Culture and the arts in Lourmarin

Lourmarin continues to draw writers and artists who, like those before them, find creative inspiration here. According to Insight Guides, the town’s cultural influence has few rivals in the entire Vaucluse, as evidenced by a long line of interesting residents.

Robert Laurent-Vibert, patron of the Lourmarin Chateau and a keen supporter of the arts, invited Henri Bosco (1888-1976) to Lourmarin. The Provençal writer was profoundly inspired by what he described as the “magic” of the Lubéron. He and his wife made regular summer sojourns to their house here, and he used the area as the setting for most of his books.

In 1946 Bosco in turn introduced Algerian-born French author Albert Camus (1913- 1960) to Lourmarin. He was immediately charmed by it and, in 1958, after winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, he used some of that money to buy a rather unassuming house in the heart of the village. It remains standing today on what is now called rue Albert Camus. Sadly, Camus died just two years later, also in a car accident. Both he and Bosco are buried in the village cemetery.

More recently, the village was home to English author Peter Mayle, who penned numerous best-selling books about his life in Provence, including his marvellous A Year in Provence.

Many other famous people – F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Henry James and Marcel Pagnol, to name a few – were inspired by and wrote about Provence.

Great Masters such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Paul Signac and Paul Cézanne (born in Aix-en-Provence) have all been drawn to the famous Provençal light for their art.

You can visit the places they wrote about or view the scenery they painted. Perhaps you will be inspired to create a masterpiece of your own …

Annual Lourmarin events include:

  • May and August: Marché des Créateurs displays the work of 50 artisans
  • May and June: a three-day antique flea market (brocante / vide grenier)
  • July and August: Albert Camus display at the library
  • June to September: various events in the Summer Music Festival organised by the Lourmarin Château
  • July: a piano competition with orchestra at the château
  • July-August: some of the artists from the International Piano Festival of La Roque- d’Antheron also give concerts in Lourmarin.
  • October: Series of lectures on Albert Camus at the Château

In the surrounding areas there is plenty more music, arts and culture to savour. The Provençal calendar is fullest in the summer, but the influence of culture and arts is apparent year-round, particularly in the form of festivals. There are harvest festivals for, not surprisingly, the harvesting of grapes and the release of wine, but also olive oil, truffles, mushrooms, lavender, cherries, strawberries, melons and figs, as well as for popular saints and other holidays. And of course, Christmas markets are really special too!

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