an aesthetically eloquent nation that always manages a surprise or two.
And we must admit, sometimes art and design feel a bit more dramatic
in the south where the light burns brighter
and our sensitivity to beauty is primed to soak up every last bit.
If you love art and you love France, head immediately to Provence
where you'll find the most souped up, amped up eyeful of imagination ever.
Feast your eyes, your ears, your very essence at
the Carrières de Lumières (Quarry of Light),
a big idea that literally transforms the way you view great art.
Located in Les Baux-de-Provence -- an artistic composition itself --
the Carrières de Lumières is a triumph of originality.
Take one gi-normous cave and light it up with moving images
of some of the world's most famous masterpieces.
Via an extraordinary state-of-the-art sound and light show,
you'll be immersed into an art expo for the ages, a wild ride
of emotions like you've never seen or felt before.
Music, movement, and art in an underground garden of
groovy that's one-upped only by nature's glory.
In 2015, the audio-visual spectacle cast a trinity of the Italian grand masters -- Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael -- whose Renaissance
masterpieces are projected onto nature's easel -- literally walls of rock.
It's a twilight zone of dark dimension and unending scope where you
literally walk with the constantly changing art, watching as one "painting"
fades to black while another takes on a whole new quality.
When you enter the chilly air of the quarry, your eyes first have to
adjust to the dark -- much like a movie theater -- and then you "feel"
the floor beneath you start to move.
Thankfully, it's not really moving but the sensation is real because the show
is projected on the walls, floors and ceiling of the bauxite cave,
dynamically moving and streaming your art experience.
This dramatic composition is a new approach -- an unorthodox,
disorderly gallery of some of the world's greatest works of art.
In 2015, the site featured the great Renaissance Italian artists but in years past
they have paired up masters of other art movements such as Monet, Renoir,
Chagall and still later, mixed media of Gauguin & van Gogh, and Klimt in Vienna.
You'll see art from a variety of angles.
While celebrating the distinguished and most recognizable
masterpieces of civilization, you'll "see" with different eyes,
absorb it with all your senses and walk away with a new impression.
paint your imagination with a novel approach to the art experience?
Certainly, your immersion into the Carrières de Lumières makes
for one of the most memorable moments in a "museum".
Walking with the art, moving in concert with the changing
landscape and music that matches the mood, this gallery is a revelation.
With such a vast space, after a while you'll notice those around you
as they, too, gulp down the artistic innovation.
The expressive arena never feels crowded because the colors, the shapes,
the music and the light immerse you and your fellow art-lovers
into an ocean of beauty and intensity.
If someone ever again whines of stuffy old art installations,
send them underground -- this rebellious art gallery will forever
change their lackluster perception of that world.
I wonder, what would Da Vinci think of this?
Would the versatile Michelangelo see the justice of
pairing his works with the work of Mother Nature?
"Art is a harmony parallel with nature."
The Carrières de Lumières is, I daresay,
DANCEABLE ART .... and a beautiful mess.
of Les Baux-de-Provence, just up hill from the Carrières de Lumières.
Listed on the prestigious list of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France,
you'll be glad you broke a sweat.
Surrounded by the natural beauty of rugged stones, the town "melts"
into the indigenous setting on which it has perched for centuries.
Les Baux's hilltop ambiance has all the inborn character you expect to see in a venerated french village -- a ruined castle with medieval weaponry,
16th century stone houses, a Romanesque church, fantastic views
and an assortment of museums, art galleries and souvenir shops.
Take a minute, too, to peek into the Chapelle des Penitents Blancs
where 20th century artist Yves Brayer left his mark
with a local nativity scene, shepherds and all.
Nearby, there are miles of vineyards, olive oil producers and top-notch
restaurants and hotels that make for a memorable stay.
But I can't urge you enough, if you plan to be in Provence,
make this stop a priority.
The Carrières de Lumières and Les Baux-de-Provence are too good to miss.
After all, how often do you get the chance to dance with the Masters of Art?
"A beautiful body perishes, but a work of art does not."
Leonardo da Vinci