections. The importance of this Provencal "bonne mère" is demonstrated by all these tokens of affection.

The Provencal Mother, Source of All Inspiration
The Provencal Mother, Source of All Inspiration
As protector, moral support, and example to follow, the maternal figure has a special place in the hearts of the people of Provence
Photography: José Nicolas

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