Raymond Peynet (1908-1999)

PeynetBorn in Paris, at the age of 15 Raymond Peynet entered the school of Applied Arts... that just happened to be right opposite the bistro of his parents, Auvergnats who had moved to Paris a few years earlier. But it was only when he started work at the "Tolmer" advertising agency that he really began to learn his job as an illustrator, by carrying out various tasks: from sweeping of the agency to creating labels for perfume bottles and biscuit tins and designing various ads.

In 1930, Raymond Peynet married Denise, who bore the fated surname of "Damour". In order to earn a better living, he published his drawings in the Parisian press which was profuse in those days: le Rire, Rire à deux, Paris Magazine, The Boulevardier – a magazine reserved for Brits living in Paris –, etc.

1942 marked a turning point in his life. Having to hand over a confidential letter to a correspondent in Valence, in the Drôme department, Raymond Peynet found himself waiting at the rendez-vous point, sitting on a bench opposite the famous Valence bandstand (listed as a historic monument since 1892). Seated there, he imagined a long-haired violinist playing alone in the bandstand, listened to by a single admirer.

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Henri Lebasque (1865-1937)

LebasqueIn the Notre-Dame-des-Anges cemetery, not far from his friend Pierre Bonnard, is buried Henri Lebasque, a French painter who settled in Le Cannet in 1924. An assistant to Humbert in the painting of the Pantheon's frescoes, and a friend of Pissaro's, his style was influenced by the Impressionist movement. He participated in collective exhibitions, the Salon des Indépendants et des Artistes Français (the Independent French Artists Exhibition), as well as in the creation of the Salon d'Automne (Autumn Fair) in 1903, of which he remained a member until his death. Lebasque was highly creative and painted a great many canvases, often representing members of his family.

Henri Lebasque discovered the Midi around 1906 thanks to his friend Manguin who invited him to stay in his villa in Saint-Tropez. The Mediterranean light was a revelation to him. He regularly returned to Provence and finally settled in Le Cannet in 1924. He first rented the Beau-Site villa, in rue des Ardissons, before buying in 1930 a house at 21 rue des Danys, in which he installed his art studio. He painted in Le Cannet a series of nudes, sharing Parisian model Claudine for a while with Bonnard.

In 1935 Lebasque and Bonnard participated in the 1st Salon des Artistes du Cannet (Le Cannet artists' exhibition) to be organized by the town. Although well-known during his life-time, the painter chose to live a quiet and secluded life in Le Cannet. He died on the 7th of August, 1937. The art studio and the house were torn down around 1970.

A prosperous period

La Belle époque

Belle epoque

The first French and foreign aristocrats came to settle in Le Cannet around forty years after the discovery of Cannes, in 1834, by Lord Brouhgam. Drawn by the climate of the Midi, aristocrats from foreign lands moved into the town as from 1876, the English colony far outnumbering the others. The town then rapidly acquired a reputation as a winter resort. This foreign aristocratic mingled with the grande bourgeoisie come from large industrial towns, some of whom invested in building rental housing.

La Belle Epoque saw the peak of aristocratic tourism and vacations, and many architects set up in the town: Stoecklin, Warnery, Raisin... Families staying over for the winter bought large estates, often with a view of the sea and the Massif de Estérel, which they had converted into parkland. The most sought after sites were located in the Colle, Terrefial, Camp long neighbourhoods and in the Grande-Bretagne area. A few villas were built in the Prés neighbourhood, known today as Le Tivoli. It was once considered the most attractive part of Le Cannet, with the most beautiful orange trees of the region. Most façades were covered with coloured plasters and embellished with a decorative frieze.

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Famous villas

Villa Printemps, Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

villa celebre roc tavel

La villa Printemps is a large white house overlooking boulevard Gambetta. It was commissioned in 1980 by Frumence Dumoulin, an estate owner based in Lyon, certainly as a real estate investment since it was used as a furnished guest house. It was designed to be a high standing house, with master and servant bedrooms and all the equipment necessary to ensure proper comfort. In the 30s, it was rented out with laundry and silverware. In the beginning of the 20th century, it lodged prominent figures from the fields of arts and science.

French painter August Renoir, who suffered from articular rheumatism, retired to the Midi towards the end of his life. He first moved to Grasse, before settling with his wife and children in Le Cannet's Villa Printemps in February 1902. He spent little time there, as he did not enjoy the worldly lifestyle of Cannes and Le Cannet. He preferred Cagnes sur Mer, and settled down there in his house "Les Collettes", in which he spent the rest of his life.

In 1905 Henri Beaunis became the new owner of Villa Printemps and moved in with his wife. The doctor was a leading expert in the field of psychology and created at the Sorbonne, in 1889, the first French laboratory of experimental psychology. Although not a native of Le Cannet, he took an active part in the village's social life and was considered a public figure. As such, his wife was much involved in the town's charity work. He died in his house in 1921.


Villa Roc Tavel, Auguste Tavel (1854-1930)

Painter Auguste Tavel decided to move to Le Cannet after visiting his brother, then the Director of the Cannes "Cie du Gaz" (Gas Company). He was immediately captivated by the brilliant light and the view from the Colle hills.

He commissioned the building of his villa, which he named Roc Tavel, in wooded parkland covering 4,000 m2. The house plans were drawn by Henri Stoecklin. The ground floor holds a large 54 m2 art studio, on the first floor are four master bedrooms. Louis Pastour painted the dining-room ceiling in simulated wood, while painter Baraize created decorative motifs on 3 sides of the room.

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Other prominent figures

autre personnalite

Her Highness La Bégum Aga Khan III (1906 - 2000)

On the 1st of July 2000, the town of Le Cannet is in mourning. Her Highness La Bégum Aga Khan III has passed away at the age of 94 in her Villa Yakimour of avenue Victoria. She was born Yvette Blanche Labrousse in 1906, of a father who was a tramway driver and a town councillor for Le Cannet and a mother who was a seamstress. Nothing in her modest upbringing told anything of the glorious destiny that was to be hers. In 1930, she was elected Miss France. Eight years later, she met Sultan Mohammed Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, who was 29 years older than herself. She thus married, in 1944, the richest man in the world, converted to Islam and became Her Highness La Bégum, the Prince's fourth wife.

They settled in the avenue Victoria villa, for which planning permission applications had been submitted in 1937, and named it Yakimour: Y for Yvette, ak for Aga Khan, i for iman, mour for amour. Within this property surrounded by parkland, Her Higness La Bégum used to assemble the members of the Cannes film festival jury.

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The city and the applied arts label


«It's an invitation to come and discover the sometimes unknown resources of the French spirit, for which creation is dedicated to a certain Art de Vivre...»

François Doubin, former minister and founding president of the eponymous association, thus defined the "City and the Applied Arts" label. A saying that is as true today as it was then... as Le Cannet cultivates its art de vivre daily!

The City and the Applied Arts label was thus created in May 1992, the outcome of a meeting between local elected officials and professionals to promote professions, some of which date back many centuries. It is awarded to towns that are actively involved in helping craftsmen, in furthering the creation of workshops and in creating local promotion structures. First distinguished in 2004, Le Cannet is one of 64 French towns to hold this title, and one of 5 in the Alpes-Maritimes region.



Artists and craftspeople


Traditional professions

Artist craftsmen working in rue Saint-Sauveur are often master artisans that are highly respected in their respective fields. Two outstanding goldsmiths working at opposite ends of the street, Daniel Arnoul and Marc Maroni, share an extremely rare skill enabling them to create gold objects, a favourite present with princes and influential people in the 16th century.

Michel Camps, who restores paintings in his "atelier des Impiniers" studied first at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris (Paris School of Fine Arts) and then at the école du Louvre. Guy Paquinet, who has been working in rue Saint-Sauveur for 35 years, went to the Faidherbe-Chaligny école des tapissiers (Upholstery School). The "Maison Salanson" spectacle maker was trained at the prestigious école d'optique et d'horlogerie de Morez (school of watchmaking and creating optical instruments). Master luthier Nicolas Chassaing went to the "Antonio Stradivari School of Violin Making of Cremona"... resume excerpts that reveal the impressive professional backgrounds of the rue Saint-Sauveur craftsmen.

These craft workshops as well as others located in rue Saint-Sauveur – Cabinet-making "Atelier d'Eric", jeweller "Diamonds & difference" or "Saint-Sauveur Décor" – all share a similar passion for their crafts. They have succeeded in preserving and updating their traditions, while, for some of them, combining skill and inspiration to produce contemporary designs.


A palette of artists

A constant source of new encounters and artistic walks, rue Saint-Sauveur is also home to many artists. "Graine d'étoiles" and "Very Micky" specialise in jewellery manufacturing, "Urushi" in lacquer objects and paintings. You will be able to admire paintings at "l'atelier Gourdon" and "Sarah Kasmo", prints and engravings at "l'Atelier", stained glass artwork at "Artvitrail", sculptures at "Vida Parme", and ceramics at "Terre à terres"... A variety of arts, techniques – see also photographer "Fotodeclik" or engraver and printer "Cannettimbres" – and creations that unite to create rue Saint-Sauveur's unique atmosphere.

A visit you will enjoy all the more if you stop to enjoy a quick snack, lunch or dinner at the terrace of one of the street's many restaurants.

To find out more: "Artists and Artist craftsmen, strolling along rue Saint-Sauveur"