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Julien de Parme 1736-1799 Paris

Le combat entre les Romains et les Sabins interrompu par les

Sabines

The fight between the Romans and the Sabins interrupted by the

Sabines 1772

Parme Fondazione Magnani Rocca

 

Ce tableau est excellement représentatif de la fusion Baroque-Classique.

This painting is excellently representative of the Baroque-Classic fusion.

 

La fondation Magnani Rocca est un charmant petit musée. Le visiteur passe vite d'une époque à une autre. Il m'a paru amusant d'accentuer la transition et de mélanger dans la galerie, pas dans l'album, des époques lointaines. Pour mieux mettre en évidence les ruptures de styles et de thèmes. Ruptures toujours liées aux changements des croyances des hommes.

The Magnani Rocca foundation is a charming little museum. The visitor quickly passes from one era to another. It seemed fun to me to accentuate the transition and to mix distant eras in the gallery, not in the album. To better highlight the breaks in styles and themes. Ruptures always linked to changes in men's beliefs.

  

CLASSICISME ET BAROQUE EN EUROPE

  

Au préalable il faut distinguer les périodes et les styles.

La période historique dite classique en peinture se situe vers 1600-1720 environ. Le classicisme a pris sa source en Italie chez les Carracci, il est une réaction au maniérisme.

La période historique dite Baroque en peinture prend aussi naissance en Italie vers 1600 et dure jusque vers 1720. Elle est principalement liée à la Contre-Réforme.

Les deux périodes sont donc tout à fait contemporaines, même si elles peuvent, selon les pays européens se succéder ou coexister de manière différente et décalée dans le temps. Mais les styles classiques ou baroques constituent des tendances pérennes qui traversent tous les arts tout au long de l'histoire européenne.

 

Toute l'histoire de l'art européen alterne les périodes où triomphe une esthétique à tendances classiques, et les périodes où s'imposent des tendances plus expressives.

Le Classicisme: C'est une esthétique de l'harmonie dans la mesure et l'équilibre. Il est caractérisé par la rigueur du dessin et des formes, la consonance et la retenue des couleurs, la modération raisonnable et raisonnée et la subtilité dans l'expression des sentiments.

L'esthétique Expressive prend diverses formes qui tendent à éloigner la peinture du naturalisme et du réalisme mesuré du Classicisme pour favoriser l'emphase et l'émotion. Le dessin peut être plus souple, l'art du flou est privilégié, la touche est plus visible (empâtements, hachures...). les formes des figures sont accentuées, les silhouettes des personnages allongées, les musculatures amplifiées. Le mouvement et l'expression des sentiments sont amplifiés et même exagérés, quelque fois jusqu'à la limite de l'outrance. Les couleurs et les oppositions lumières/ombres sont souvent plus accentuées et contrastées.

Le classicisme, dont on considère que les Carracci sont les fondateurs, en réaction au maniérisme, prend différents noms selon les périodes de l'histoire, Atticisme, Poussinisme, Néo-classicisme, Académisme.

La manière expressive prend les noms de Maniérisme, Baroque, Caravagisme, Rubénisme, Rococo, Romantisme, Expressionnisme.

Evidemment toutes les gradations entre ces deux tendances existent.Le maniérisme italien était discrètement annoncé par des peintres de la Renaissance comme Perugino et son élève Raphaël, figure du classicisme par excellence.

Pendant tout le 17è et le 18è siècle la peinture européenne balance entre diverses formes de classicisme et de baroque, plus ou moins accentuées. Les Pays Bas du nord ne font pas exception sauf par les thèmes plus profanes, plus séculiers, de leur peinture. Le Caravagisme est pendant toute cette période une tendance picturale qui magnifie les contrastes de lumière, son aspect baroque, mais qui sait aussi maintenir la tradition du dessin fini, son aspect classique. Il n'échappe donc pas à la balance classique-baroque qui caractérise la peinture européenne pendant toute cette période.

L'Art français sous Louis XIII 1610-1643) et pendant la régence d'Anne d'Autriche (1643-1651) est plutôt classique. La peinture française sous Louis XIV (1651-1715) hésite entre les deux tendances mais prend une coloration un peu plus baroque, et la peinture sous Louis XV (1715-1774) est baroque-rococo.

 

Il faut toutefois insister sur le particularisme des Pays Bas au 17è et au 18è siècle. En dehors des Pays Bas, en Italie, en Espagne, en France, dans les pays germaniques, la peinture est essentiellement commanditée par les Rois, leurs ministres, la grande aristocratie, la haute bourgeoisie financière et bien sûr par l’Église catholique. L'art de ces pays continue dans la tradition des siècles antérieurs et pratique beaucoup "le grand genre" c'est à dire que ses thèmes sont le plus souvent religieux, historiques, mythologiques. La peinture européenne du 17è et du 18è siècle est à l'opposé de la peinture néerlandaise.

Les thèmes de la peinture européenne, sauf aux Pays Bas, ne sont pas les moeurs de la société, encore moins ceux de la petite bourgeoisie ou des artisans et des paysans. En France par exemple, Les frères Le Nain (1593-1607 environ) sont une exception, et leur réalisme est très loin d'être celui des peintres flamands et néerlandais. Leur paysannerie est traitée pour être appréciée dans les cabinets de la grande bourgeoisie. Si le paysan boit du vin, c'est un verre, il ne sombre jamais dans l'ivresse la plus totale, et son épouse encore moins. Les enfants sont très dignes, ils ne se battent pas comme des pouilleux, pas plus que leurs parents. Cette peinture n'a rien de commun avec celle d'Avercamp, d' Adriaen Brouwer, de Teniers II.

Les portraits sont ceux de l'élite aristocratique et non pas comme aux Pays Bas d'une bourgeoisie ordinaire. Les paysages sont traités tout à fait habituellement comme cadres d'une scène historique, mythologique ou religieuse, pratiquement jamais pour eux mêmes. Les marines européennes sont des souvenirs de batailles navales célèbres. Elles ne se limitent pas ou rarement comme aux Pays Bas à la peinture d'un voilier sur une mer démontée. Le Lorrain (Claude Gellée) peint des paysages magnifiques généralement intitulés "Départ de Cléopâtre", "Arrivée d'Ulysse" ou "Enée chassant le cerf". Il est très rare, même si cela se produit quelque fois, que les paysages du Lorrain n'aient aucun thème emprunté à l'histoire, à la mythologie ou à la tradition comme les "pastorales".

Cette particularité des Pays Bas est la conséquence de la rupture idéologique qui est résultée de la Réforme protestante. (cf l'Art et les croyances. Réforme)

  

CLASSICISM AND BAROQUE IN EUROPE

 

First of all, it is necessary to distinguish periods and styles.

The historical period known as the classical period in painting is around 1600-1720. Classicism originated in Italy with the Carracci, it is a reaction to mannerism.

The historical period known as the Baroque period in painting also began in Italy around 1600 and lasted until around 1720, and was mainly linked to the Counter-Reformation.

The two periods are therefore completely contemporary, even if they may, depending on the European countries, succeed each other or coexist in a different and time-delayed way. But classical or baroque styles are perennial trends that permeate all arts throughout European history.

 

The entire history of European art alternates periods when an aesthetic with classical tendencies triumphs, and the periods when more expressive tendencies are required.

The Classicism: It is an aesthetic of the harmony in the measure and the balance. It is characterized by the rigor of the drawing and shapes, the consonance and the restraint of colors, the reasonable and reasoned moderation, and the subtlety in the expression of feelings.

The Aesthetic Expressive takes various forms that tend to move the painting out of naturalism and the measured realism of the Classicism, to favor the emphasis and emotion. The drawing can be more flexible, the art of the blur is privileged, the touch of the brush is more visible (impastos, hatching ...). the shapes of the figures are emphasized, the silhouettes of the characters, lengthened, the musculature, increased. The movement and the expression of feelings are exaggerated, sometimes to the limit of the excess. The colors and oppositions of lights / shadows are often more accentuated and contrasted.

The classicism, of which the Carracci are considered to be the founders, in reaction to Mannerism, takes different names according to the periods of history, Atticism, Poussinisme, Neo-Classicism, Academism.

The expressive style takes the names of Mannerism, Baroque, Caravagism, Rubénisme, Rococo, Romanticism, Expressionism ...

Obviously all the gradations between these two tendencies exist. Italian Mannerism was quietly announced by painters listed in the classical school, as Perugino and his pupil Raphael figure of classicism par excellence.

Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, the European painting balanced between various forms of classicism and baroque, more or less accentuated. The northern Low Countries are no exception except for the more secular and secular themes of their painting. Caravagism was throughout this period a pictorial trend that magnified the contrasts of light, its baroque aspect, but which also knew how to maintain the tradition of finished drawing, its classic aspect. He did not escape the classical-baroque balance that characterized European painting throughout this period.

French art under Louis XIII 1610-1643) and during the regency of Anne of Austria (1643-1651) is rather classical. French painting under Louis XIV (1651-1715) hesitated between the two tendencies but took a slightly more baroque colouring, and painting under Louis XV (1715-1774) was baroque and Rococo.

.

 

However, it is necessary to insist on the particularism of the Netherlands in the 17th and the 18th century. Outside the Netherlands, in Italy, in Spain, in France, in the Germanic countries, painting is essentially sponsored by Kings, their ministers, the great aristocracy, the financial upper middle class and of course by the Catholic Church. The art of these countries continues in the tradition of the previous centuries and practices a lot "the big genre" that is to say that its themes are most often religious, historical, mythological. 17th and 18th century European painting is the opposite of Dutch painting.

The themes of European painting, except in the Netherlands, are not the mores of society, still less those of the petty bourgeoisie or artisans and peasants. In France, for example, the Le Nain brothers (around 1593-1607) are an exception, but their realism is very far from that of the Flemish and Dutch painters. Their peasantry is treated to be appreciated in the cabinets of the big bourgeoisie. If the peasant drinks wine, it is a glass, he never sinks into total drunkenness, and his wife even less. The children are very worthy, they do not fight like lousy, any more than their parents. This art of painting has nothing in common with that of Avercamp, Adriaen Brouwer, Teniers II.

The portraits are those of the aristocratic elite and not as in the Netherlands of an ordinary bourgeoisie. Landscapes are usually treated as frames of a historical, mythological or religious scene, almost never for themselves. European navies are memories of famous naval battles. They are not limited or seldom as in the Netherlands to the painting of a sailboat on a dismantled sea. The Lorrain (Claude Gellée) paints beautiful landscapes generally entitled "Departure of Cleopatra", "Arrival of Ulysses" or "Aeneas hunting deer". It is very rare, even if it happens sometimes, that the landscapes of Claude Gellée have no theme borrowed from history, mythology or tradition like the "pastoral".

This peculiarity of the Netherlands is the consequence of the ideological break that resulted from the Protestant Reformation. (see Art and Beliefs, Reform)

  

Berardo Collection, Centro Cultural de Belem, Belem, Lisbon, Portugal

 

Materials : Oil on canvas

 

BIOGRAPHY

 

Spanish expatriate Pablo Picasso was one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, as well as the co-creator of Cubism.

 

Born on October 25, 1881, in Málaga, Spain, Pablo Picasso's gargantuan full name, which honors a variety of relatives and saints, is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso. Picasso's mother was Doña Maria Picasso y Lopez. His father was Don José Ruiz Blasco, a painter and art teacher. A serious and prematurely world-weary child, the young Picasso possessed a pair of piercing, watchful black eyes that seemed to mark him destined for greatness. "When I was a child, my mother said to me, 'If you become a soldier, you'll be a general. If you become a monk you'll end up as the pope,'" he later recalled. "Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso."

 

Though he was a relatively poor student, Picasso displayed a prodigious talent for drawing at a very young age. According to legend, his first words were "piz, piz," his childish attempt at saying "lápiz," the Spanish word for pencil. Picasso's father began teaching him to draw and paint when he was a child, and by the time he was 13 years old, his skill level had surpassed his father's. Soon, Picasso lost all desire to do any schoolwork, choosing to spend the school days doodling in his notebook instead. "For being a bad student, I was banished to the 'calaboose,' a bare cell with whitewashed walls and a bench to sit on," he later remembered. "I liked it there, because I took along a sketch pad and drew incessantly ... I could have stayed there forever, drawing without stopping."

 

In 1895, when Picasso was 14 years old, he moved with his family to Barcelona, Spain. where he quickly applied to the city's prestigious School of Fine Arts. Although the school typically only accepted students several years his senior, Picasso's entrance exam was so extraordinary that he was granted an exception and admitted. Nevertheless, Picasso chafed at the School of Fine Arts' strict rules and formalities, and began skipping class so that he could roam the streets of Barcelona, sketching the city scenes he observed.

 

In 1897, a 16-year-old Picasso moved to Madrid to attend the Royal Academy of San Fernando. However, he again became frustrated with his school's singular focus on classical subjects and techniques. During this time, he wrote to a friend: "They just go on and on about the same old stuff: Velázquez for painting, Michelangelo for sculpture." Once again, Picasso began skipping class to wander the city and paint what he observed: gypsies, beggars and prostitutes, among other things.

 

In 1899, Picasso moved back to Barcelona and fell in with a crowd of artists and intellectuals who made their headquarters at a café called El Quatre Gats ("The Four Cats"). Inspired by the anarchists and radicals he met there, Picasso made his decisive break from the classical methods in which he had been trained, and began what would become a lifelong process of experimentation and innovation.

 

BLUE PERIOD: 'BLUE NUDE,' 'LA VIE' AND OTHER WORKS

 

At the turn of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso moved to Paris, France—the cultural center of European art—to open his own studio. Art critics and historians typically break Picasso's adult career into distinct periods, the first of which lasted from 1901 to 1904 and is called his "Blue Period," after the color that dominated nearly all of Picasso's paintings over these years. Lonely and deeply depressed over the death of his close friend, Carlos Casagemas, he painted scenes of poverty, isolation and anguish, almost exclusively in shades of blue and green. Picasso's most famous paintings from the Blue Period include "Blue Nude," "La Vie" and "The Old Guitarist," all three of which were completed in 1903.

 

In contemplation of Picasso and his Blue Period, Symbolist writer and critic Charles Morice once asked, "Is this frighteningly precocious child not fated to bestow the consecration of a masterpiece on the negative sense of living, the illness from which he more than anyone else seems to be suffering?"

 

ROSE PERIOD: 'GERTRUDE STEIN,' 'TWO NUDES' AND MORE

 

By 1905, Picasso had largely overcome the depression that had previously debilitated him. Not only was he madly in love with a beautiful model, Fernande Olivier, he was newly prosperous thanks to the generous patronage of art dealer Ambroise Vollard. The artistic manifestation of Picasso's improved spirits was the introduction of warmer colors—including beiges, pinks and reds—in what is known as his "Rose Period" (1904-06). His most famous paintings from these years include "Family at Saltimbanques" (1905), "Gertrude Stein" (1905-06) and "Two Nudes" (1906).

 

BREAK INTO CUBISM

 

In 1907, Pablo Picasso produced a painting unlike anything he or anyone else had ever painted before, a work that would profoundly influence the direction of art in the 20th century: "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon," a chilling depiction of five nude prostitutes, abstracted and distorted with sharp geometric features and stark blotches of blues, greens and grays. Today, "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" is considered the precursor and inspiration of Cubism, an artistic style pioneered by Picasso and his friend and fellow painter, Georges Braque.

 

In Cubist paintings, objects are broken apart and reassembled in an abstracted form, highlighting their composite geometric shapes and depicting them from multiple, simultaneous viewpoints in order to create physics-defying, collage-like effects. At once destructive and creative, Cubism shocked, appalled and fascinated the art world. "It made me feel as if someone was drinking gasoline and spitting fire," Braque said, explaining that he was shocked when he first viewed Picasso's "Les Demoiselles," but quickly became intrigued with Cubism, seeing the new style as a revolutionary movement. French writer and critic Max Jacob, a good friend of both Picasso and painter Juan Gris, called Cubism "the 'Harbinger Comet' of the new century," stating, "Cubism is ... a picture for its own sake. Literary Cubism does the same thing in literature, using reality merely as a means and not as an end."

 

Picasso's early Cubist paintings, known as his "Analytic Cubist" works, include "Three Women" (1907), "Bread and Fruit Dish on a Table" (1909) and "Girl with Mandolin" (1910). His later Cubist works are distinguished as "Synthetic Cubism" for moving even further away from artistic typicalities of the time, creating vast collages out of a great number of tiny, individual fragments. These paintings include "Still Life with Chair Caning" (1912), "Card Player" (1913-14) and "Three Musicians" (1921).

 

CLASSICAL PERIOD

 

The outbreak of World War I ushered in the next great change in Picasso's art. He grew more somber and, once again, became preoccupied with the depiction of reality. His works between 1918 and 1927 are categorized as part of his "Classical Period," a brief return to Realism in a career otherwise dominated by experimentation. His most interesting and important works from this period include "Three Women at the Spring" (1921), "Two Women Running on the Beach/The Race" (1922) and "The Pipes of Pan" (1923).

 

SURREALISM

 

From 1927 onward, Picasso became caught up in a new philosophical and cultural movement known as Surrealism, the artistic manifestation of which was a product of his own Cubism.

 

Picasso's most well-known Surrealist painting, deemed one of the greatest paintings of all time, was completed in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War. After German bombers supporting Francisco Franco's Nationalist forces carried out a devastating aerial attack on the Basque town of Guernica on April 26, 1937, Picasso, outraged by the bombing and the inhumanity of war, painted "Guernica." Painted in black, white and grays, the work is a Surrealist testament to the horrors of war, and features a minotaur and several human-like figures in various states of anguish and terror. "Guernica" remains one of the most moving and powerful anti-war paintings in history.

 

'SELF PORTRAIT FACING DEATH' AND OTHER LATER WORKS

 

In the aftermath of World War II, Picasso became more overtly political. He joined the Communist Party and was twice honored with the International Lenin Peace Prize, first in 1950 and again in 1961. By this point in his life, he was also an international celebrity, the world's most famous living artist. While paparazzi chronicled his every move, however, few paid attention to his art during this time.

 

In contrast to the dazzling complexity of Synthetic Cubism, Picasso's later paintings display simple, childlike imagery and crude technique. Touching on the artistic validity of these later works, Picasso once remarked upon passing a group of school kids in his old age, "When I was as old as these children, I could draw like Raphael, but it took me a lifetime to learn to draw like them." Picasso created the epitome of his later work, "Self Portrait Facing Death," using pencil and crayon, a year before his death. The autobiographical subject, drawn with crude technique, appears as something between a human and an ape, with a green face and pink hair. Yet the expression in his eyes, capturing a lifetime of wisdom, fear and uncertainty, is the unmistakable work of a master at the height of his powers.

 

DEATH AND LEGACY

 

Pablo Picasso continued to create art and maintain an ambitious schedule in his later years, superstitiously believing that work would keep him alive. He died on April 8, 1973, at the age of 91, in Mougins, France. His legacy, however, has long endured.

 

Inarguably one of the most celebrated and influential painters of the 20th century, Picasso continues to garner reverence for his technical mastery, visionary creativity and profound empathy, and, together, these qualities have distinguished him as a revolutionary artist. Picasso also remains renowned for endlessly reinventing himself, switching between styles so radically different that his life's work seems to be the product of five or six great artists rather than just one.

 

Of his penchant for style diversity, Picasso insisted that his varied work was not indicative of radical shifts throughout his career, but, rather, of his dedication to objectively evaluating for each piece the form and technique best suited to achieve his desired effect. "Whenever I wanted to say something, I said it the way I believed I should," he explained. "Different themes inevitably require different methods of expression. This does not imply either evolution or progress; it is a matter of following the idea one wants to express and the way in which one wants to express it."

 

PERSONAL LIFE

 

An incorrigible womanizer, Picasso had countless relationships with girlfriends, mistresses, muses and prostitutes during his lifetime, marrying only twice. He wed a ballerina named Olga Khokhlova in 1918, and they remained together for nine years, parting ways in 1927. In 1961, at the age of 69, he married his second wife, Jacqueline Roque.

 

Between marriages, in 1935, Picasso met Dora Maar, a fellow artist, on the set of Jean Renoir's film Le Crime de Monsieur Lange (released in 1936). The two soon embarked upon a partnership that was both romantic and professional. Their relationship lasted more than a decade, during and after which time Maar struggled with depression; they parted ways in 1946, three years after Picasso began having an affair with a woman named Françoise Gilot.

 

Picasso fathered four children: Paul, Maya, Claude and Paloma.

 

QUOTES

 

“Whenever I wanted to say something, I said it the way I believed I should. Different themes inevitably require different methods of expression. This does not imply either evolution or progress; it is a matter of following the idea one wants to express and the way in which one wants to express it.”

—Pablo Picasso

 

Source : Bio.

Centro de Arte Manuel Brito, CAMB, Palácio dos Anjos, Algés, Portugal

 

Materials : Cerâmica em Terracota

Collection : Manuel de Brito

 

BIOGRAPHY

 

Spanish expatriate Pablo Picasso was one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, as well as the co-creator of Cubism.

 

Born on October 25, 1881, in Málaga, Spain, Pablo Picasso's gargantuan full name, which honours a variety of relatives and saints, is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de Los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso. Picasso's mother was Doña Maria Picasso y Lopez. His father was Don José Ruiz Blasco, a painter and art teacher. A serious and prematurely world-weary child, the young Picasso possessed a pair of piercing, watchful black eyes that seemed to mark him destined for greatness. " When I was a child, my mother said to me, 'If you become a soldier, you'll be a general. If you become a monk you'll end up as the pope,'" he later recalled. " Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso."

 

Though he was a relatively poor student, Picasso displayed a prodigious talent for drawing at a very young age. According to legend, his first words were "piz, piz," his childish attempt at saying "lápiz," the Spanish word for pencil. Picasso's father began teaching him to draw and paint when he was a child, and by the time he was 13 years old, his skill level had surpassed his father's. Soon, Picasso lost all desire to do any schoolwork, choosing to spend the school days doodling in his notebook instead. " For being a bad student, I was banished to the 'calaboose,' a bare cell with whitewashed walls and a bench to sit on," he later remembered. " I liked it there because I took along a sketch pad and drew incessantly ... I could have stayed there forever, drawing without stopping."

 

In 1895, when Picasso was 14 years old, he moved with his family to Barcelona, Spain. where he quickly applied to the city's prestigious School of Fine Arts. Although the school typically only accepted students several years his senior, Picasso's entrance exam was so extraordinary that he was granted an exception and admitted. Nevertheless, Picasso chafed at the School of Fine Arts' strict rules and formalities and began skipping class so that he could roam the streets of Barcelona, sketching the city scenes he observed.

 

In 1897, a 16-year-old Picasso moved to Madrid to attend the Royal Academy of San Fernando. However, he again became frustrated with his school's singular focus on classical subjects and techniques. During this time, he wrote to a friend: " They just go on and on about the same old stuff: Velázquez for painting, Michelangelo for sculpture." Once again, Picasso began skipping class to wander the city and paint what he observed: gipsies, beggars and prostitutes, among other things.

 

In 1899, Picasso moved back to Barcelona and fell in with a crowd of artists and intellectuals who made their headquarters at a café called El Quatre Gats (" The Four Cats"). Inspired by the anarchists and radicals he met there, Picasso made his decisive break from the classical methods in which he had been trained and began what would become a lifelong process of experimentation and innovation.

 

BLUE PERIOD: 'BLUE NUDE,' 'LA VIE' AND OTHER WORKS

 

At the turn of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso moved to Paris, France—the cultural centre of European art—to open his own studio. Art critics and historians typically break Picasso's adult career into distinct periods, the first of which lasted from 1901 to 1904 and is called his " Blue Period," after the colour that dominated nearly all of Picasso's paintings over these years. Lonely and deeply depressed over the death of his close friend, Carlos Casagemas, he painted scenes of poverty, isolation and anguish, almost exclusively in shades of blue and green. Picasso's most famous paintings from the Blue Period include " Blue Nude," " La Vie" and " The Old Guitarist," all three of which were completed in 1903.

 

In contemplation of Picasso and his Blue Period, Symbolist writer and critic Charles Morice once asked, " Is this frighteningly precocious child not fated to bestow the consecration of a masterpiece on the negative sense of living, the illness from which he more than anyone else seems to be suffering?"

 

ROSE PERIOD: 'GERTRUDE STEIN,' 'TWO NUDES' AND MORE

 

By 1905, Picasso had largely overcome the depression that had previously debilitated him. Not only was he madly in love with a beautiful model, Fernande Olivier, but he was also newly prosperous thanks to the generous patronage of art dealer Ambroise Vollard. The artistic manifestation of Picasso's improved spirits was the introduction of warmer colors—including beiges, pinks and reds—in what is known as his " Rose Period" (1904-06). His most famous paintings from these years include "Family at Saltimbanques" (1905), "Gertrude Stein" (1905-06) and "Two Nudes" (1906).

 

BREAK INTO CUBISM

 

In 1907, Pablo Picasso produced a painting, unlike anything he or anyone else had ever painted before, a work that would profoundly influence the direction of art in the 20th century: " Les Demoiselles d'Avignon," a chilling depiction of five nude prostitutes, abstracted and distorted with sharp geometric features and stark blotches of blues, greens and greys. Today, " Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" is considered the precursor and inspiration of Cubism, an artistic style pioneered by Picasso and his friend and fellow painter, Georges Braque.

 

In Cubist paintings, objects are broken apart and reassembled in an abstracted form, highlighting their composite geometric shapes and depicting them from multiple, simultaneous viewpoints in order to create physics-defying, collage-like effects. At once destructive and creative, Cubism shocked, appalled and fascinated the art world. " It made me feel as if someone was drinking gasoline and spitting fire," Braque said, explaining that he was shocked when he first viewed Picasso's " Les Demoiselles," but quickly became intrigued with Cubism, seeing the new style as a revolutionary movement. French writer and critic Max Jacob, a good friend of both Picasso and painter Juan Gris, called Cubism " the 'Harbinger Comet' of the new century," stating, " Cubism is ... a picture for its own sake. Literary Cubism does the same thing in literature, using reality merely as a means and not as an end."

 

Picasso's early Cubist paintings, known as his " Analytic Cubist" works, include " Three Women" (1907), " Bread and Fruit Dish on a Table" (1909) and " Girl with Mandolin" (1910). His later Cubist works are distinguished as " Synthetic Cubism" for moving even further away from artistic typicalities of the time, creating vast collages out of a great number of tiny, individual fragments. These paintings include "Still Life with Chair Caning" (1912), "Card Player" (1913-14) and "Three Musicians" (1921).

 

CLASSICAL PERIOD

 

The outbreak of World War I ushered in the next great change in Picasso's art. He grew more sombre and, once again, became preoccupied with the depiction of reality. His works between 1918 and 1927 are categorized as part of his " Classical Period," a brief return to Realism in a career otherwise dominated by experimentation. His most interesting and important works from this period include " Three Women at the Spring" (1921), " Two Women Running on the Beach/The Race" (1922) and " The Pipes of Pan" (1923).

 

SURREALISM

 

From 1927 onward, Picasso became caught up in a new philosophical and cultural movement known as Surrealism, the artistic manifestation of which was a product of his own Cubism.

 

Picasso's most well-known Surrealist painting, deemed one of the greatest paintings of all time, was completed in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War. After German bombers supporting Francisco Franco's Nationalist forces carried out a devastating aerial attack on the Basque town of Guernica on April 26, 1937, Picasso, outraged by the bombing and the inhumanity of war, painted " Guernica." Painted in black, white and greys, the work is a Surrealist testament to the horrors of war, and features a minotaur and several human-like figures in various states of anguish and terror. " Guernica" remains one of the most moving and powerful anti-war paintings in history.

 

'SELF PORTRAIT FACING DEATH' AND OTHER LATER WORKS

 

In the aftermath of World War II, Picasso became more overtly political. He joined the Communist Party and was twice honoured with the International Lenin Peace Prize, first in 1950 and again in 1961. By this point in his life, he was also an international celebrity, the world's most famous living artist. While paparazzi chronicled his every move, however, few paid attention to his art during this time.

 

In contrast to the dazzling complexity of Synthetic Cubism, Picasso's later paintings display simple, childlike imagery and crude technique. Touching on the artistic validity of these later works, Picasso once remarked upon passing a group of school kids in his old age, " When I was as old as these children, I could draw like Raphael, but it took me a lifetime to learn to draw like them." Picasso created the epitome of his later work, " Self Portrait Facing Death," using pencil and crayon, a year before his death. The autobiographical subject, drawn with crude technique, appears as something between a human and an ape, with a green face and pink hair. Yet the expression in his eyes, capturing a lifetime of wisdom, fear and uncertainty, is the unmistakable work of a master at the height of his powers.

 

DEATH AND LEGACY

 

Pablo Picasso continued to create art and maintain an ambitious schedule in his later years, superstitiously believing that work would keep him alive. He died on April 8, 1973, at the age of 91, in Mougins, France. His legacy, however, has long endured.

 

Inarguably one of the most celebrated and influential painters of the 20th century, Picasso continues to garner reverence for his technical mastery, visionary creativity and profound empathy, and, together, these qualities have distinguished him as a revolutionary artist. Picasso also remains renowned for endlessly reinventing himself, switching between styles so radically different that his life's work seems to be the product of five or six great artists rather than just one.

 

Of his penchant for style diversity, Picasso insisted that his varied work was not indicative of radical shifts throughout his career, but, rather, of his dedication to objectively evaluating for each piece the form and technique best suited to achieve his desired effect. " Whenever I wanted to say something, I said it the way I believed I should," he explained. " Different themes inevitably require different methods of expression. This does not imply either evolution or progress; it is a matter of following the idea one wants to express and the way in which one wants to express it."

 

PERSONAL LIFE

 

An incorrigible womanizer, Picasso had countless relationships with girlfriends, mistresses, muses and prostitutes during his lifetime, marrying only twice. He wed a ballerina named Olga Khokhlova in 1918, and they remained together for nine years, parting ways in 1927. In 1961, at the age of 69, he married his second wife, Jacqueline Roque.

 

Between marriages, in 1935, Picasso met Dora Maar, a fellow artist, on the set of Jean Renoir's film Le Crime de Monsieur Lange (released in 1936). The two soon embarked upon a partnership that was both romantic and professional. Their relationship lasted more than a decade, during and after which time Maar struggled with depression; they parted ways in 1946, three years after Picasso began having an affair with a woman named Françoise Gilot.

 

Picasso fathered four children: Paul, Maya, Claude and Paloma.

 

QUOTES

 

“Whenever I wanted to say something, I said it the way I believed I should. Different themes inevitably require different methods of expression. This does not imply either evolution or progress; it is a matter of following the idea one wants to express and the way in which one wants to express it.”

—Pablo Picasso

 

Source: Bio.

Andrea del Sarto. (Andrea Vannucci) 1486-1530. Florence. Portrait of a Man. vers 1518. Londres. National Gallery.

Débuts du maniérisme italien. Early Italian Mannerism.

 

LE MANIERISME

 

Dans l'histoire de l'art l'appellation de maniérisme s'applique en premier lieu à la peinture italienne de 1520 à 1580. Il est représenté par des peintres comme Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, Parmigianino, Andrea del Abbate, Corregio, Beccafumi, Bacchiacca, Giulio Romano, Vasari, Le Tintorêt, Véronèse.

Cette esthétique se répand ensuite en Europe avec Le Greco en Espagne, Bloemaert, Goltzius, Wtewael Cornelis van Haarlem aux Pays Bas, Toussaint Dubreuil, les deux Caron en France, Spranger en Allemagne.

Toute l'histoire de l'art européen alterne les périodes où triomphe une esthétique à tendances classiques, et les périodes où s'imposent des tendances plus expressives.

Le Classicisme. C'est une esthétique de l'harmonie dans la mesure et l'équilibre. Il est caractérisé par la rigueur du dessin et des formes, la consonance et la retenue des couleurs, la modération raisonnable et raisonnée et la subtilité dans l'expression des sentiments.

L'esthétique Expressive prend diverses formes qui tendent à éloigner la peinture du naturalisme et du réalisme mesuré du Classicisme pour favoriser l'emphase et l'émotion. Le dessin peut être plus souple, l'art du flou est privilégié, la touche est plus visible (empâtements, hachures...). les formes des figures sont accentuées, les silhouettes des personnages allongées, les musculatures amplifiées. Les couleurs sont souvent plus accentuées et contrastées. Le mouvement et l'expression des sentiments sont exagérés, quelque fois jusqu'à la limite de l'outrance.

Le classicisme prend différents noms selon les périodes de l'histoire, Atticisme, Poussinisme, Néo-classicisme, Académisme.

La manière expressive prend les noms de Maniérisme, Baroque, Rubénisme, Rococo, Romantisme, Expressionnisme...

Evidemment toutes les gradations entre ces deux tendances existent.Le maniérisme italien était discrètement annoncé par des peintres répertoriés dans l'école classique comme Perugino et son élève Raphaël, figure du classicisme par excellence.

L'Art français sous Louis XIII est plutôt classique. Toute la peinture française sous Louis XIV hésite entre les deux tendances, et la peinture sous Louis XV est rococo.

 

THE MANNERISM

In the history of art, the appellation of mannerism applies, primarily, to Italian painting from 1520 to 1580. He is represented by artists like Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, Parmigianino, Andrea del Abbate, Correggio, Beccafumi, Bacchiacca, Giulio Romano, Vasari, Tintoretto, Veronese.

This aesthetic then spreads in Europe with El Greco in Spain, Bloemaert, Goltzius, Wtewael, Cornelis van Haarlem in the Netherlands, Toussaint Dubreuil, the two Caron in France, Spranger in Germany.

The whole history of European art, alternates the periods in which triumph the aesthetic to classic trends, and the periods in which the more expressive tendencies to impose. The Classicism. It is an aesthetic of the harmony in the measure and the balance. It is characterized by the rigor of the drawing and shapes, the consonance and the restraint of colors, the reasonable and reasoned moderation, and the subtlety in the expression of feelings.

The Aesthetic Expressive takes various forms that tend to move the painting out of naturalism and the measured realism of the Classicism, to favor the emphasis and emotion. The drawing can be more flexible, the art of the blur is privileged, the touch of the brush is more visible (impastos, hatching ...). the shapes of the figures are emphasized, the silhouettes of the characters, lengthened, the musculature, increased. The colors are often more pronounced and contrasting. The movement and the expression of feelings are exaggerated, sometimes to the limit of the excess.

Classicism takes different names in different periods of history, Atticism, Poussinisme, Neo-Classicism, Academism.

The expressive style takes the names of Mannerism, Baroque, Rubénisme, Rococo, Romanticism, Expressionism ...

Obviously all the gradations between these two tendencies exist. Italian Mannerism was quietly announced by painters listed in the classical school, as Perugino and his pupil Raphael figure of classicism par excellence.

The French Art of Louis XIII is pretty classic. All French painting under Louis XIV hesitates between the two tendencies, and the painting under Louis XV is Rococo.

   

Belem, Berardo Collection, Centro Cultural de Belem, Lisbon, Portugal

 

Material: Oil on canvas

Collection: Berardo Collection

 

BIOGRAPHY

 

Stażewski was the pioneer of the classical Avant-garde of the 20s and 30s; representative of the CONSTRUCTIVIST MOVEMENT; co-creator of the Geometric Abstract art movement of the 60s, 70s, and 80s; creator of reliefs, designer of interiors, stage scenery, and posters.

 

Stażewski studied under Professor Stanisław Lentz at Warsaw's Szkoła Sztuk Pieknych (School of Fine Arts) between 1913 and 1919. He joined the first-ever Polish avant-garde group created in 1917, which was initially referred to as the Polish Expressionists and renamed itself the FORMISTS in 1919.

 

Stażewski debuted in 1920, showing his works with the Formists at the Towarzystwo Zachęty Sztuk Pieknych (Society for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts) in Warsaw.

 

In 1921 he presented his paintings along with Mieczyslaw Szczuka at the avant-garde Polish Artistic Club.

 

In 1922, Stażewski participated in the Formists' F 9 exhibition at the Salon of Czesław Garliński in Warsaw.

 

In 1923 he participated in the Exhibition of New Art in Vilnius and the International Exhibition of New Art in Łódź. These two events effectively initiated the Constructivist movement in Poland.

 

Stażewski was a founding member of the Grupa Kubistow, Konstruktywistow i Suprematystow Blok (Block Group of Cubists, Constructivists, and Suprematists) (1924-1926) and other groups which built on the Block program, including Praesens (1926-29) and a.r. group (1929-1936). Stażewski also participated in editing the magazines Block i Praesens.

 

In 1923 he turned towards designing interiors and stage scenery and presented his avant-garde works at the Laurin and Klement Automobile Showroom in Warsaw.

 

Beginning in 1924 Stażewski traveled frequently to Paris, where he developed close relationships with Piet Mondrian and Michel Seuphor. Stażewski contributed significantly to the history of the world avant-garde both through his artistic activities and his theoretical writings and essays. He became a member of the Paris-based international GROUPS CERCLE ET CARRÉ (from 1929) and Abstraction-Création (from 1931).

 

Beginning in 1926 Stażewski represented Polish art abroad in exhibitions organized by the Towarzystwo Szerzenia Sztuki Polskiej wśród Obcych (Society for the Propagation of Polish Art Among Foreigners). In 1928 he designed the covers of MUBA magazine, produced in Paris by the Lithuanian poet Juozas Tysliava; also, as an extension of his Parisian activities, in 1929 he began working with Jan Brzękowski and Wanda Chodasiewicz-Grabowska in publishing the magazine L'Art Contemporain (Sztuka Współczesna).

 

Stażewski participated in numerous international exhibitions, including the 1st International Exhibition of Modern Architecture (Warsaw, 1926), the Exhibition of Theatrical Art (Paris, 1926), the Machine Age Exposition (New York, 1927), and the Konstruktivisten Exhibition (Basel, 1937).

 

In 1932 the artist exhibited his work with the group Nowa Generacja (New Generation) at Lvov's Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Sztuk Pięknych (Friends of Fine Arts Society) and the Łódź branch of the Instytut Propagandy Sztuki (Institute of Art Propaganda), while in 1935 he presented his works at the exhibition of the Grupa Krakowska (Kraków Group) in Kraków.

 

Stażewski was among the artists whose works were incorporated in the International Collection of Modern Art made available to the public at the Museum of Art in Łódź in 1931. The collection includes the works of a number of other internationally renowned artists, including H. Arp, M. Seuphor, T. van Doesburg, F. Legér, M. Ernst, A. Ozenfant, and E. Prampolini.

 

In 1933 Stażewski was among the co-founders of the Koło Artystów Grafików Reklamowych (Circle of Graphic Artists in Advertising), his credits at the time including numerous typographic designs, most of which were Neoplasticist in style.

 

That same year, the first-ever solo exhibition of the artist's works was organized alongside a presentation of the works of Karol Kryński at the Instytut Propagandy Sztuki (Institute for Art Propaganda) in Warsaw. Almost all of the artworks Stażewski produced before 1939 were destroyed during World War II.

 

After the war the artist joined the Klub Młodych Artystow i Naukowcow (Young Artists' and Scientists' Club) and collaborated with the avant-garde Krzywe Koło Gallery in Warsaw.

 

In 1965 Stażewski joined with Wiesław Borowski, Anka Ptaszkowska, and Mariusz Tchorek in creating the Galeria Foksal (Foksal Gallery). Stażewski's first post-war solo exhibition was held in 1955 at Warsaw's Klub Zwiazku Literatow (Association of Writers Club). The artist presented his works at numerous exhibitions of Polish contemporary art abroad, including shows in Paris (Musée d'Art Moderne, 1977, 1982; Centre Georges Pompidou, 1983), Stockholm, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Geneva (1959), Venice (1959, 1966, 1986), New York (Museum of Modern Art, 1976), Oslo (1961), Essen (1962, 1973), Stuttgart (1962), Chicago (1964, 1966, 1967, 1972), Bochum (1964), Tel-Aviv (1965), Tokyo (1966), London (Royal Academy, 1970; 1984), Strasburg (1970), Düsseldorf (1974, 1981, 1982), Milan (1974, 1986), Zurich (1974, 1975), Hamburg (1975), Madrid, Berlin, and Cologne (1977), Rome (1979), and Los Angeles (1981).

 

A retrospective of Stażewski's works was organized in 1994 at the Museum of Art in Łódź. The artist received an honorable mention at the 33rd Biennale of Art in Venice in 1966, and in 1972 he was awarded the Gottfried von Herder Prize by the University of Vienna.

 

Stażewski's membership in the avant-garde was apparent in his first drawings, which referenced Cubism in their structure, and in his decoratively over-stylized portraits and still lifes dating from 1917-23. The works of his Constructivist phase were clearly inspired by the theory of Unism propagated by Władysław Strzemiński, reflected in his textural differentiation of planes on what were otherwise largely monochromatic canvases.

 

The influence of Strzemiński's architectural compositions is apparent in Stażewski's paintings analyzing the relationships figures to their background, and particularly in a series of works in which letters are incorporated into the geometric rhythms of the compositions' structures.

 

Strong links between Stażewski's art and the Neoplasticism of the Dutch De Stijl group are evident in the artist's consistent construction of paintings on a grid of horizontal and vertical lines, as well as in his use of the three primary colors - red, yellow, and blue - and the three 'non-colors' - black, white, and gray (Kompozycja / Composition, 1930). The artist modified these rudimentary structures somewhat by linking distinct color planes through their rounded 'corners'.

 

Stażewski's abstract paintings of the 1930s and 1950s were free of such structural rigor. In these works biomorphically or geometrically shaped planes of pure color are independent of any of the dynamic lines that traverse the plane. In the early 1930s a figurative vein appeared in the artist's work, one that he would later build on throughout the 1950s. In the decade preceding the war, however, Stażewski produced an abundance of landscapes, portraits, and still lifes. His compositions from the late 1940s and early 1950s lie on the border between figurative art and abstraction. These allude either to still lifes or, in the energy of their wave-like contours, to the wartime drawings of Strzemiński. The works are evidence of the artist's independence from the 'normative aesthetics' of Socialist Realism. Though characterized by a high degree of formal differentiation, the artist's works of the 1960s and 1970s were all very much within the frame of geometric abstraction..

 

In the second half of the 1950s Stażewski supplemented his visual language with a new element - the relief. This form would supplant pure painterly media in his art for the next twenty years. Initially his reliefs had a very loose structure and were built of colorful, rough-textured elements that referenced organic forms (Relief, c. 1955). His reliefs of the 1960s were characterized by elements covered in 'half-tone screens' that energized their surface by creating the illusion of vibration. The works of the early part of this decade also manifest the artist's fascination for white, which was a manifestation of his reflections on the neutrality of form 'in and of itself' and on its dependence on compositional context. Stażewski's exploration of the infinite potential configurations of a series of moveable, barrel-like elements was a manifestation of his confrontation of the concepts of 'order' and 'coincidence', and fundamentally consisted of creating situations that were possible but had not yet come to fruition (Relief szary i bialy 9 / Grey and White Relief no. 9, 1964).

 

During his 'white period', Stażewski also attempted to penetrate space in a series of copper reliefs dating from the years 1964-67. Their multi-dimensional nature was the result of thickened and overlaid forms and light reflections that were multiplied on the polished metal surfaces (Relief miedziany 9 / Copper Relief 9, 1965). The reliefs Stażewski painted in the 1970s were made dynamic through unexpected disturbances of their geometric structure and unpredictable negations of the principles of regular compositional rhythm (Relief 2, 1972). In the same period Stażewski reverted to the formula of 'white paintings', which stimulated the artist to reflect on the relationship between art, science, and metaphysics, and constituted a continuation of his investigations into the order-chaos dichotomy.

 

In 1975 Stażewski created a series of works that analyzed the composition of George de la Tour's paintings and embodied the artist's conviction that geometry is the link between the art of all epochs.

 

This hypothesis on the universalistic nature of geometry was expressed once again in a series of paintings initiated in 1976 titled Redukcje / Reductions. In these works, abstract space represented by the uniform white plane of the canvas paradoxically plays a very active role and is penetrated in various directions by groups of lines, disintegrating lines, lines running parallel to each other or cutting across the place diagonally. This radical limitation of his visual language and its subordination to an ascetic discipline expressed the feelings of a man confronted with infinity, but endlessly trustful of the 'moderation' encoded in the human eye and mind and of the ordering power of geometry. This tendency to subordinate art to the objective laws of science was strengthened in 1968. The colored square is the basic component in the artist's works of this period. Stażewski multiplied it, only slightly differentiating its color, and thus obtained multiple dimensions and intensified chromatic effects. The artist designed these compositions to tame the metaphysical concept of the square.

 

In 1970 Stażewski once again expanded the scope of his expressive means and enriched his concept of artistic universalism in a work for the 1970 Wroclaw Symposium titled 9 promieni swiatla na niebie / 9 Rays of Light in the Sky, created with the help of beams of light generated by reflectors. In his acrylic paintings of the 1970s, color finally became fully expressive, conquering the restrictive shape of squares, distorting the regularity of their configuration, or attacking them with aggressive 'rays' (Promienie barw / Color Rays, 1980). In the 1980s, colors combined in vibrant play between geometric elements. Intensive, uniform, often glistening planes of color also appeared on slippers and necklaces painted by Stażewski, an activity he treated jokingly. In addition to painting canvases, the artist also created murals, produced graphic and typographic schemes, and designed interiors, stage scenery, posters and ceramics. Beginning around 1974 he began recording his views about art and philosophy in aphoristic texts. In 1980 Stażewski initiated a program of exchanges of artwork between Polish and American artists to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the International Collection of Modern Art in Łódź.

 

Author: Irena Kossowska, Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Science, December 2001

 

SOURCE: culture.pl/en/artist/henryk-stazewski

Camera: Canon EOS 1V, EF 2/135mm

 

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Arles

 

Arles is located in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Country France

Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Department Bouches-du-Rhône

Arrondissement Arles

Canton Arles

Intercommunality CA Arles-Crau-Camargue-Montagnette

Government

• Mayor (2014–2020) Hervé Schiavetti (PCF)

Area1 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi)

Population (2012)2 52,439

• Density 69/km2 (180/sq mi)

Time zone CET (UTC+1)

• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

INSEE/Postal code 13004 /13200

Elevation 0–57 m (0–187 ft)

(avg. 10 m or 33 ft)

 

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

 

Arles (French pronunciation: ​[aʁl]; Provençal [ˈaʀle] in both classical and Mistralian norms; Arelate in Classical Latin) is a city and commune in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which it is a subprefecture, in the former province of Provence.

 

A large part of the Camargue is located on the territory of the commune, making it the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory (though Maripasoula, French Guiana, is much larger). The city has a long history, and was of considerable importance in the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis. The Roman and Romanesque Monuments of Arles were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1981. The Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh lived in Arles from 1888 to 1889 and produced over 300 paintings and drawings during his time there. An international photography festival has been held in the city since 1970.

 

Geography

 

The river Rhône forks into two branches just upstream of Arles, forming the Camargue delta. Because the Camargue is for a large part administratively part of Arles, the commune as a whole is the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory, although its population is only slightly more than 50,000. Its area is 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi), which is more than seven times the area of Paris.

Climate

 

Arles has a Mediterranean climate with a mean annual temperature of 14.6 °C (1948 - 1999). The summers are warm and moderately dry, with seasonal averages between 22 °C and 24 °C, and mild winters with a mean temperature of about 7 °C. The city is constantly, but especially in the winter months, subject to the influence of the mistral, a cold wind which can cause sudden and severe frosts. Rainfall (636 mm per year) is fairly evenly distributed from September to May, with the summer drought being less marked than in other Mediterranean areas.[1]

 

The Ligurians were in this area from about 800 BC. Later, Celtic influences have been discovered. The city became an important Phoenician trading port, before being taken by the Romans.

 

The Romans took the town in 123 BC and expanded it into an important city, with a canal link to the Mediterranean Sea being constructed in 104 BC. However, it struggled to escape the shadow of Massalia (Marseilles) further along the coast.

 

Its chance came when it sided with Julius Caesar against Pompey, providing military support. Massalia backed Pompey; when Caesar emerged victorious, Massalia was stripped of its possessions, which were transferred to Arelate as a reward. The town was formally established as a colony for veterans of the Roman legion Legio VI Ferrata, which had its base there. Its full title as a colony was Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelatensium Sextanorum, "the ancestral Julian colony of Arles of the soldiers of the Sixth."

 

Arelate was a city of considerable importance in the province of Gallia Narbonensis. It covered an area of some 40 hectares (99 acres) and possessed a number of monuments, including an amphitheatre, triumphal arch, Roman circus, theatre, and a full circuit of walls. Ancient Arles was closer to the sea than it is now and served as a major port. It also had (and still has) the southernmost bridge on the Rhône. Very unusually, the Roman bridge was not fixed but consisted of a pontoon-style bridge of boats, with towers and drawbridges at each end. The boats were secured in place by anchors and were tethered to twin towers built just upstream of the bridge. This unusual design was a way of coping with the river's frequent violent floods, which would have made short work of a conventional bridge. Nothing remains of the Roman bridge, which has been replaced by a more modern bridge near the same spot.

 

The city reached a peak of influence during the 4th and 5th centuries, when Roman Emperors frequently used it as their headquarters during military campaigns. In 395, it became the seat of the Praetorian Prefecture of the Gauls, governing the western part of the Western Empire: Gaul proper plus Hispania (Spain) and Armorica (Brittany). At that time, the city was perhaps home to 75,000–100,000 people.[2][3][4][5]

 

It became a favorite city of Emperor Constantine I, who built baths there, substantial remains of which are still standing. His son, Constantine II, was born in Arles. Usurper Constantine III declared himself emperor in the West (407–411) and made Arles his capital in 408.

 

Arles became renowned as a cultural and religious centre during the late Roman Empire. It was the birthplace of the sceptical philosopher Favorinus. It was also a key location for Roman Christianity and an important base for the Christianization of Gaul. The city's bishopric was held by a series of outstanding clerics, beginning with Saint Trophimus around 225 and continuing with Saint Honoratus, then Saint Hilarius in the first half of the 5th century. The political tension between the Catholic bishops of Arles and the Visigothic kings is epitomized in the career of the Frankish St. Caesarius, bishop of Arles 503–542, who was suspected by the Arian Visigoth Alaric II of conspiring with the Burgundians to turn over the Arelate to Burgundy, and was exiled for a year to Bordeaux in Aquitaine. Political tensions were evident again in 512, when Arles held out against Theodoric the Great and Caesarius was imprisoned and sent to Ravenna to explain his actions before the Ostrogothic king.[6]

 

The friction between the Arian Christianity of the Visigoths and the Catholicism of the bishops sent out from Rome established deep roots for religious heterodoxy, even heresy, in Occitan culture. At Treves in 385, Priscillian achieved the distinction of becoming the first Christian executed for heresy (Manichaean in his case, see also Cathars, Camisards). Despite this tension and the city's decline in the face of barbarian invasions, Arles remained a great religious centre and host of church councils (see Council of Arles), the rival of Vienne, for hundreds of years.

Roman aqueduct and mill

Aqueduct of Arles at Barbegal

 

The Barbegal aqueduct and mill is a Roman watermill complex located on the territory of the commune of Fontvieille, a few kilometres from Arles. The complex has been referred to as "the greatest known concentration of mechanical power in the ancient world".[7] The remains of the mill streams and buildings which housed the overshot water wheels are still visible at the site, and it is by far the best-preserved of ancient mills. There are two aqueducts which join just north of the mill complex, and a sluice which enabled the operators to control the water supply to the complex. The mill consisted of 16 waterwheels in two separate rows built into a steep hillside. There are substantial masonry remains of the water channels and foundations of the individual mills, together with a staircase rising up the hill upon which the mills are built. The mills apparently operated from the end of the 1st century until about the end of the 3rd century.[8] The capacity of the mills has been estimated at 4.5 tons of flour per day, sufficient to supply enough bread for 6,000 of the 30-40,000 inhabitants of Arelate at that time.[9] A similar mill complex existed also on the Janiculum in Rome. Examination of the mill leat still just visible on one side of the hill shows a substantial accretion of lime in the channel, tending to confirm its long working life.

 

It is thought that the wheels were overshot water wheels with the outflow from the top driving the next one down and so on, to the base of the hill. Vertical water mills were well known to the Romans, being described by Vitruvius in his De Architectura of 25 BC, and mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia of 77 AD. There are also later references to floating water mills from Byzantium and to sawmills on the river Moselle by the poet Ausonius. The use of multiple stacked sequences of reverse overshot water-wheels was widespread in Roman mines.

Middle Ages

Place de la République.

Cafe Terrace at Night by Vincent van Gogh (September 1888), depicts the warmth of a café in Arles

 

In 735, after raiding the Lower Rhône, Andalusian Saracens led by Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri moved into the stronghold summoned by Count Maurontus, who feared Charles Martel's expansionist ambitions, though this may have been an excuse to further Moorish expansion beyond Iberia. The next year, Charles campaigned south to Septimania and Provence, attacking and capturing Arles after destroying Avignon. In 739. Charles definitely drove Maurontus to exile, and brought Provence to heel. In 855, it was made the capital of a Frankish Kingdom of Arles, which included Burgundy and part of Provence, but was frequently terrorised by Saracen and Viking raiders. In 888, Rudolph, Count of Auxerre (now in north-western Burgundy), founded the kingdom of Transjuran Burgundy (literally, beyond the Jura mountains), which included western Switzerland as far as the river Reuss, Valais, Geneva, Chablais and Bugey.

 

In 933, Hugh of Arles ("Hugues de Provence") gave his kingdom up to Rudolph II, who merged the two kingdoms into a new Kingdom of Arles. In 1032, King Rudolph III died, and the kingdom was inherited by Emperor Conrad II the Salic. Though his successors counted themselves kings of Arles, few went to be crowned in the cathedral. Most of the kingdom's territory was progressively incorporated into France. During these troubled times, the amphitheatre was converted into a fortress, with watchtowers built at each of the four quadrants and a minuscule walled town being constructed within. The population was by now only a fraction of what it had been in Roman times, with much of old Arles lying in ruins.

 

The town regained political and economic prominence in the 12th century, with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa traveling there in 1178 for his coronation. In the 12th century, it became a free city governed by an elected podestat (chief magistrate; literally "power"), who appointed the consuls and other magistrates. It retained this status until the French Revolution of 1789.

 

Arles joined the countship of Provence in 1239, but, once more, its prominence was eclipsed by Marseilles. In 1378, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV ceded the remnants of the Kingdom of Arles to the Dauphin of France (later King Charles VI of France) and the kingdom ceased to exist even on paper.

Modern era

 

Arles remained economically important for many years as a major port on the Rhône. In the 19th century, the arrival of the railway diminished river trade, leading to the town becoming something of a backwater.

 

This made it an attractive destination for the painter Vincent van Gogh, who arrived there on 21 February 1888. He was fascinated by the Provençal landscapes, producing over 300 paintings and drawings during his time in Arles. Many of his most famous paintings were completed there, including The Night Cafe, the Yellow Room, Starry Night Over the Rhone, and L'Arlésienne. Paul Gauguin visited van Gogh in Arles. However, van Gogh's mental health deteriorated and he became alarmingly eccentric, culminating in the well-known ear-severing incident in December 1888 which resulted in two stays in the Old Hospital of Arles. The concerned Arlesians circulated a petition the following February demanding that van Gogh be confined. In May 1889, he took the hint and left Arles for the Saint-Paul asylum at nearby Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Jewish history

Main article: History of the Jews in Arles

 

Arles had an important and evident Jewish community between the Roman era and until the end of the 15th century. A local legend describes the first Jews in Arles as exiles from Judaea after Jerusalem fell to the Romans. Nevertheless, the first documented evident of Jews in Arles is not before fifth century, when a distinguished community had already existed in town. Arles was an important Jewish crossroads, as a port city and close to Spain and the rest of Europe alike. It served a major role in the work of the Hachmei Provence group of famous Jewish scholars, translators and philosophers, who were most important to Judaism throughout the Middle Ages. At the eighth century, the jurisdiction of the Jews of Arles were passed to the local Archbishop, making the Jewish taxes to the clergy somewhat of a shield for the community from mob attacks, most frequent during the Crusades. The community lived relatively peacefully until the last decade of the 15th century, when they were expelled out of the city never to return. Several Jews did live in the city in the centuries after, though no community was found ever after. Nowadays, Jewish archaeological findings and texts from Arles can be found in the local museum.[10]

Population

Historical population

Year Pop. ±%

1806 20,151 —

1820 20,150 −0.0%

1831 20,236 +0.4%

1836 20,048 −0.9%

1841 20,460 +2.1%

1846 23,101 +12.9%

1851 23,208 +0.5%

1856 24,816 +6.9%

1861 25,543 +2.9%

1866 26,367 +3.2%

1872 24,695 −6.3%

1876 25,095 +1.6%

1881 23,480 −6.4%

1891 24,288 +3.4%

1896 24,567 +1.1%

1901 28,116 +14.4%

1906 31,010 +10.3%

1911 31,014 +0.0%

1921 29,146 −6.0%

1926 32,485 +11.5%

1946 35,017 +7.8%

1954 37,443 +6.9%

1962 41,932 +12.0%

1968 45,774 +9.2%

1975 50,059 +9.4%

1982 50,500 +0.9%

1990 52,058 +3.1%

1999 50,426 −3.1%

2008 52,729 +4.6%

2010 57,328 +8.7%

Main sights

Gallo-Roman theatre.

The Alyscamps.

 

Arles has important Roman remnants, most of which have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1981 within the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments group. They include:

 

The Gallo-Roman theatre

The arena or amphitheatre

The Alyscamps (Roman necropolis)

The Thermae of Constantine

The cryptoporticus

Arles Obelisk

Barbegal aqueduct and mill

 

The Church of St. Trophime (Saint Trophimus), formerly a cathedral, is a major work of Romanesque architecture, and the representation of the Last Judgment on its portal is considered one of the finest examples of Romanesque sculpture, as are the columns in the adjacent cloister.

 

The town also has a museum of ancient history, the Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence antiques, with one of the best collections of Roman sarcophagi to be found anywhere outside Rome itself. Other museums include the Musée Réattu and the Museon Arlaten.

 

The courtyard of the Old Arles hospital, now named "Espace Van Gogh," is a center for Vincent van Gogh's works, several of which are masterpieces.[11] The garden, framed on all four sides by buildings of the complex, is approached through arcades on the first floor. A circulation gallery is located on the first and second floors.[12]

Archaeology

Main article: Arles portrait bust

 

In September–October 2007, divers led by Luc Long from the French Department of Subaquatic Archaeological Research, headed by Michel L'Hour, discovered a life-sized marble bust of an apparently important Roman person in the Rhône near Arles, together with smaller statues of Marsyas in Hellenistic style and of the god Neptune from the third century AD. The larger bust was tentatively dated to 46 BC. Since the bust displayed several characteristics of an ageing person with wrinkles, deep naso-labial creases and hollows in his face, and since the archaeologists believed that Julius Caesar had founded the colony Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelate Sextanorum in 46 BC, the scientists came to the preliminary conclusion that the bust depicted a life-portrait of the Roman dictator: France's Minister of Culture Christine Albanel reported on May 13, 2008, that the bust would be the oldest representation of Caesar known today.[13] The story was picked up by all larger media outlets.[14][15] The realism of the portrait was said to place it in the tradition of late Republican portrait and genre sculptures. The archaeologists further claimed that a bust of Julius Caesar might have been thrown away or discreetly disposed of, because Caesar's portraits could have been viewed as politically dangerous possessions after the dictator's assassination.

 

Historians and archaeologists not affiliated with the French administration, among them Paul Zanker, the renowned archaeologist and expert on Caesar and Augustus, were quick to question whether the bust is a portrait of Caesar.[16][17][18] Many noted the lack of resemblances to Caesar's likenesses issued on coins during the last years of the dictator's life, and to the Tusculum bust of Caesar,[19] which depicts Julius Caesar in his lifetime, either as a so-called zeitgesicht or as a direct portrait. After a further stylistic assessment, Zanker dated the Arles-bust to the Augustan period. Elkins argued for the third century AD as the terminus post quem for the deposition of the statues, refuting the claim that the bust was thrown away due to feared repercussions from Caesar's assassination in 44 BC.[20] The main argument by the French archaeologists that Caesar had founded the colony in 46 BC proved to be incorrect, as the colony was founded by Caesar's former quaestor Tiberius Claudius Nero on the dictator's orders in his absence.[21] Mary Beard has accused the persons involved in the find of having willfully invented their claims for publicity reasons. The French ministry of culture has not yet responded to the criticism and negative reviews.

Sport

 

AC Arles-Avignon is a professional French football team. They currently play in Championnat de France Amateur, the fourth division in French football. They play at the Parc des Sports, which has a capacity of just over 17,000.

Culture

 

A well known photography festival, Rencontres d'Arles, takes place in Arles every year, and the French national school of photography is located there.

 

The major French publishing house Actes Sud is also situated in Arles.

 

Bull fights are conducted in the amphitheatre, including Provençal-style bullfights (courses camarguaises) in which the bull is not killed, but rather a team of athletic men attempt to remove a tassle from the bull's horn without getting injured. Every Easter and on the first weekend of September, during the feria, Arles also holds Spanish-style corridas (in which the bulls are killed) with an encierro (bull-running in the streets) preceding each fight.

 

The film Ronin was partially filmed in Arles.

European Capital of Culture

 

Arles played a major role in Marseille-Provence 2013, the year-long series of cultural events held in the region after it was designated the European Capital of Culture for 2013. The city hosted a segment of the opening ceremony with a pyrotechnical performance by Groupe F on the banks of the Rhône. It also unveiled the new wing of the Musée Départemental Arles Antique as part of Marseille-Provence 2013.

Economy

 

Arles's open-air street market is a major market in the region. It occurs on Saturday and Wednesday mornings.

Transport

 

The Gare d'Arles railway station offers connections to Avignon, Nîmes, Marseille, Paris, Bordeaux and several regional destinations.

Notable people

 

Vincent van Gogh, lived here from February 1888 until May 1889.

The Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral (1830–1914) was born near Arles

Jeanne Calment (1875–1997), the oldest human being whose age is documented, was born, lived and died, at the age of 122 years and 164 days, in Arles

Anne-Marie David, singer (Eurovision winner in 1973)

Christian Lacroix, fashion designer

Lucien Clergue, photographer

Djibril Cissé, footballer

Antoine de Seguiran, 18th-century encyclopédiste

Genesius of Arles, a notary martyred under Maximianus in 303 or 308

Blessed Jean Marie du Lau, last Archbishop of Arles, killed by the revolutionary mob in Paris on September 2, 1792

Juan Bautista (real name Jean-Baptiste Jalabert), matador

Maja Hoffmann, art patron

Mehdi Savalli, matador

The medieval writer Antoine de la Sale was probably born in Arles around 1386

Home of the Gipsy Kings, a music group from Arles

Gael Givet, footballer

Lloyd Palun, footballer

Fanny Valette, actress

Luc Hoffmann, ornithologist, conservationist and philanthropist.

Saint Caesarius of Arles, bishop who lived from the late 5th to the mid 6th century, known for prophecy and writings that would later be used by theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas

Samuel ibn Tibbon, famous Jewish translator and scholar during the Middle Ages.

Kalonymus ben Kalonymus, famous Jewish scholar and philosopher, Arles born, active during the Middle Ages.

 

Twin towns — sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in France

 

Arles is twinned with:

 

Pskov, Russia

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Fulda, Germany

York, Pennsylvania, United States

Cubelles, Spain

Vercelli, Italy

Sagné, Mauritania

Kalymnos, Greece

Wisbech, United Kingdom

Zhouzhuang, Kunshan, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China

Verviers, Belgium

 

See also

 

Archbishopric of Arles

Montmajour Abbey

Trinquetaille

Langlois Bridge

Saint-Martin-de-Crau

Communes of the Bouches-du-Rhône department

 

References

 

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Archdiocese of Aix". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.

INSEE

 

The table contains the temperatures and precipitation of the city of Arles for the period 1948-1999, extracted from the site Sophy.u-3mrs.fr.

www.academia.edu/1166147/_The_Fall_and_Decline_of_the_Rom...

Rick Steves' Provence & the French Riviera, p. 78, at Google Books

Nelson's Dictionary of Christianity: The Authoritative Resource on the Christian World, p. 1173, at Google Books

Provence, p. 81, at Google Books

Wace, Dictionary)

Greene, Kevin (2000). "Technological Innovation and Economic Progress in the Ancient World: M.I. Finley Re-Considered". The Economic History Review. New Series. 53 (1): 29–59 [p. 39]. doi:10.1111/1468-0289.00151.

"Ville d'Histoire et de Patrimoine". Patrimoine.ville-arles.fr. Retrieved 2013-03-25.

"La meunerie de Barbegal". Etab.ac-caen.fr. Retrieved 2013-03-25.

jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/1784-arles

Fisher, R, ed (2011). Fodor's France 2011. Toronto and New York: Fodor's Travel, division of Random House. p. 563 ISBN 978-1-4000-0473-7.

"Espace Van Gogh". Visiter, Places of Interest. Arles Office de Tourisme. Retrieved 2011-04-29.

Original communiqué (May 13, 2008); second communiqué (May 20, 2008); report (May 20, 2008)

E.g."Divers find marble bust of Caesar that may date to 46 B.C.". Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-05-14. , CNN-Online et al.

Video (QuickTime) Archived May 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. on the archaeological find (France 3)

Paul Zanker, "Der Echte war energischer, distanzierter, ironischer" Archived May 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Sueddeutsche Zeitung, May 25, 2008, on-line

Mary Beard, "The face of Julius Caesar? Come off it!", TLS, May 14, 2008, on-line

Nathan T. Elkins, 'Oldest Bust' of Julius Caesar found in France?, May 14, 2008, on-line

Cp. this image at the AERIA library

A different approach was presented by Mary Beard, in that members of a military Caesarian colony would not have discarded portraits of Caesar, whom they worshipped as god, although statues were in fact destroyed by the Anti-Caesarians in the city of Rome after Caesar's assassination (Appian, BC III.1.9).

Konrat Ziegler & Walther Sontheimer (eds.), "Arelate", in Der Kleine Pauly: Lexikon der Antike, Vol. 1, col. 525, Munich 1979; in 46 BC, Caesar himself was campaigning in Africa, before later returning to Rome.

Camera: Canon EOS 1V, EF 2/135mm

 

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Arles

 

Arles is located in France

Arles is located in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Coordinates: 43°40′36″N 4°37′40″ECoordinates: 43°40′36″N 4°37′40″E

Country France

Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Department Bouches-du-Rhône

Arrondissement Arles

Canton Arles

Intercommunality CA Arles-Crau-Camargue-Montagnette

Government

• Mayor (2014–2020) Hervé Schiavetti (PCF)

Area1 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi)

Population (2012)2 52,439

• Density 69/km2 (180/sq mi)

Time zone CET (UTC+1)

• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

INSEE/Postal code 13004 /13200

Elevation 0–57 m (0–187 ft)

(avg. 10 m or 33 ft)

 

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

 

Arles (French pronunciation: ​[aʁl]; Provençal [ˈaʀle] in both classical and Mistralian norms; Arelate in Classical Latin) is a city and commune in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which it is a subprefecture, in the former province of Provence.

 

A large part of the Camargue is located on the territory of the commune, making it the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory (though Maripasoula, French Guiana, is much larger). The city has a long history, and was of considerable importance in the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis. The Roman and Romanesque Monuments of Arles were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1981. The Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh lived in Arles from 1888 to 1889 and produced over 300 paintings and drawings during his time there. An international photography festival has been held in the city since 1970.

 

Geography

 

The river Rhône forks into two branches just upstream of Arles, forming the Camargue delta. Because the Camargue is for a large part administratively part of Arles, the commune as a whole is the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory, although its population is only slightly more than 50,000. Its area is 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi), which is more than seven times the area of Paris.

Climate

 

Arles has a Mediterranean climate with a mean annual temperature of 14.6 °C (1948 - 1999). The summers are warm and moderately dry, with seasonal averages between 22 °C and 24 °C, and mild winters with a mean temperature of about 7 °C. The city is constantly, but especially in the winter months, subject to the influence of the mistral, a cold wind which can cause sudden and severe frosts. Rainfall (636 mm per year) is fairly evenly distributed from September to May, with the summer drought being less marked than in other Mediterranean areas.[1]

 

The Ligurians were in this area from about 800 BC. Later, Celtic influences have been discovered. The city became an important Phoenician trading port, before being taken by the Romans.

 

The Romans took the town in 123 BC and expanded it into an important city, with a canal link to the Mediterranean Sea being constructed in 104 BC. However, it struggled to escape the shadow of Massalia (Marseilles) further along the coast.

 

Its chance came when it sided with Julius Caesar against Pompey, providing military support. Massalia backed Pompey; when Caesar emerged victorious, Massalia was stripped of its possessions, which were transferred to Arelate as a reward. The town was formally established as a colony for veterans of the Roman legion Legio VI Ferrata, which had its base there. Its full title as a colony was Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelatensium Sextanorum, "the ancestral Julian colony of Arles of the soldiers of the Sixth."

 

Arelate was a city of considerable importance in the province of Gallia Narbonensis. It covered an area of some 40 hectares (99 acres) and possessed a number of monuments, including an amphitheatre, triumphal arch, Roman circus, theatre, and a full circuit of walls. Ancient Arles was closer to the sea than it is now and served as a major port. It also had (and still has) the southernmost bridge on the Rhône. Very unusually, the Roman bridge was not fixed but consisted of a pontoon-style bridge of boats, with towers and drawbridges at each end. The boats were secured in place by anchors and were tethered to twin towers built just upstream of the bridge. This unusual design was a way of coping with the river's frequent violent floods, which would have made short work of a conventional bridge. Nothing remains of the Roman bridge, which has been replaced by a more modern bridge near the same spot.

 

The city reached a peak of influence during the 4th and 5th centuries, when Roman Emperors frequently used it as their headquarters during military campaigns. In 395, it became the seat of the Praetorian Prefecture of the Gauls, governing the western part of the Western Empire: Gaul proper plus Hispania (Spain) and Armorica (Brittany). At that time, the city was perhaps home to 75,000–100,000 people.[2][3][4][5]

 

It became a favorite city of Emperor Constantine I, who built baths there, substantial remains of which are still standing. His son, Constantine II, was born in Arles. Usurper Constantine III declared himself emperor in the West (407–411) and made Arles his capital in 408.

 

Arles became renowned as a cultural and religious centre during the late Roman Empire. It was the birthplace of the sceptical philosopher Favorinus. It was also a key location for Roman Christianity and an important base for the Christianization of Gaul. The city's bishopric was held by a series of outstanding clerics, beginning with Saint Trophimus around 225 and continuing with Saint Honoratus, then Saint Hilarius in the first half of the 5th century. The political tension between the Catholic bishops of Arles and the Visigothic kings is epitomized in the career of the Frankish St. Caesarius, bishop of Arles 503–542, who was suspected by the Arian Visigoth Alaric II of conspiring with the Burgundians to turn over the Arelate to Burgundy, and was exiled for a year to Bordeaux in Aquitaine. Political tensions were evident again in 512, when Arles held out against Theodoric the Great and Caesarius was imprisoned and sent to Ravenna to explain his actions before the Ostrogothic king.[6]

 

The friction between the Arian Christianity of the Visigoths and the Catholicism of the bishops sent out from Rome established deep roots for religious heterodoxy, even heresy, in Occitan culture. At Treves in 385, Priscillian achieved the distinction of becoming the first Christian executed for heresy (Manichaean in his case, see also Cathars, Camisards). Despite this tension and the city's decline in the face of barbarian invasions, Arles remained a great religious centre and host of church councils (see Council of Arles), the rival of Vienne, for hundreds of years.

Roman aqueduct and mill

Aqueduct of Arles at Barbegal

 

The Barbegal aqueduct and mill is a Roman watermill complex located on the territory of the commune of Fontvieille, a few kilometres from Arles. The complex has been referred to as "the greatest known concentration of mechanical power in the ancient world".[7] The remains of the mill streams and buildings which housed the overshot water wheels are still visible at the site, and it is by far the best-preserved of ancient mills. There are two aqueducts which join just north of the mill complex, and a sluice which enabled the operators to control the water supply to the complex. The mill consisted of 16 waterwheels in two separate rows built into a steep hillside. There are substantial masonry remains of the water channels and foundations of the individual mills, together with a staircase rising up the hill upon which the mills are built. The mills apparently operated from the end of the 1st century until about the end of the 3rd century.[8] The capacity of the mills has been estimated at 4.5 tons of flour per day, sufficient to supply enough bread for 6,000 of the 30-40,000 inhabitants of Arelate at that time.[9] A similar mill complex existed also on the Janiculum in Rome. Examination of the mill leat still just visible on one side of the hill shows a substantial accretion of lime in the channel, tending to confirm its long working life.

 

It is thought that the wheels were overshot water wheels with the outflow from the top driving the next one down and so on, to the base of the hill. Vertical water mills were well known to the Romans, being described by Vitruvius in his De Architectura of 25 BC, and mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia of 77 AD. There are also later references to floating water mills from Byzantium and to sawmills on the river Moselle by the poet Ausonius. The use of multiple stacked sequences of reverse overshot water-wheels was widespread in Roman mines.

Middle Ages

Place de la République.

Cafe Terrace at Night by Vincent van Gogh (September 1888), depicts the warmth of a café in Arles

 

In 735, after raiding the Lower Rhône, Andalusian Saracens led by Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri moved into the stronghold summoned by Count Maurontus, who feared Charles Martel's expansionist ambitions, though this may have been an excuse to further Moorish expansion beyond Iberia. The next year, Charles campaigned south to Septimania and Provence, attacking and capturing Arles after destroying Avignon. In 739. Charles definitely drove Maurontus to exile, and brought Provence to heel. In 855, it was made the capital of a Frankish Kingdom of Arles, which included Burgundy and part of Provence, but was frequently terrorised by Saracen and Viking raiders. In 888, Rudolph, Count of Auxerre (now in north-western Burgundy), founded the kingdom of Transjuran Burgundy (literally, beyond the Jura mountains), which included western Switzerland as far as the river Reuss, Valais, Geneva, Chablais and Bugey.

 

In 933, Hugh of Arles ("Hugues de Provence") gave his kingdom up to Rudolph II, who merged the two kingdoms into a new Kingdom of Arles. In 1032, King Rudolph III died, and the kingdom was inherited by Emperor Conrad II the Salic. Though his successors counted themselves kings of Arles, few went to be crowned in the cathedral. Most of the kingdom's territory was progressively incorporated into France. During these troubled times, the amphitheatre was converted into a fortress, with watchtowers built at each of the four quadrants and a minuscule walled town being constructed within. The population was by now only a fraction of what it had been in Roman times, with much of old Arles lying in ruins.

 

The town regained political and economic prominence in the 12th century, with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa traveling there in 1178 for his coronation. In the 12th century, it became a free city governed by an elected podestat (chief magistrate; literally "power"), who appointed the consuls and other magistrates. It retained this status until the French Revolution of 1789.

 

Arles joined the countship of Provence in 1239, but, once more, its prominence was eclipsed by Marseilles. In 1378, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV ceded the remnants of the Kingdom of Arles to the Dauphin of France (later King Charles VI of France) and the kingdom ceased to exist even on paper.

Modern era

 

Arles remained economically important for many years as a major port on the Rhône. In the 19th century, the arrival of the railway diminished river trade, leading to the town becoming something of a backwater.

 

This made it an attractive destination for the painter Vincent van Gogh, who arrived there on 21 February 1888. He was fascinated by the Provençal landscapes, producing over 300 paintings and drawings during his time in Arles. Many of his most famous paintings were completed there, including The Night Cafe, the Yellow Room, Starry Night Over the Rhone, and L'Arlésienne. Paul Gauguin visited van Gogh in Arles. However, van Gogh's mental health deteriorated and he became alarmingly eccentric, culminating in the well-known ear-severing incident in December 1888 which resulted in two stays in the Old Hospital of Arles. The concerned Arlesians circulated a petition the following February demanding that van Gogh be confined. In May 1889, he took the hint and left Arles for the Saint-Paul asylum at nearby Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Jewish history

Main article: History of the Jews in Arles

 

Arles had an important and evident Jewish community between the Roman era and until the end of the 15th century. A local legend describes the first Jews in Arles as exiles from Judaea after Jerusalem fell to the Romans. Nevertheless, the first documented evident of Jews in Arles is not before fifth century, when a distinguished community had already existed in town. Arles was an important Jewish crossroads, as a port city and close to Spain and the rest of Europe alike. It served a major role in the work of the Hachmei Provence group of famous Jewish scholars, translators and philosophers, who were most important to Judaism throughout the Middle Ages. At the eighth century, the jurisdiction of the Jews of Arles were passed to the local Archbishop, making the Jewish taxes to the clergy somewhat of a shield for the community from mob attacks, most frequent during the Crusades. The community lived relatively peacefully until the last decade of the 15th century, when they were expelled out of the city never to return. Several Jews did live in the city in the centuries after, though no community was found ever after. Nowadays, Jewish archaeological findings and texts from Arles can be found in the local museum.[10]

Population

Historical population

Year Pop. ±%

1806 20,151 —

1820 20,150 −0.0%

1831 20,236 +0.4%

1836 20,048 −0.9%

1841 20,460 +2.1%

1846 23,101 +12.9%

1851 23,208 +0.5%

1856 24,816 +6.9%

1861 25,543 +2.9%

1866 26,367 +3.2%

1872 24,695 −6.3%

1876 25,095 +1.6%

1881 23,480 −6.4%

1891 24,288 +3.4%

1896 24,567 +1.1%

1901 28,116 +14.4%

1906 31,010 +10.3%

1911 31,014 +0.0%

1921 29,146 −6.0%

1926 32,485 +11.5%

1946 35,017 +7.8%

1954 37,443 +6.9%

1962 41,932 +12.0%

1968 45,774 +9.2%

1975 50,059 +9.4%

1982 50,500 +0.9%

1990 52,058 +3.1%

1999 50,426 −3.1%

2008 52,729 +4.6%

2010 57,328 +8.7%

Main sights

Gallo-Roman theatre.

The Alyscamps.

 

Arles has important Roman remnants, most of which have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1981 within the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments group. They include:

 

The Gallo-Roman theatre

The arena or amphitheatre

The Alyscamps (Roman necropolis)

The Thermae of Constantine

The cryptoporticus

Arles Obelisk

Barbegal aqueduct and mill

 

The Church of St. Trophime (Saint Trophimus), formerly a cathedral, is a major work of Romanesque architecture, and the representation of the Last Judgment on its portal is considered one of the finest examples of Romanesque sculpture, as are the columns in the adjacent cloister.

 

The town also has a museum of ancient history, the Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence antiques, with one of the best collections of Roman sarcophagi to be found anywhere outside Rome itself. Other museums include the Musée Réattu and the Museon Arlaten.

 

The courtyard of the Old Arles hospital, now named "Espace Van Gogh," is a center for Vincent van Gogh's works, several of which are masterpieces.[11] The garden, framed on all four sides by buildings of the complex, is approached through arcades on the first floor. A circulation gallery is located on the first and second floors.[12]

Archaeology

Main article: Arles portrait bust

 

In September–October 2007, divers led by Luc Long from the French Department of Subaquatic Archaeological Research, headed by Michel L'Hour, discovered a life-sized marble bust of an apparently important Roman person in the Rhône near Arles, together with smaller statues of Marsyas in Hellenistic style and of the god Neptune from the third century AD. The larger bust was tentatively dated to 46 BC. Since the bust displayed several characteristics of an ageing person with wrinkles, deep naso-labial creases and hollows in his face, and since the archaeologists believed that Julius Caesar had founded the colony Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelate Sextanorum in 46 BC, the scientists came to the preliminary conclusion that the bust depicted a life-portrait of the Roman dictator: France's Minister of Culture Christine Albanel reported on May 13, 2008, that the bust would be the oldest representation of Caesar known today.[13] The story was picked up by all larger media outlets.[14][15] The realism of the portrait was said to place it in the tradition of late Republican portrait and genre sculptures. The archaeologists further claimed that a bust of Julius Caesar might have been thrown away or discreetly disposed of, because Caesar's portraits could have been viewed as politically dangerous possessions after the dictator's assassination.

 

Historians and archaeologists not affiliated with the French administration, among them Paul Zanker, the renowned archaeologist and expert on Caesar and Augustus, were quick to question whether the bust is a portrait of Caesar.[16][17][18] Many noted the lack of resemblances to Caesar's likenesses issued on coins during the last years of the dictator's life, and to the Tusculum bust of Caesar,[19] which depicts Julius Caesar in his lifetime, either as a so-called zeitgesicht or as a direct portrait. After a further stylistic assessment, Zanker dated the Arles-bust to the Augustan period. Elkins argued for the third century AD as the terminus post quem for the deposition of the statues, refuting the claim that the bust was thrown away due to feared repercussions from Caesar's assassination in 44 BC.[20] The main argument by the French archaeologists that Caesar had founded the colony in 46 BC proved to be incorrect, as the colony was founded by Caesar's former quaestor Tiberius Claudius Nero on the dictator's orders in his absence.[21] Mary Beard has accused the persons involved in the find of having willfully invented their claims for publicity reasons. The French ministry of culture has not yet responded to the criticism and negative reviews.

Sport

 

AC Arles-Avignon is a professional French football team. They currently play in Championnat de France Amateur, the fourth division in French football. They play at the Parc des Sports, which has a capacity of just over 17,000.

Culture

 

A well known photography festival, Rencontres d'Arles, takes place in Arles every year, and the French national school of photography is located there.

 

The major French publishing house Actes Sud is also situated in Arles.

 

Bull fights are conducted in the amphitheatre, including Provençal-style bullfights (courses camarguaises) in which the bull is not killed, but rather a team of athletic men attempt to remove a tassle from the bull's horn without getting injured. Every Easter and on the first weekend of September, during the feria, Arles also holds Spanish-style corridas (in which the bulls are killed) with an encierro (bull-running in the streets) preceding each fight.

 

The film Ronin was partially filmed in Arles.

European Capital of Culture

 

Arles played a major role in Marseille-Provence 2013, the year-long series of cultural events held in the region after it was designated the European Capital of Culture for 2013. The city hosted a segment of the opening ceremony with a pyrotechnical performance by Groupe F on the banks of the Rhône. It also unveiled the new wing of the Musée Départemental Arles Antique as part of Marseille-Provence 2013.

Economy

 

Arles's open-air street market is a major market in the region. It occurs on Saturday and Wednesday mornings.

Transport

 

The Gare d'Arles railway station offers connections to Avignon, Nîmes, Marseille, Paris, Bordeaux and several regional destinations.

Notable people

 

Vincent van Gogh, lived here from February 1888 until May 1889.

The Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral (1830–1914) was born near Arles

Jeanne Calment (1875–1997), the oldest human being whose age is documented, was born, lived and died, at the age of 122 years and 164 days, in Arles

Anne-Marie David, singer (Eurovision winner in 1973)

Christian Lacroix, fashion designer

Lucien Clergue, photographer

Djibril Cissé, footballer

Antoine de Seguiran, 18th-century encyclopédiste

Genesius of Arles, a notary martyred under Maximianus in 303 or 308

Blessed Jean Marie du Lau, last Archbishop of Arles, killed by the revolutionary mob in Paris on September 2, 1792

Juan Bautista (real name Jean-Baptiste Jalabert), matador

Maja Hoffmann, art patron

Mehdi Savalli, matador

The medieval writer Antoine de la Sale was probably born in Arles around 1386

Home of the Gipsy Kings, a music group from Arles

Gael Givet, footballer

Lloyd Palun, footballer

Fanny Valette, actress

Luc Hoffmann, ornithologist, conservationist and philanthropist.

Saint Caesarius of Arles, bishop who lived from the late 5th to the mid 6th century, known for prophecy and writings that would later be used by theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas

Samuel ibn Tibbon, famous Jewish translator and scholar during the Middle Ages.

Kalonymus ben Kalonymus, famous Jewish scholar and philosopher, Arles born, active during the Middle Ages.

 

Twin towns — sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in France

 

Arles is twinned with:

 

Pskov, Russia

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Fulda, Germany

York, Pennsylvania, United States

Cubelles, Spain

Vercelli, Italy

Sagné, Mauritania

Kalymnos, Greece

Wisbech, United Kingdom

Zhouzhuang, Kunshan, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China

Verviers, Belgium

 

See also

 

Archbishopric of Arles

Montmajour Abbey

Trinquetaille

Langlois Bridge

Saint-Martin-de-Crau

Communes of the Bouches-du-Rhône department

 

References

 

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Archdiocese of Aix". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.

INSEE

 

The table contains the temperatures and precipitation of the city of Arles for the period 1948-1999, extracted from the site Sophy.u-3mrs.fr.

www.academia.edu/1166147/_The_Fall_and_Decline_of_the_Rom...

Rick Steves' Provence & the French Riviera, p. 78, at Google Books

Nelson's Dictionary of Christianity: The Authoritative Resource on the Christian World, p. 1173, at Google Books

Provence, p. 81, at Google Books

Wace, Dictionary)

Greene, Kevin (2000). "Technological Innovation and Economic Progress in the Ancient World: M.I. Finley Re-Considered". The Economic History Review. New Series. 53 (1): 29–59 [p. 39]. doi:10.1111/1468-0289.00151.

"Ville d'Histoire et de Patrimoine". Patrimoine.ville-arles.fr. Retrieved 2013-03-25.

"La meunerie de Barbegal". Etab.ac-caen.fr. Retrieved 2013-03-25.

jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/1784-arles

Fisher, R, ed (2011). Fodor's France 2011. Toronto and New York: Fodor's Travel, division of Random House. p. 563 ISBN 978-1-4000-0473-7.

"Espace Van Gogh". Visiter, Places of Interest. Arles Office de Tourisme. Retrieved 2011-04-29.

Original communiqué (May 13, 2008); second communiqué (May 20, 2008); report (May 20, 2008)

E.g."Divers find marble bust of Caesar that may date to 46 B.C.". Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-05-14. , CNN-Online et al.

Video (QuickTime) Archived May 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. on the archaeological find (France 3)

Paul Zanker, "Der Echte war energischer, distanzierter, ironischer" Archived May 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Sueddeutsche Zeitung, May 25, 2008, on-line

Mary Beard, "The face of Julius Caesar? Come off it!", TLS, May 14, 2008, on-line

Nathan T. Elkins, 'Oldest Bust' of Julius Caesar found in France?, May 14, 2008, on-line

Cp. this image at the AERIA library

A different approach was presented by Mary Beard, in that members of a military Caesarian colony would not have discarded portraits of Caesar, whom they worshipped as god, although statues were in fact destroyed by the Anti-Caesarians in the city of Rome after Caesar's assassination (Appian, BC III.1.9).

Konrat Ziegler & Walther Sontheimer (eds.), "Arelate", in Der Kleine Pauly: Lexikon der Antike, Vol. 1, col. 525, Munich 1979; in 46 BC, Caesar himself was campaigning in Africa, before later returning to Rome.

Camera: Canon EOS 1V, EF 2/135mm

 

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Arles

 

Arles is located in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Country: France

Region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Department: Bouches-du-Rhône

Arrondissement: Arles

Canton: Arles

Intercommunality: CA Arles-Crau-Camargue-Montagnette

Government

 

• Mayor (2014–2020) Hervé Schiavetti (PCF)

Area1 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi)

Population (2012)2 52,439

• Density 69/km2 (180/sq mi)

Time zone CET (UTC+1)

• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

INSEE/Postal code 13004 /13200

Elevation 0–57 m (0–187 ft)

(avg. 10 m or 33 ft)

 

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

 

Arles (French pronunciation: ​[aʁl]; Provençal [ˈaʀle] in both classical and Mistralian norms; Arelate in Classical Latin) is a city and commune in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which it is a subprefecture, in the former province of Provence.

 

A large part of the Camargue is located on the territory of the commune, making it the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory (though Maripasoula, French Guiana, is much larger). The city has a long history, and was of considerable importance in the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis. The Roman and Romanesque Monuments of Arles were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1981. The Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh lived in Arles from 1888 to 1889 and produced over 300 paintings and drawings during his time there. An international photography festival has been held in the city since 1970.

 

Geography

 

The river Rhône forks into two branches just upstream of Arles, forming the Camargue delta. Because the Camargue is for a large part administratively part of Arles, the commune as a whole is the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory, although its population is only slightly more than 50,000. Its area is 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi), which is more than seven times the area of Paris.

Climate

 

Arles has a Mediterranean climate with a mean annual temperature of 14.6 °C (1948 - 1999). The summers are warm and moderately dry, with seasonal averages between 22 °C and 24 °C, and mild winters with a mean temperature of about 7 °C. The city is constantly, but especially in the winter months, subject to the influence of the mistral, a cold wind which can cause sudden and severe frosts. Rainfall (636 mm per year) is fairly evenly distributed from September to May, with the summer drought being less marked than in other Mediterranean areas.[1]

 

The Ligurians were in this area from about 800 BC. Later, Celtic influences have been discovered. The city became an important Phoenician trading port, before being taken by the Romans.

 

The Romans took the town in 123 BC and expanded it into an important city, with a canal link to the Mediterranean Sea being constructed in 104 BC. However, it struggled to escape the shadow of Massalia (Marseilles) further along the coast.

 

Its chance came when it sided with Julius Caesar against Pompey, providing military support. Massalia backed Pompey; when Caesar emerged victorious, Massalia was stripped of its possessions, which were transferred to Arelate as a reward. The town was formally established as a colony for veterans of the Roman legion Legio VI Ferrata, which had its base there. Its full title as a colony was Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelatensium Sextanorum, "the ancestral Julian colony of Arles of the soldiers of the Sixth."

 

Arelate was a city of considerable importance in the province of Gallia Narbonensis. It covered an area of some 40 hectares (99 acres) and possessed a number of monuments, including an amphitheatre, triumphal arch, Roman circus, theatre, and a full circuit of walls. Ancient Arles was closer to the sea than it is now and served as a major port. It also had (and still has) the southernmost bridge on the Rhône. Very unusually, the Roman bridge was not fixed but consisted of a pontoon-style bridge of boats, with towers and drawbridges at each end. The boats were secured in place by anchors and were tethered to twin towers built just upstream of the bridge. This unusual design was a way of coping with the river's frequent violent floods, which would have made short work of a conventional bridge. Nothing remains of the Roman bridge, which has been replaced by a more modern bridge near the same spot.

 

The city reached a peak of influence during the 4th and 5th centuries, when Roman Emperors frequently used it as their headquarters during military campaigns. In 395, it became the seat of the Praetorian Prefecture of the Gauls, governing the western part of the Western Empire: Gaul proper plus Hispania (Spain) and Armorica (Brittany). At that time, the city was perhaps home to 75,000–100,000 people.[2][3][4][5]

 

It became a favorite city of Emperor Constantine I, who built baths there, substantial remains of which are still standing. His son, Constantine II, was born in Arles. Usurper Constantine III declared himself emperor in the West (407–411) and made Arles his capital in 408.

 

Arles became renowned as a cultural and religious centre during the late Roman Empire. It was the birthplace of the sceptical philosopher Favorinus. It was also a key location for Roman Christianity and an important base for the Christianization of Gaul. The city's bishopric was held by a series of outstanding clerics, beginning with Saint Trophimus around 225 and continuing with Saint Honoratus, then Saint Hilarius in the first half of the 5th century. The political tension between the Catholic bishops of Arles and the Visigothic kings is epitomized in the career of the Frankish St. Caesarius, bishop of Arles 503–542, who was suspected by the Arian Visigoth Alaric II of conspiring with the Burgundians to turn over the Arelate to Burgundy, and was exiled for a year to Bordeaux in Aquitaine. Political tensions were evident again in 512, when Arles held out against Theodoric the Great and Caesarius was imprisoned and sent to Ravenna to explain his actions before the Ostrogothic king.[6]

 

The friction between the Arian Christianity of the Visigoths and the Catholicism of the bishops sent out from Rome established deep roots for religious heterodoxy, even heresy, in Occitan culture. At Treves in 385, Priscillian achieved the distinction of becoming the first Christian executed for heresy (Manichaean in his case, see also Cathars, Camisards). Despite this tension and the city's decline in the face of barbarian invasions, Arles remained a great religious centre and host of church councils (see Council of Arles), the rival of Vienne, for hundreds of years.

Roman aqueduct and mill

Aqueduct of Arles at Barbegal

 

The Barbegal aqueduct and mill is a Roman watermill complex located on the territory of the commune of Fontvieille, a few kilometres from Arles. The complex has been referred to as "the greatest known concentration of mechanical power in the ancient world".[7] The remains of the mill streams and buildings which housed the overshot water wheels are still visible at the site, and it is by far the best-preserved of ancient mills. There are two aqueducts which join just north of the mill complex, and a sluice which enabled the operators to control the water supply to the complex. The mill consisted of 16 waterwheels in two separate rows built into a steep hillside. There are substantial masonry remains of the water channels and foundations of the individual mills, together with a staircase rising up the hill upon which the mills are built. The mills apparently operated from the end of the 1st century until about the end of the 3rd century.[8] The capacity of the mills has been estimated at 4.5 tons of flour per day, sufficient to supply enough bread for 6,000 of the 30-40,000 inhabitants of Arelate at that time.[9] A similar mill complex existed also on the Janiculum in Rome. Examination of the mill leat still just visible on one side of the hill shows a substantial accretion of lime in the channel, tending to confirm its long working life.

 

It is thought that the wheels were overshot water wheels with the outflow from the top driving the next one down and so on, to the base of the hill. Vertical water mills were well known to the Romans, being described by Vitruvius in his De Architectura of 25 BC, and mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia of 77 AD. There are also later references to floating water mills from Byzantium and to sawmills on the river Moselle by the poet Ausonius. The use of multiple stacked sequences of reverse overshot water-wheels was widespread in Roman mines.

Middle Ages

Place de la République.

Cafe Terrace at Night by Vincent van Gogh (September 1888), depicts the warmth of a café in Arles

 

In 735, after raiding the Lower Rhône, Andalusian Saracens led by Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri moved into the stronghold summoned by Count Maurontus, who feared Charles Martel's expansionist ambitions, though this may have been an excuse to further Moorish expansion beyond Iberia. The next year, Charles campaigned south to Septimania and Provence, attacking and capturing Arles after destroying Avignon. In 739. Charles definitely drove Maurontus to exile, and brought Provence to heel. In 855, it was made the capital of a Frankish Kingdom of Arles, which included Burgundy and part of Provence, but was frequently terrorised by Saracen and Viking raiders. In 888, Rudolph, Count of Auxerre (now in north-western Burgundy), founded the kingdom of Transjuran Burgundy (literally, beyond the Jura mountains), which included western Switzerland as far as the river Reuss, Valais, Geneva, Chablais and Bugey.

 

In 933, Hugh of Arles ("Hugues de Provence") gave his kingdom up to Rudolph II, who merged the two kingdoms into a new Kingdom of Arles. In 1032, King Rudolph III died, and the kingdom was inherited by Emperor Conrad II the Salic. Though his successors counted themselves kings of Arles, few went to be crowned in the cathedral. Most of the kingdom's territory was progressively incorporated into France. During these troubled times, the amphitheatre was converted into a fortress, with watchtowers built at each of the four quadrants and a minuscule walled town being constructed within. The population was by now only a fraction of what it had been in Roman times, with much of old Arles lying in ruins.

 

The town regained political and economic prominence in the 12th century, with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa traveling there in 1178 for his coronation. In the 12th century, it became a free city governed by an elected podestat (chief magistrate; literally "power"), who appointed the consuls and other magistrates. It retained this status until the French Revolution of 1789.

 

Arles joined the countship of Provence in 1239, but, once more, its prominence was eclipsed by Marseilles. In 1378, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV ceded the remnants of the Kingdom of Arles to the Dauphin of France (later King Charles VI of France) and the kingdom ceased to exist even on paper.

Modern era

 

Arles remained economically important for many years as a major port on the Rhône. In the 19th century, the arrival of the railway diminished river trade, leading to the town becoming something of a backwater.

 

This made it an attractive destination for the painter Vincent van Gogh, who arrived there on 21 February 1888. He was fascinated by the Provençal landscapes, producing over 300 paintings and drawings during his time in Arles. Many of his most famous paintings were completed there, including The Night Cafe, the Yellow Room, Starry Night Over the Rhone, and L'Arlésienne. Paul Gauguin visited van Gogh in Arles. However, van Gogh's mental health deteriorated and he became alarmingly eccentric, culminating in the well-known ear-severing incident in December 1888 which resulted in two stays in the Old Hospital of Arles. The concerned Arlesians circulated a petition the following February demanding that van Gogh be confined. In May 1889, he took the hint and left Arles for the Saint-Paul asylum at nearby Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Jewish history

Main article: History of the Jews in Arles

 

Arles had an important and evident Jewish community between the Roman era and until the end of the 15th century. A local legend describes the first Jews in Arles as exiles from Judaea after Jerusalem fell to the Romans. Nevertheless, the first documented evident of Jews in Arles is not before fifth century, when a distinguished community had already existed in town. Arles was an important Jewish crossroads, as a port city and close to Spain and the rest of Europe alike. It served a major role in the work of the Hachmei Provence group of famous Jewish scholars, translators and philosophers, who were most important to Judaism throughout the Middle Ages. At the eighth century, the jurisdiction of the Jews of Arles were passed to the local Archbishop, making the Jewish taxes to the clergy somewhat of a shield for the community from mob attacks, most frequent during the Crusades. The community lived relatively peacefully until the last decade of the 15th century, when they were expelled out of the city never to return. Several Jews did live in the city in the centuries after, though no community was found ever after. Nowadays, Jewish archaeological findings and texts from Arles can be found in the local museum.[10]

Population

Historical population

Year Pop. ±%

1806 20,151 —

1820 20,150 −0.0%

1831 20,236 +0.4%

1836 20,048 −0.9%

1841 20,460 +2.1%

1846 23,101 +12.9%

1851 23,208 +0.5%

1856 24,816 +6.9%

1861 25,543 +2.9%

1866 26,367 +3.2%

1872 24,695 −6.3%

1876 25,095 +1.6%

1881 23,480 −6.4%

1891 24,288 +3.4%

1896 24,567 +1.1%

1901 28,116 +14.4%

1906 31,010 +10.3%

1911 31,014 +0.0%

1921 29,146 −6.0%

1926 32,485 +11.5%

1946 35,017 +7.8%

1954 37,443 +6.9%

1962 41,932 +12.0%

1968 45,774 +9.2%

1975 50,059 +9.4%

1982 50,500 +0.9%

1990 52,058 +3.1%

1999 50,426 −3.1%

2008 52,729 +4.6%

2010 57,328 +8.7%

Main sights

Gallo-Roman theatre.

The Alyscamps.

 

Arles has important Roman remnants, most of which have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1981 within the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments group. They include:

 

The Gallo-Roman theatre

The arena or amphitheatre

The Alyscamps (Roman necropolis)

The Thermae of Constantine

The cryptoporticus

Arles Obelisk

Barbegal aqueduct and mill

 

The Church of St. Trophime (Saint Trophimus), formerly a cathedral, is a major work of Romanesque architecture, and the representation of the Last Judgment on its portal is considered one of the finest examples of Romanesque sculpture, as are the columns in the adjacent cloister.

 

The town also has a museum of ancient history, the Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence antiques, with one of the best collections of Roman sarcophagi to be found anywhere outside Rome itself. Other museums include the Musée Réattu and the Museon Arlaten.

 

The courtyard of the Old Arles hospital, now named "Espace Van Gogh," is a center for Vincent van Gogh's works, several of which are masterpieces.[11] The garden, framed on all four sides by buildings of the complex, is approached through arcades on the first floor. A circulation gallery is located on the first and second floors.[12]

Archaeology

Main article: Arles portrait bust

 

In September–October 2007, divers led by Luc Long from the French Department of Subaquatic Archaeological Research, headed by Michel L'Hour, discovered a life-sized marble bust of an apparently important Roman person in the Rhône near Arles, together with smaller statues of Marsyas in Hellenistic style and of the god Neptune from the third century AD. The larger bust was tentatively dated to 46 BC. Since the bust displayed several characteristics of an ageing person with wrinkles, deep naso-labial creases and hollows in his face, and since the archaeologists believed that Julius Caesar had founded the colony Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelate Sextanorum in 46 BC, the scientists came to the preliminary conclusion that the bust depicted a life-portrait of the Roman dictator: France's Minister of Culture Christine Albanel reported on May 13, 2008, that the bust would be the oldest representation of Caesar known today.[13] The story was picked up by all larger media outlets.[14][15] The realism of the portrait was said to place it in the tradition of late Republican portrait and genre sculptures. The archaeologists further claimed that a bust of Julius Caesar might have been thrown away or discreetly disposed of, because Caesar's portraits could have been viewed as politically dangerous possessions after the dictator's assassination.

 

Historians and archaeologists not affiliated with the French administration, among them Paul Zanker, the renowned archaeologist and expert on Caesar and Augustus, were quick to question whether the bust is a portrait of Caesar.[16][17][18] Many noted the lack of resemblances to Caesar's likenesses issued on coins during the last years of the dictator's life, and to the Tusculum bust of Caesar,[19] which depicts Julius Caesar in his lifetime, either as a so-called zeitgesicht or as a direct portrait. After a further stylistic assessment, Zanker dated the Arles-bust to the Augustan period. Elkins argued for the third century AD as the terminus post quem for the deposition of the statues, refuting the claim that the bust was thrown away due to feared repercussions from Caesar's assassination in 44 BC.[20] The main argument by the French archaeologists that Caesar had founded the colony in 46 BC proved to be incorrect, as the colony was founded by Caesar's former quaestor Tiberius Claudius Nero on the dictator's orders in his absence.[21] Mary Beard has accused the persons involved in the find of having willfully invented their claims for publicity reasons. The French ministry of culture has not yet responded to the criticism and negative reviews.

Sport

 

AC Arles-Avignon is a professional French football team. They currently play in Championnat de France Amateur, the fourth division in French football. They play at the Parc des Sports, which has a capacity of just over 17,000.

Culture

 

A well known photography festival, Rencontres d'Arles, takes place in Arles every year, and the French national school of photography is located there.

 

The major French publishing house Actes Sud is also situated in Arles.

 

Bull fights are conducted in the amphitheatre, including Provençal-style bullfights (courses camarguaises) in which the bull is not killed, but rather a team of athletic men attempt to remove a tassle from the bull's horn without getting injured. Every Easter and on the first weekend of September, during the feria, Arles also holds Spanish-style corridas (in which the bulls are killed) with an encierro (bull-running in the streets) preceding each fight.

 

The film Ronin was partially filmed in Arles.

European Capital of Culture

 

Arles played a major role in Marseille-Provence 2013, the year-long series of cultural events held in the region after it was designated the European Capital of Culture for 2013. The city hosted a segment of the opening ceremony with a pyrotechnical performance by Groupe F on the banks of the Rhône. It also unveiled the new wing of the Musée Départemental Arles Antique as part of Marseille-Provence 2013.

Economy

 

Arles's open-air street market is a major market in the region. It occurs on Saturday and Wednesday mornings.

Transport

 

The Gare d'Arles railway station offers connections to Avignon, Nîmes, Marseille, Paris, Bordeaux and several regional destinations.

Notable people

 

Vincent van Gogh, lived here from February 1888 until May 1889.

The Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral (1830–1914) was born near Arles

Jeanne Calment (1875–1997), the oldest human being whose age is documented, was born, lived and died, at the age of 122 years and 164 days, in Arles

Anne-Marie David, singer (Eurovision winner in 1973)

Christian Lacroix, fashion designer

Lucien Clergue, photographer

Djibril Cissé, footballer

Antoine de Seguiran, 18th-century encyclopédiste

Genesius of Arles, a notary martyred under Maximianus in 303 or 308

Blessed Jean Marie du Lau, last Archbishop of Arles, killed by the revolutionary mob in Paris on September 2, 1792

Juan Bautista (real name Jean-Baptiste Jalabert), matador

Maja Hoffmann, art patron

Mehdi Savalli, matador

The medieval writer Antoine de la Sale was probably born in Arles around 1386

Home of the Gipsy Kings, a music group from Arles

Gael Givet, footballer

Lloyd Palun, footballer

Fanny Valette, actress

Luc Hoffmann, ornithologist, conservationist and philanthropist.

Saint Caesarius of Arles, bishop who lived from the late 5th to the mid 6th century, known for prophecy and writings that would later be used by theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas

Samuel ibn Tibbon, famous Jewish translator and scholar during the Middle Ages.

Kalonymus ben Kalonymus, famous Jewish scholar and philosopher, Arles born, active during the Middle Ages.

 

Twin towns — sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in France

 

Arles is twinned with:

 

Pskov, Russia

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Fulda, Germany

York, Pennsylvania, United States

Cubelles, Spain

Vercelli, Italy

Sagné, Mauritania

Kalymnos, Greece

Wisbech, United Kingdom

Zhouzhuang, Kunshan, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China

Verviers, Belgium

 

See also

 

Archbishopric of Arles

Montmajour Abbey

Trinquetaille

Langlois Bridge

Saint-Martin-de-Crau

Communes of the Bouches-du-Rhône department

 

References

 

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Archdiocese of Aix". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.

INSEE

 

The table contains the temperatures and precipitation of the city of Arles for the period 1948-1999, extracted from the site Sophy.u-3mrs.fr.

www.academia.edu/1166147/_The_Fall_and_Decline_of_the_Rom...

Rick Steves' Provence & the French Riviera, p. 78, at Google Books

Nelson's Dictionary of Christianity: The Authoritative Resource on the Christian World, p. 1173, at Google Books

Provence, p. 81, at Google Books

Wace, Dictionary)

Greene, Kevin (2000). "Technological Innovation and Economic Progress in the Ancient World: M.I. Finley Re-Considered". The Economic History Review. New Series. 53 (1): 29–59 [p. 39]. doi:10.1111/1468-0289.00151.

"Ville d'Histoire et de Patrimoine". Patrimoine.ville-arles.fr. Retrieved 2013-03-25.

"La meunerie de Barbegal". Etab.ac-caen.fr. Retrieved 2013-03-25.

jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/1784-arles

Fisher, R, ed (2011). Fodor's France 2011. Toronto and New York: Fodor's Travel, division of Random House. p. 563 ISBN 978-1-4000-0473-7.

"Espace Van Gogh". Visiter, Places of Interest. Arles Office de Tourisme. Retrieved 2011-04-29.

Original communiqué (May 13, 2008); second communiqué (May 20, 2008); report (May 20, 2008)

E.g."Divers find marble bust of Caesar that may date to 46 B.C.". Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-05-14. , CNN-Online et al.

Video (QuickTime) Archived May 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. on the archaeological find (France 3)

Paul Zanker, "Der Echte war energischer, distanzierter, ironischer" Archived May 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Sueddeutsche Zeitung, May 25, 2008, on-line

Mary Beard, "The face of Julius Caesar? Come off it!", TLS, May 14, 2008, on-line

Nathan T. Elkins, 'Oldest Bust' of Julius Caesar found in France?, May 14, 2008, on-line

Cp. this image at the AERIA library

A different approach was presented by Mary Beard, in that members of a military Caesarian colony would not have discarded portraits of Caesar, whom they worshipped as god, although statues were in fact destroyed by the Anti-Caesarians in the city of Rome after Caesar's assassination (Appian, BC III.1.9).

Konrat Ziegler & Walther Sontheimer (eds.), "Arelate", in Der Kleine Pauly: Lexikon der Antike, Vol. 1, col. 525, Munich 1979; in 46 BC, Caesar himself was campaigning in Africa, before later returning to Rome.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Le costume d'Arles est avec le costume provençal comtadin l'une des deux grandes variantes du costume provençal. Appelé aussi arlèse, son port a été relancé par Frédéric Mistral à la fin du XIXe siècle comme l'un des signes de l'identité culturelle de la Provence. Encore utilisé le dimanche jusqu'au début du XXe siècle, son usage courant a progressivement disparu au cours de la première moitié du XXe siècle. Actuellement, il n'est porté qu'épisodiquement, par des groupes folkloriques ou lors de manifestations volontaristes de l'identité locale1.

  

Historique

Costumes arlésiens au XVIIIe siècle (Atelier de couture à Arles, Antoine Raspal, 1760, musée Réattu, Arles).

 

Parmi toutes les variétés locales à la mode au cours du XVIIIe siècle, seul le costume d'Arles, porté indifféremment par les femmes de toutes conditions, a traversé la Révolution, tout en continuant à évoluer d'une façon naturelle. Jusque dans les années 1950, il était encore porté, quotidiennement à Arles par un certain nombre de femmes, et plus particulièrement le dimanche. Le costume d'Arles a été la tenue féminine traditionnelle dans tout l'ancien archevêché, a tenté de s'imposer jusqu'à Avignon sous l'impulsion de Frédéric Mistral, a débordé sur la rive droite du Rhône de la Camargue gardoise jusqu'à l'Uzège2, s'est étendu à l'Est par delà la Crau, jusqu'à la Durance et le golfe de Fos. Toute son évolution est retracée au Museon Arlaten3.

  

Originalité

 

Ce costume d'Arles se distingue d'abord par une coiffe spéciale qui nécessite le port de cheveux longs. En fonction des jours de la semaine et des tâches à accomplir, cette coiffure était retenue sur le sommet de la tête par un ruban, une cravate ou un nœud de dentelles. Mais elle exigeait toujours un temps de préparation important et des soins particuliers pour respecter l'exigence de ses canons. Cette coiffure est peu adaptée aujourd'hui à une vie professionnelle moderne. Face à la mode des cheveux courts, un substitut sous forme de postiche a été proposé, mais son manque de naturel l'a voué à l'échec4.

 

Composition

 

Parmi les pièces qui compose actuellement l'habillement et signe son élégance, il y a la chapelle ou cache-coeur, plastron de dentelle en forme de trapèze, apparu en 1860, et qui couvre la poitrine5, le grand châle ou fichu, de forme carrée, qui moule le buste, la robe longue en satin de différentes couleurs, souvent pincée à la taille, les dorures (bijoux, agrafes, boucles ou crochets) qui sont transmises de génération en génération. Ces parures vont du tour de cou en argent, aux différentes croix d'or filigranées, dites croix provençales, des bracelets en or massif enrichis de diamants6, aux boucles d'oreilles (pendants ou brandanto) réservées aux seules femmes mariées, en passant par les bagues rehaussées de pierres précieuses, les boucles de soulier en argent, les agrafes de manteau dorées ou argentées, les crochets d'argent pour la ceinture qui permettaient de suspendre les clefs, à la fois signe de richesse et de possession sur la maison familiale7.

  

Arles

 

Arles is located in France

Arles is located in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Coordinates: 43°40′36″N 4°37′40″ECoordinates: 43°40′36″N 4°37′40″E

Country France

Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Department Bouches-du-Rhône

Arrondissement Arles

Canton Arles

Intercommunality CA Arles-Crau-Camargue-Montagnette

Government

• Mayor (2014–2020) Hervé Schiavetti (PCF)

Area1 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi)

Population (2012)2 52,439

• Density 69/km2 (180/sq mi)

Time zone CET (UTC+1)

• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

INSEE/Postal code 13004 /13200

Elevation 0–57 m (0–187 ft)

(avg. 10 m or 33 ft)

 

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

 

Arles (French pronunciation: ​[aʁl]; Provençal [ˈaʀle] in both classical and Mistralian norms; Arelate in Classical Latin) is a city and commune in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which it is a subprefecture, in the former province of Provence.

 

A large part of the Camargue is located on the territory of the commune, making it the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory (though Maripasoula, French Guiana, is much larger). The city has a long history, and was of considerable importance in the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis. The Roman and Romanesque Monuments of Arles were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1981. The Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh lived in Arles from 1888 to 1889 and produced over 300 paintings and drawings during his time there. An international photography festival has been held in the city since 1970.

 

Geography

 

The river Rhône forks into two branches just upstream of Arles, forming the Camargue delta. Because the Camargue is for a large part administratively part of Arles, the commune as a whole is the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory, although its population is only slightly more than 50,000. Its area is 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi), which is more than seven times the area of Paris.

Climate

 

Arles has a Mediterranean climate with a mean annual temperature of 14.6 °C (1948 - 1999). The summers are warm and moderately dry, with seasonal averages between 22 °C and 24 °C, and mild winters with a mean temperature of about 7 °C. The city is constantly, but especially in the winter months, subject to the influence of the mistral, a cold wind which can cause sudden and severe frosts. Rainfall (636 mm per year) is fairly evenly distributed from September to May, with the summer drought being less marked than in other Mediterranean areas.[1]

 

Ancient era

 

The Ligurians were in this area from about 800 BC. Later, Celtic influences have been discovered. The city became an important Phoenician trading port, before being taken by the Romans.

 

The Romans took the town in 123 BC and expanded it into an important city, with a canal link to the Mediterranean Sea being constructed in 104 BC. However, it struggled to escape the shadow of Massalia (Marseilles) further along the coast.

 

Its chance came when it sided with Julius Caesar against Pompey, providing military support. Massalia backed Pompey; when Caesar emerged victorious, Massalia was stripped of its possessions, which were transferred to Arelate as a reward. The town was formally established as a colony for veterans of the Roman legion Legio VI Ferrata, which had its base there. Its full title as a colony was Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelatensium Sextanorum, "the ancestral Julian colony of Arles of the soldiers of the Sixth."

 

Arelate was a city of considerable importance in the province of Gallia Narbonensis. It covered an area of some 40 hectares (99 acres) and possessed a number of monuments, including an amphitheatre, triumphal arch, Roman circus, theatre, and a full circuit of walls. Ancient Arles was closer to the sea than it is now and served as a major port. It also had (and still has) the southernmost bridge on the Rhône. Very unusually, the Roman bridge was not fixed but consisted of a pontoon-style bridge of boats, with towers and drawbridges at each end. The boats were secured in place by anchors and were tethered to twin towers built just upstream of the bridge. This unusual design was a way of coping with the river's frequent violent floods, which would have made short work of a conventional bridge. Nothing remains of the Roman bridge, which has been replaced by a more modern bridge near the same spot.

 

The city reached a peak of influence during the 4th and 5th centuries, when Roman Emperors frequently used it as their headquarters during military campaigns. In 395, it became the seat of the Praetorian Prefecture of the Gauls, governing the western part of the Western Empire: Gaul proper plus Hispania (Spain) and Armorica (Brittany). At that time, the city was perhaps home to 75,000–100,000 people.[2][3][4][5]

 

It became a favorite city of Emperor Constantine I, who built baths there, substantial remains of which are still standing. His son, Constantine II, was born in Arles. Usurper Constantine III declared himself emperor in the West (407–411) and made Arles his capital in 408.

 

Arles became renowned as a cultural and religious centre during the late Roman Empire. It was the birthplace of the sceptical philosopher Favorinus. It was also a key location for Roman Christianity and an important base for the Christianization of Gaul. The city's bishopric was held by a series of outstanding clerics, beginning with Saint Trophimus around 225 and continuing with Saint Honoratus, then Saint Hilarius in the first half of the 5th century. The political tension between the Catholic bishops of Arles and the Visigothic kings is epitomized in the career of the Frankish St. Caesarius, bishop of Arles 503–542, who was suspected by the Arian Visigoth Alaric II of conspiring with the Burgundians to turn over the Arelate to Burgundy, and was exiled for a year to Bordeaux in Aquitaine. Political tensions were evident again in 512, when Arles held out against Theodoric the Great and Caesarius was imprisoned and sent to Ravenna to explain his actions before the Ostrogothic king.[6]

 

The friction between the Arian Christianity of the Visigoths and the Catholicism of the bishops sent out from Rome established deep roots for religious heterodoxy, even heresy, in Occitan culture. At Treves in 385, Priscillian achieved the distinction of becoming the first Christian executed for heresy (Manichaean in his case, see also Cathars, Camisards). Despite this tension and the city's decline in the face of barbarian invasions, Arles remained a great religious centre and host of church councils (see Council of Arles), the rival of Vienne, for hundreds of years.

Roman aqueduct and mill

Aqueduct of Arles at Barbegal

 

The Barbegal aqueduct and mill is a Roman watermill complex located on the territory of the commune of Fontvieille, a few kilometres from Arles. The complex has been referred to as "the greatest known concentration of mechanical power in the ancient world".[7] The remains of the mill streams and buildings which housed the overshot water wheels are still visible at the site, and it is by far the best-preserved of ancient mills. There are two aqueducts which join just north of the mill complex, and a sluice which enabled the operators to control the water supply to the complex. The mill consisted of 16 waterwheels in two separate rows built into a steep hillside. There are substantial masonry remains of the water channels and foundations of the individual mills, together with a staircase rising up the hill upon which the mills are built. The mills apparently operated from the end of the 1st century until about the end of the 3rd century.[8] The capacity of the mills has been estimated at 4.5 tons of flour per day, sufficient to supply enough bread for 6,000 of the 30-40,000 inhabitants of Arelate at that time.[9] A similar mill complex existed also on the Janiculum in Rome. Examination of the mill leat still just visible on one side of the hill shows a substantial accretion of lime in the channel, tending to confirm its long working life.

 

It is thought that the wheels were overshot water wheels with the outflow from the top driving the next one down and so on, to the base of the hill. Vertical water mills were well known to the Romans, being described by Vitruvius in his De Architectura of 25 BC, and mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia of 77 AD. There are also later references to floating water mills from Byzantium and to sawmills on the river Moselle by the poet Ausonius. The use of multiple stacked sequences of reverse overshot water-wheels was widespread in Roman mines.

Middle Ages

Place de la République.

Cafe Terrace at Night by Vincent van Gogh (September 1888), depicts the warmth of a café in Arles

 

In 735, after raiding the Lower Rhône, Andalusian Saracens led by Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri moved into the stronghold summoned by Count Maurontus, who feared Charles Martel's expansionist ambitions, though this may have been an excuse to further Moorish expansion beyond Iberia. The next year, Charles campaigned south to Septimania and Provence, attacking and capturing Arles after destroying Avignon. In 739. Charles definitely drove Maurontus to exile, and brought Provence to heel. In 855, it was made the capital of a Frankish Kingdom of Arles, which included Burgundy and part of Provence, but was frequently terrorised by Saracen and Viking raiders. In 888, Rudolph, Count of Auxerre (now in north-western Burgundy), founded the kingdom of Transjuran Burgundy (literally, beyond the Jura mountains), which included western Switzerland as far as the river Reuss, Valais, Geneva, Chablais and Bugey.

 

In 933, Hugh of Arles ("Hugues de Provence") gave his kingdom up to Rudolph II, who merged the two kingdoms into a new Kingdom of Arles. In 1032, King Rudolph III died, and the kingdom was inherited by Emperor Conrad II the Salic. Though his successors counted themselves kings of Arles, few went to be crowned in the cathedral. Most of the kingdom's territory was progressively incorporated into France. During these troubled times, the amphitheatre was converted into a fortress, with watchtowers built at each of the four quadrants and a minuscule walled town being constructed within. The population was by now only a fraction of what it had been in Roman times, with much of old Arles lying in ruins.

 

The town regained political and economic prominence in the 12th century, with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa traveling there in 1178 for his coronation. In the 12th century, it became a free city governed by an elected podestat (chief magistrate; literally "power"), who appointed the consuls and other magistrates. It retained this status until the French Revolution of 1789.

 

Arles joined the countship of Provence in 1239, but, once more, its prominence was eclipsed by Marseilles. In 1378, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV ceded the remnants of the Kingdom of Arles to the Dauphin of France (later King Charles VI of France) and the kingdom ceased to exist even on paper.

Modern era

 

Arles remained economically important for many years as a major port on the Rhône. In the 19th century, the arrival of the railway diminished river trade, leading to the town becoming something of a backwater.

 

This made it an attractive destination for the painter Vincent van Gogh, who arrived there on 21 February 1888. He was fascinated by the Provençal landscapes, producing over 300 paintings and drawings during his time in Arles. Many of his most famous paintings were completed there, including The Night Cafe, the Yellow Room, Starry Night Over the Rhone, and L'Arlésienne. Paul Gauguin visited van Gogh in Arles. However, van Gogh's mental health deteriorated and he became alarmingly eccentric, culminating in the well-known ear-severing incident in December 1888 which resulted in two stays in the Old Hospital of Arles. The concerned Arlesians circulated a petition the following February demanding that van Gogh be confined. In May 1889, he took the hint and left Arles for the Saint-Paul asylum at nearby Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Jewish history

Main article: History of the Jews in Arles

 

Arles had an important and evident Jewish community between the Roman era and until the end of the 15th century. A local legend describes the first Jews in Arles as exiles from Judaea after Jerusalem fell to the Romans. Nevertheless, the first documented evident of Jews in Arles is not before fifth century, when a distinguished community had already existed in town. Arles was an important Jewish crossroads, as a port city and close to Spain and the rest of Europe alike. It served a major role in the work of the Hachmei Provence group of famous Jewish scholars, translators and philosophers, who were most important to Judaism throughout the Middle Ages. At the eighth century, the jurisdiction of the Jews of Arles were passed to the local Archbishop, making the Jewish taxes to the clergy somewhat of a shield for the community from mob attacks, most frequent during the Crusades. The community lived relatively peacefully until the last decade of the 15th century, when they were expelled out of the city never to return. Several Jews did live in the city in the centuries after, though no community was found ever after. Nowadays, Jewish archaeological findings and texts from Arles can be found in the local museum.[10]

Population

 

Arles has important Roman remnants, most of which have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1981 within the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments group. They include:

 

The Gallo-Roman theatre

The arena or amphitheatre

The Alyscamps (Roman necropolis)

The Thermae of Constantine

The cryptoporticus

Arles Obelisk

Barbegal aqueduct and mill

 

The Church of St. Trophime (Saint Trophimus), formerly a cathedral, is a major work of Romanesque architecture, and the representation of the Last Judgment on its portal is considered one of the finest examples of Romanesque sculpture, as are the columns in the adjacent cloister.

 

The town also has a museum of ancient history, the Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence antiques, with one of the best collections of Roman sarcophagi to be found anywhere outside Rome itself. Other museums include the Musée Réattu and the Museon Arlaten.

 

The courtyard of the Old Arles hospital, now named "Espace Van Gogh," is a center for Vincent van Gogh's works, several of which are masterpieces.[11] The garden, framed on all four sides by buildings of the complex, is approached through arcades on the first floor. A circulation gallery is located on the first and second floors.[12]

Archaeology

Main article: Arles portrait bust

 

In September–October 2007, divers led by Luc Long from the French Department of Subaquatic Archaeological Research, headed by Michel L'Hour, discovered a life-sized marble bust of an apparently important Roman person in the Rhône near Arles, together with smaller statues of Marsyas in Hellenistic style and of the god Neptune from the third century AD. The larger bust was tentatively dated to 46 BC. Since the bust displayed several characteristics of an ageing person with wrinkles, deep naso-labial creases and hollows in his face, and since the archaeologists believed that Julius Caesar had founded the colony Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelate Sextanorum in 46 BC, the scientists came to the preliminary conclusion that the bust depicted a life-portrait of the Roman dictator: France's Minister of Culture Christine Albanel reported on May 13, 2008, that the bust would be the oldest representation of Caesar known today.[13] The story was picked up by all larger media outlets.[14][15] The realism of the portrait was said to place it in the tradition of late Republican portrait and genre sculptures. The archaeologists further claimed that a bust of Julius Caesar might have been thrown away or discreetly disposed of, because Caesar's portraits could have been viewed as politically dangerous possessions after the dictator's assassination.

 

Historians and archaeologists not affiliated with the French administration, among them Paul Zanker, the renowned archaeologist and expert on Caesar and Augustus, were quick to question whether the bust is a portrait of Caesar.[16][17][18] Many noted the lack of resemblances to Caesar's likenesses issued on coins during the last years of the dictator's life, and to the Tusculum bust of Caesar,[19] which depicts Julius Caesar in his lifetime, either as a so-called zeitgesicht or as a direct portrait. After a further stylistic assessment, Zanker dated the Arles-bust to the Augustan period. Elkins argued for the third century AD as the terminus post quem for the deposition of the statues, refuting the claim that the bust was thrown away due to feared repercussions from Caesar's assassination in 44 BC.[20] The main argument by the French archaeologists that Caesar had founded the colony in 46 BC proved to be incorrect, as the colony was founded by Caesar's former quaestor Tiberius Claudius Nero on the dictator's orders in his absence.[21] Mary Beard has accused the persons involved in the find of having willfully invented their claims for publicity reasons. The French ministry of culture has not yet responded to the criticism and negative reviews.

Sport

 

AC Arles-Avignon is a professional French football team. They currently play in Championnat de France Amateur, the fourth division in French football. They play at the Parc des Sports, which has a capacity of just over 17,000.

Culture

 

A well known photography festival, Rencontres d'Arles, takes place in Arles every year, and the French national school of photography is located there.

 

The major French publishing house Actes Sud is also situated in Arles.

 

Bull fights are conducted in the amphitheatre, including Provençal-style bullfights (courses camarguaises) in which the bull is not killed, but rather a team of athletic men attempt to remove a tassle from the bull's horn without getting injured. Every Easter and on the first weekend of September, during the feria, Arles also holds Spanish-style corridas (in which the bulls are killed) with an encierro (bull-running in the streets) preceding each fight.

 

The film Ronin was partially filmed in Arles.

European Capital of Culture

 

Arles played a major role in Marseille-Provence 2013, the year-long series of cultural events held in the region after it was designated the European Capital of Culture for 2013. The city hosted a segment of the opening ceremony with a pyrotechnical performance by Groupe F on the banks of the Rhône. It also unveiled the new wing of the Musée Départemental Arles Antique as part of Marseille-Provence 2013.

Economy

 

Arles's open-air street market is a major market in the region. It occurs on Saturday and Wednesday mornings.

Transport

 

The Gare d'Arles railway station offers connections to Avignon, Nîmes, Marseille, Paris, Bordeaux and several regional destinations.

Notable people

 

Vincent van Gogh, lived here from February 1888 until May 1889.

The Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral (1830–1914) was born near Arles

Jeanne Calment (1875–1997), the oldest human being whose age is documented, was born, lived and died, at the age of 122 years and 164 days, in Arles

Anne-Marie David, singer (Eurovision winner in 1973)

Christian Lacroix, fashion designer

Lucien Clergue, photographer

Djibril Cissé, footballer

Antoine de Seguiran, 18th-century encyclopédiste

Genesius of Arles, a notary martyred under Maximianus in 303 or 308

Blessed Jean Marie du Lau, last Archbishop of Arles, killed by the revolutionary mob in Paris on September 2, 1792

Juan Bautista (real name Jean-Baptiste Jalabert), matador

Maja Hoffmann, art patron

Mehdi Savalli, matador

The medieval writer Antoine de la Sale was probably born in Arles around 1386

Home of the Gipsy Kings, a music group from Arles

Gael Givet, footballer

Lloyd Palun, footballer

Fanny Valette, actress

Luc Hoffmann, ornithologist, conservationist and philanthropist.

Saint Caesarius of Arles, bishop who lived from the late 5th to the mid 6th century, known for prophecy and writings that would later be used by theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas

Samuel ibn Tibbon, famous Jewish translator and scholar during the Middle Ages.

Kalonymus ben Kalonymus, famous Jewish scholar and philosopher, Arles born, active during the Middle Ages.

 

Twin towns — sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in France

 

Arles is twinned with:

 

Pskov, Russia

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Fulda, Germany

York, Pennsylvania, United States

Cubelles, Spain

Vercelli, Italy

Sagné, Mauritania

Kalymnos, Greece

Wisbech, United Kingdom

Zhouzhuang, Kunshan, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China

Verviers, Belgium

 

See also

 

Archbishopric of Arles

Montmajour Abbey

Trinquetaille

Langlois Bridge

Saint-Martin-de-Crau

Communes of the Bouches-du-Rhône department

 

References

 

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Archdiocese of Aix". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.

INSEE

 

The table contains the temperatures and precipitation of the city of Arles for the period 1948-1999, extracted from the site Sophy.u-3mrs.fr.

www.academia.edu/1166147/_The_Fall_and_Decline_of_the_Rom...

Rick Steves' Provence & the French Riviera, p. 78, at Google Books

Nelson's Dictionary of Christianity: The Authoritative Resource on the Christian World, p. 1173, at Google Books

Provence, p. 81, at Google Books

Wace, Dictionary)

Greene, Kevin (2000). "Technological Innovation and Economic Progress in the Ancient World: M.I. Finley Re-Considered". The Economic History Review. New Series. 53 (1): 29–59 [p. 39]. doi:10.1111/1468-0289.00151.

"Ville d'Histoire et de Patrimoine". Patrimoine.ville-arles.fr. Retrieved 2013-03-25.

"La meunerie de Barbegal". Etab.ac-caen.fr. Retrieved 2013-03-25.

jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/1784-arles

Fisher, R, ed (2011). Fodor's France 2011. Toronto and New York: Fodor's Travel, division of Random House. p. 563 ISBN 978-1-4000-0473-7.

"Espace Van Gogh". Visiter, Places of Interest. Arles Office de Tourisme. Retrieved 2011-04-29.

Original communiqué (May 13, 2008); second communiqué (May 20, 2008); report (May 20, 2008)

E.g."Divers find marble bust of Caesar that may date to 46 B.C.". Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-05-14. , CNN-Online et al.

Video (QuickTime) Archived May 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. on the archaeological find (France 3)

Paul Zanker, "Der Echte war energischer, distanzierter, ironischer" Archived May 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Sueddeutsche Zeitung, May 25, 2008, on-line

Mary Beard, "The face of Julius Caesar? Come off it!", TLS, May 14, 2008, on-line

Nathan T. Elkins, 'Oldest Bust' of Julius Caesar found in France?, May 14, 2008, on-line

Cp. this image at the AERIA library

A different approach was presented by Mary Beard, in that members of a military Caesarian colony would not have discarded portraits of Caesar, whom they worshipped as god, although statues were in fact destroyed by the Anti-Caesarians in the city of Rome after Caesar's assassination (Appian, BC III.1.9).

Konrat Ziegler & Walther Sontheimer (eds.), "Arelate", in Der Kleine Pauly: Lexikon der Antike, Vol. 1, col. 525, Munich 1979; in 46 BC, Caesar himself was campaigning in Africa, before later returning to Rome.

Le rhinocéros, graffiti in Arles

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Arles

 

Arles is located in France

Arles is located in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Coordinates: 43°40′36″N 4°37′40″ECoordinates: 43°40′36″N 4°37′40″E

Country France

Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Department Bouches-du-Rhône

Arrondissement Arles

Canton Arles

Intercommunality CA Arles-Crau-Camargue-Montagnette

Government

• Mayor (2014–2020) Hervé Schiavetti (PCF)

Area1 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi)

Population (2012)2 52,439

• Density 69/km2 (180/sq mi)

Time zone CET (UTC+1)

• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

INSEE/Postal code 13004 /13200

Elevation 0–57 m (0–187 ft)

(avg. 10 m or 33 ft)

 

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

 

Arles (French pronunciation: ​[aʁl]; Provençal [ˈaʀle] in both classical and Mistralian norms; Arelate in Classical Latin) is a city and commune in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which it is a subprefecture, in the former province of Provence.

 

A large part of the Camargue is located on the territory of the commune, making it the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory (though Maripasoula, French Guiana, is much larger). The city has a long history, and was of considerable importance in the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis. The Roman and Romanesque Monuments of Arles were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1981. The Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh lived in Arles from 1888 to 1889 and produced over 300 paintings and drawings during his time there. An international photography festival has been held in the city since 1970.

 

Geography

 

The river Rhône forks into two branches just upstream of Arles, forming the Camargue delta. Because the Camargue is for a large part administratively part of Arles, the commune as a whole is the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory, although its population is only slightly more than 50,000. Its area is 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi), which is more than seven times the area of Paris.

Climate

 

Arles has a Mediterranean climate with a mean annual temperature of 14.6 °C (1948 - 1999). The summers are warm and moderately dry, with seasonal averages between 22 °C and 24 °C, and mild winters with a mean temperature of about 7 °C. The city is constantly, but especially in the winter months, subject to the influence of the mistral, a cold wind which can cause sudden and severe frosts. Rainfall (636 mm per year) is fairly evenly distributed from September to May, with the summer drought being less marked than in other Mediterranean areas.[1]

Climate data for Arles, 1948–1999

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 10.4

(50.7) 12.3

(54.1) 15.7

(60.3) 18.5

(65.3) 22.8

(73) 27.1

(80.8) 30.3

(86.5) 29.7

(85.5) 25.5

(77.9) 20.3

(68.5) 14.4

(57.9) 11.0

(51.8) 19.8

(67.6)

Average low °C (°F) 2.1

(35.8) 2.8

(37) 5.3

(41.5) 7.5

(45.5) 11.2

(52.2) 14.5

(58.1) 17.7

(63.9) 17.3

(63.1) 14.4

(57.9) 10.4

(50.7) 5.9

(42.6) 3.1

(37.6) 9.4

(48.9)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 54.7

(2.154) 50.8

(2) 49.3

(1.941) 50.3

(1.98) 48.6

(1.913) 37.3

(1.469) 17.1

(0.673) 39.2

(1.543) 81.7

(3.217) 85.7

(3.374) 66.7

(2.626) 54.7

(2.154) 636.1

(25.043)

Source: Italian Wikipedia article on Arles

History

Arles Amphitheatre, a Roman arena.

Passageway in Roman arena

Church of St. Trophime and its cloister.

Ancient era

 

The Ligurians were in this area from about 800 BC. Later, Celtic influences have been discovered. The city became an important Phoenician trading port, before being taken by the Romans.

 

The Romans took the town in 123 BC and expanded it into an important city, with a canal link to the Mediterranean Sea being constructed in 104 BC. However, it struggled to escape the shadow of Massalia (Marseilles) further along the coast.

 

Its chance came when it sided with Julius Caesar against Pompey, providing military support. Massalia backed Pompey; when Caesar emerged victorious, Massalia was stripped of its possessions, which were transferred to Arelate as a reward. The town was formally established as a colony for veterans of the Roman legion Legio VI Ferrata, which had its base there. Its full title as a colony was Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelatensium Sextanorum, "the ancestral Julian colony of Arles of the soldiers of the Sixth."

 

Arelate was a city of considerable importance in the province of Gallia Narbonensis. It covered an area of some 40 hectares (99 acres) and possessed a number of monuments, including an amphitheatre, triumphal arch, Roman circus, theatre, and a full circuit of walls. Ancient Arles was closer to the sea than it is now and served as a major port. It also had (and still has) the southernmost bridge on the Rhône. Very unusually, the Roman bridge was not fixed but consisted of a pontoon-style bridge of boats, with towers and drawbridges at each end. The boats were secured in place by anchors and were tethered to twin towers built just upstream of the bridge. This unusual design was a way of coping with the river's frequent violent floods, which would have made short work of a conventional bridge. Nothing remains of the Roman bridge, which has been replaced by a more modern bridge near the same spot.

 

The city reached a peak of influence during the 4th and 5th centuries, when Roman Emperors frequently used it as their headquarters during military campaigns. In 395, it became the seat of the Praetorian Prefecture of the Gauls, governing the western part of the Western Empire: Gaul proper plus Hispania (Spain) and Armorica (Brittany). At that time, the city was perhaps home to 75,000–100,000 people.[2][3][4][5]

 

It became a favorite city of Emperor Constantine I, who built baths there, substantial remains of which are still standing. His son, Constantine II, was born in Arles. Usurper Constantine III declared himself emperor in the West (407–411) and made Arles his capital in 408.

 

Arles became renowned as a cultural and religious centre during the late Roman Empire. It was the birthplace of the sceptical philosopher Favorinus. It was also a key location for Roman Christianity and an important base for the Christianization of Gaul. The city's bishopric was held by a series of outstanding clerics, beginning with Saint Trophimus around 225 and continuing with Saint Honoratus, then Saint Hilarius in the first half of the 5th century. The political tension between the Catholic bishops of Arles and the Visigothic kings is epitomized in the career of the Frankish St. Caesarius, bishop of Arles 503–542, who was suspected by the Arian Visigoth Alaric II of conspiring with the Burgundians to turn over the Arelate to Burgundy, and was exiled for a year to Bordeaux in Aquitaine. Political tensions were evident again in 512, when Arles held out against Theodoric the Great and Caesarius was imprisoned and sent to Ravenna to explain his actions before the Ostrogothic king.[6]

 

The friction between the Arian Christianity of the Visigoths and the Catholicism of the bishops sent out from Rome established deep roots for religious heterodoxy, even heresy, in Occitan culture. At Treves in 385, Priscillian achieved the distinction of becoming the first Christian executed for heresy (Manichaean in his case, see also Cathars, Camisards). Despite this tension and the city's decline in the face of barbarian invasions, Arles remained a great religious centre and host of church councils (see Council of Arles), the rival of Vienne, for hundreds of years.

Roman aqueduct and mill

Aqueduct of Arles at Barbegal

 

The Barbegal aqueduct and mill is a Roman watermill complex located on the territory of the commune of Fontvieille, a few kilometres from Arles. The complex has been referred to as "the greatest known concentration of mechanical power in the ancient world".[7] The remains of the mill streams and buildings which housed the overshot water wheels are still visible at the site, and it is by far the best-preserved of ancient mills. There are two aqueducts which join just north of the mill complex, and a sluice which enabled the operators to control the water supply to the complex. The mill consisted of 16 waterwheels in two separate rows built into a steep hillside. There are substantial masonry remains of the water channels and foundations of the individual mills, together with a staircase rising up the hill upon which the mills are built. The mills apparently operated from the end of the 1st century until about the end of the 3rd century.[8] The capacity of the mills has been estimated at 4.5 tons of flour per day, sufficient to supply enough bread for 6,000 of the 30-40,000 inhabitants of Arelate at that time.[9] A similar mill complex existed also on the Janiculum in Rome. Examination of the mill leat still just visible on one side of the hill shows a substantial accretion of lime in the channel, tending to confirm its long working life.

 

It is thought that the wheels were overshot water wheels with the outflow from the top driving the next one down and so on, to the base of the hill. Vertical water mills were well known to the Romans, being described by Vitruvius in his De Architectura of 25 BC, and mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia of 77 AD. There are also later references to floating water mills from Byzantium and to sawmills on the river Moselle by the poet Ausonius. The use of multiple stacked sequences of reverse overshot water-wheels was widespread in Roman mines.

Middle Ages

Place de la République.

Cafe Terrace at Night by Vincent van Gogh (September 1888), depicts the warmth of a café in Arles

 

In 735, after raiding the Lower Rhône, Andalusian Saracens led by Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri moved into the stronghold summoned by Count Maurontus, who feared Charles Martel's expansionist ambitions, though this may have been an excuse to further Moorish expansion beyond Iberia. The next year, Charles campaigned south to Septimania and Provence, attacking and capturing Arles after destroying Avignon. In 739. Charles definitely drove Maurontus to exile, and brought Provence to heel. In 855, it was made the capital of a Frankish Kingdom of Arles, which included Burgundy and part of Provence, but was frequently terrorised by Saracen and Viking raiders. In 888, Rudolph, Count of Auxerre (now in north-western Burgundy), founded the kingdom of Transjuran Burgundy (literally, beyond the Jura mountains), which included western Switzerland as far as the river Reuss, Valais, Geneva, Chablais and Bugey.

 

In 933, Hugh of Arles ("Hugues de Provence") gave his kingdom up to Rudolph II, who merged the two kingdoms into a new Kingdom of Arles. In 1032, King Rudolph III died, and the kingdom was inherited by Emperor Conrad II the Salic. Though his successors counted themselves kings of Arles, few went to be crowned in the cathedral. Most of the kingdom's territory was progressively incorporated into France. During these troubled times, the amphitheatre was converted into a fortress, with watchtowers built at each of the four quadrants and a minuscule walled town being constructed within. The population was by now only a fraction of what it had been in Roman times, with much of old Arles lying in ruins.

 

The town regained political and economic prominence in the 12th century, with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa traveling there in 1178 for his coronation. In the 12th century, it became a free city governed by an elected podestat (chief magistrate; literally "power"), who appointed the consuls and other magistrates. It retained this status until the French Revolution of 1789.

 

Arles joined the countship of Provence in 1239, but, once more, its prominence was eclipsed by Marseilles. In 1378, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV ceded the remnants of the Kingdom of Arles to the Dauphin of France (later King Charles VI of France) and the kingdom ceased to exist even on paper.

Modern era

 

Arles remained economically important for many years as a major port on the Rhône. In the 19th century, the arrival of the railway diminished river trade, leading to the town becoming something of a backwater.

 

This made it an attractive destination for the painter Vincent van Gogh, who arrived there on 21 February 1888. He was fascinated by the Provençal landscapes, producing over 300 paintings and drawings during his time in Arles. Many of his most famous paintings were completed there, including The Night Cafe, the Yellow Room, Starry Night Over the Rhone, and L'Arlésienne. Paul Gauguin visited van Gogh in Arles. However, van Gogh's mental health deteriorated and he became alarmingly eccentric, culminating in the well-known ear-severing incident in December 1888 which resulted in two stays in the Old Hospital of Arles. The concerned Arlesians circulated a petition the following February demanding that van Gogh be confined. In May 1889, he took the hint and left Arles for the Saint-Paul asylum at nearby Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Jewish history

Main article: History of the Jews in Arles

 

Arles had an important and evident Jewish community between the Roman era and until the end of the 15th century. A local legend describes the first Jews in Arles as exiles from Judaea after Jerusalem fell to the Romans. Nevertheless, the first documented evident of Jews in Arles is not before fifth century, when a distinguished community had already existed in town. Arles was an important Jewish crossroads, as a port city and close to Spain and the rest of Europe alike. It served a major role in the work of the Hachmei Provence group of famous Jewish scholars, translators and philosophers, who were most important to Judaism throughout the Middle Ages. At the eighth century, the jurisdiction of the Jews of Arles were passed to the local Archbishop, making the Jewish taxes to the clergy somewhat of a shield for the community from mob attacks, most frequent during the Crusades. The community lived relatively peacefully until the last decade of the 15th century, when they were expelled out of the city never to return. Several Jews did live in the city in the centuries after, though no community was found ever after. Nowadays, Jewish archaeological findings and texts from Arles can be found in the local museum.[10]

Population

Historical population

Year Pop. ±%

1806 20,151 —

1820 20,150 −0.0%

1831 20,236 +0.4%

1836 20,048 −0.9%

1841 20,460 +2.1%

1846 23,101 +12.9%

1851 23,208 +0.5%

1856 24,816 +6.9%

1861 25,543 +2.9%

1866 26,367 +3.2%

1872 24,695 −6.3%

1876 25,095 +1.6%

1881 23,480 −6.4%

1891 24,288 +3.4%

1896 24,567 +1.1%

1901 28,116 +14.4%

1906 31,010 +10.3%

1911 31,014 +0.0%

1921 29,146 −6.0%

1926 32,485 +11.5%

1946 35,017 +7.8%

1954 37,443 +6.9%

1962 41,932 +12.0%

1968 45,774 +9.2%

1975 50,059 +9.4%

1982 50,500 +0.9%

1990 52,058 +3.1%

1999 50,426 −3.1%

2008 52,729 +4.6%

2010 57,328 +8.7%

Main sights

Gallo-Roman theatre.

The Alyscamps.

 

Arles has important Roman remnants, most of which have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1981 within the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments group. They include:

 

The Gallo-Roman theatre

The arena or amphitheatre

The Alyscamps (Roman necropolis)

The Thermae of Constantine

The cryptoporticus

Arles Obelisk

Barbegal aqueduct and mill

 

The Church of St. Trophime (Saint Trophimus), formerly a cathedral, is a major work of Romanesque architecture, and the representation of the Last Judgment on its portal is considered one of the finest examples of Romanesque sculpture, as are the columns in the adjacent cloister.

 

The town also has a museum of ancient history, the Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence antiques, with one of the best collections of Roman sarcophagi to be found anywhere outside Rome itself. Other museums include the Musée Réattu and the Museon Arlaten.

 

The courtyard of the Old Arles hospital, now named "Espace Van Gogh," is a center for Vincent van Gogh's works, several of which are masterpieces.[11] The garden, framed on all four sides by buildings of the complex, is approached through arcades on the first floor. A circulation gallery is located on the first and second floors.[12]

Archaeology

Main article: Arles portrait bust

 

In September–October 2007, divers led by Luc Long from the French Department of Subaquatic Archaeological Research, headed by Michel L'Hour, discovered a life-sized marble bust of an apparently important Roman person in the Rhône near Arles, together with smaller statues of Marsyas in Hellenistic style and of the god Neptune from the third century AD. The larger bust was tentatively dated to 46 BC. Since the bust displayed several characteristics of an ageing person with wrinkles, deep naso-labial creases and hollows in his face, and since the archaeologists believed that Julius Caesar had founded the colony Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelate Sextanorum in 46 BC, the scientists came to the preliminary conclusion that the bust depicted a life-portrait of the Roman dictator: France's Minister of Culture Christine Albanel reported on May 13, 2008, that the bust would be the oldest representation of Caesar known today.[13] The story was picked up by all larger media outlets.[14][15] The realism of the portrait was said to place it in the tradition of late Republican portrait and genre sculptures. The archaeologists further claimed that a bust of Julius Caesar might have been thrown away or discreetly disposed of, because Caesar's portraits could have been viewed as politically dangerous possessions after the dictator's assassination.

 

Historians and archaeologists not affiliated with the French administration, among them Paul Zanker, the renowned archaeologist and expert on Caesar and Augustus, were quick to question whether the bust is a portrait of Caesar.[16][17][18] Many noted the lack of resemblances to Caesar's likenesses issued on coins during the last years of the dictator's life, and to the Tusculum bust of Caesar,[19] which depicts Julius Caesar in his lifetime, either as a so-called zeitgesicht or as a direct portrait. After a further stylistic assessment, Zanker dated the Arles-bust to the Augustan period. Elkins argued for the third century AD as the terminus post quem for the deposition of the statues, refuting the claim that the bust was thrown away due to feared repercussions from Caesar's assassination in 44 BC.[20] The main argument by the French archaeologists that Caesar had founded the colony in 46 BC proved to be incorrect, as the colony was founded by Caesar's former quaestor Tiberius Claudius Nero on the dictator's orders in his absence.[21] Mary Beard has accused the persons involved in the find of having willfully invented their claims for publicity reasons. The French ministry of culture has not yet responded to the criticism and negative reviews.

Sport

 

AC Arles-Avignon is a professional French football team. They currently play in Championnat de France Amateur, the fourth division in French football. They play at the Parc des Sports, which has a capacity of just over 17,000.

Culture

 

A well known photography festival, Rencontres d'Arles, takes place in Arles every year, and the French national school of photography is located there.

 

The major French publishing house Actes Sud is also situated in Arles.

 

Bull fights are conducted in the amphitheatre, including Provençal-style bullfights (courses camarguaises) in which the bull is not killed, but rather a team of athletic men attempt to remove a tassle from the bull's horn without getting injured. Every Easter and on the first weekend of September, during the feria, Arles also holds Spanish-style corridas (in which the bulls are killed) with an encierro (bull-running in the streets) preceding each fight.

 

The film Ronin was partially filmed in Arles.

European Capital of Culture

 

Arles played a major role in Marseille-Provence 2013, the year-long series of cultural events held in the region after it was designated the European Capital of Culture for 2013. The city hosted a segment of the opening ceremony with a pyrotechnical performance by Groupe F on the banks of the Rhône. It also unveiled the new wing of the Musée Départemental Arles Antique as part of Marseille-Provence 2013.

Economy

 

Arles's open-air street market is a major market in the region. It occurs on Saturday and Wednesday mornings.

Transport

 

The Gare d'Arles railway station offers connections to Avignon, Nîmes, Marseille, Paris, Bordeaux and several regional destinations.

Notable people

 

Vincent van Gogh, lived here from February 1888 until May 1889.

The Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral (1830–1914) was born near Arles

Jeanne Calment (1875–1997), the oldest human being whose age is documented, was born, lived and died, at the age of 122 years and 164 days, in Arles

Anne-Marie David, singer (Eurovision winner in 1973)

Christian Lacroix, fashion designer

Lucien Clergue, photographer

Djibril Cissé, footballer

Antoine de Seguiran, 18th-century encyclopédiste

Genesius of Arles, a notary martyred under Maximianus in 303 or 308

Blessed Jean Marie du Lau, last Archbishop of Arles, killed by the revolutionary mob in Paris on September 2, 1792

Juan Bautista (real name Jean-Baptiste Jalabert), matador

Maja Hoffmann, art patron

Mehdi Savalli, matador

The medieval writer Antoine de la Sale was probably born in Arles around 1386

Home of the Gipsy Kings, a music group from Arles

Gael Givet, footballer

Lloyd Palun, footballer

Fanny Valette, actress

Luc Hoffmann, ornithologist, conservationist and philanthropist.

Saint Caesarius of Arles, bishop who lived from the late 5th to the mid 6th century, known for prophecy and writings that would later be used by theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas

Samuel ibn Tibbon, famous Jewish translator and scholar during the Middle Ages.

Kalonymus ben Kalonymus, famous Jewish scholar and philosopher, Arles born, active during the Middle Ages.

 

Twin towns — sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in France

 

Arles is twinned with:

 

Pskov, Russia

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Fulda, Germany

York, Pennsylvania, United States

Cubelles, Spain

Vercelli, Italy

Sagné, Mauritania

Kalymnos, Greece

Wisbech, United Kingdom

Zhouzhuang, Kunshan, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China

Verviers, Belgium

 

See also

 

Archbishopric of Arles

Montmajour Abbey

Trinquetaille

Langlois Bridge

Saint-Martin-de-Crau

Communes of the Bouches-du-Rhône department

 

References

 

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Archdiocese of Aix". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.

INSEE

 

The table contains the temperatures and precipitation of the city of Arles for the period 1948-1999, extracted from the site Sophy.u-3mrs.fr.

www.academia.edu/1166147/_The_Fall_and_Decline_of_the_Rom...

Rick Steves' Provence & the French Riviera, p. 78, at Google Books

Nelson's Dictionary of Christianity: The Authoritative Resource on the Christian World, p. 1173, at Google Books

Provence, p. 81, at Google Books

Wace, Dictionary)

Greene, Kevin (2000). "Technological Innovation and Economic Progress in the Ancient World: M.I. Finley Re-Considered". The Economic History Review. New Series. 53 (1): 29–59 [p. 39]. doi:10.1111/1468-0289.00151.

"Ville d'Histoire et de Patrimoine". Patrimoine.ville-arles.fr. Retrieved 2013-03-25.

"La meunerie de Barbegal". Etab.ac-caen.fr. Retrieved 2013-03-25.

jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/1784-arles

Fisher, R, ed (2011). Fodor's France 2011. Toronto and New York: Fodor's Travel, division of Random House. p. 563 ISBN 978-1-4000-0473-7.

"Espace Van Gogh". Visiter, Places of Interest. Arles Office de Tourisme. Retrieved 2011-04-29.

Original communiqué (May 13, 2008); second communiqué (May 20, 2008); report (May 20, 2008)

E.g."Divers find marble bust of Caesar that may date to 46 B.C.". Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-05-14. , CNN-Online et al.

Video (QuickTime) Archived May 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. on the archaeological find (France 3)

Paul Zanker, "Der Echte war energischer, distanzierter, ironischer" Archived May 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Sueddeutsche Zeitung, May 25, 2008, on-line

Mary Beard, "The face of Julius Caesar? Come off it!", TLS, May 14, 2008, on-line

Nathan T. Elkins, 'Oldest Bust' of Julius Caesar found in France?, May 14, 2008, on-line

Cp. this image at the AERIA library

A different approach was presented by Mary Beard, in that members of a military Caesarian colony would not have discarded portraits of Caesar, whom they worshipped as god, although statues were in fact destroyed by the Anti-Caesarians in the city of Rome after Caesar's assassination (Appian, BC III.1.9).

Konrat Ziegler & Walther Sontheimer (eds.), "Arelate", in Der Kleine Pauly: Lexikon der Antike, Vol. 1, col. 525, Munich 1979; in 46 BC, Caesar himself was campaigning in Africa, before later returning to Rome.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Le costume d'Arles est avec le costume provençal comtadin l'une des deux grandes variantes du costume provençal. Appelé aussi arlèse, son port a été relancé par Frédéric Mistral à la fin du XIXe siècle comme l'un des signes de l'identité culturelle de la Provence. Encore utilisé le dimanche jusqu'au début du XXe siècle, son usage courant a progressivement disparu au cours de la première moitié du XXe siècle. Actuellement, il n'est porté qu'épisodiquement, par des groupes folkloriques ou lors de manifestations volontaristes de l'identité locale1.

  

Historique

Costumes arlésiens au XVIIIe siècle (Atelier de couture à Arles, Antoine Raspal, 1760, musée Réattu, Arles).

 

Parmi toutes les variétés locales à la mode au cours du XVIIIe siècle, seul le costume d'Arles, porté indifféremment par les femmes de toutes conditions, a traversé la Révolution, tout en continuant à évoluer d'une façon naturelle. Jusque dans les années 1950, il était encore porté, quotidiennement à Arles par un certain nombre de femmes, et plus particulièrement le dimanche. Le costume d'Arles a été la tenue féminine traditionnelle dans tout l'ancien archevêché, a tenté de s'imposer jusqu'à Avignon sous l'impulsion de Frédéric Mistral, a débordé sur la rive droite du Rhône de la Camargue gardoise jusqu'à l'Uzège2, s'est étendu à l'Est par delà la Crau, jusqu'à la Durance et le golfe de Fos. Toute son évolution est retracée au Museon Arlaten3.

  

Originalité

 

Ce costume d'Arles se distingue d'abord par une coiffe spéciale qui nécessite le port de cheveux longs. En fonction des jours de la semaine et des tâches à accomplir, cette coiffure était retenue sur le sommet de la tête par un ruban, une cravate ou un nœud de dentelles. Mais elle exigeait toujours un temps de préparation important et des soins particuliers pour respecter l'exigence de ses canons. Cette coiffure est peu adaptée aujourd'hui à une vie professionnelle moderne. Face à la mode des cheveux courts, un substitut sous forme de postiche a été proposé, mais son manque de naturel l'a voué à l'échec4.

 

Composition

 

Parmi les pièces qui compose actuellement l'habillement et signe son élégance, il y a la chapelle ou cache-coeur, plastron de dentelle en forme de trapèze, apparu en 1860, et qui couvre la poitrine5, le grand châle ou fichu, de forme carrée, qui moule le buste, la robe longue en satin de différentes couleurs, souvent pincée à la taille, les dorures (bijoux, agrafes, boucles ou crochets) qui sont transmises de génération en génération. Ces parures vont du tour de cou en argent, aux différentes croix d'or filigranées, dites croix provençales, des bracelets en or massif enrichis de diamants6, aux boucles d'oreilles (pendants ou brandanto) réservées aux seules femmes mariées, en passant par les bagues rehaussées de pierres précieuses, les boucles de soulier en argent, les agrafes de manteau dorées ou argentées, les crochets d'argent pour la ceinture qui permettaient de suspendre les clefs, à la fois signe de richesse et de possession sur la maison familiale7.

  

Arles

 

Arles is located in France

Arles is located in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Coordinates: 43°40′36″N 4°37′40″ECoordinates: 43°40′36″N 4°37′40″E

Country France

Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Department Bouches-du-Rhône

Arrondissement Arles

Canton Arles

Intercommunality CA Arles-Crau-Camargue-Montagnette

Government

• Mayor (2014–2020) Hervé Schiavetti (PCF)

Area1 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi)

Population (2012)2 52,439

• Density 69/km2 (180/sq mi)

Time zone CET (UTC+1)

• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

INSEE/Postal code 13004 /13200

Elevation 0–57 m (0–187 ft)

(avg. 10 m or 33 ft)

 

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

 

Arles (French pronunciation: ​[aʁl]; Provençal [ˈaʀle] in both classical and Mistralian norms; Arelate in Classical Latin) is a city and commune in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which it is a subprefecture, in the former province of Provence.

 

A large part of the Camargue is located on the territory of the commune, making it the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory (though Maripasoula, French Guiana, is much larger). The city has a long history, and was of considerable importance in the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis. The Roman and Romanesque Monuments of Arles were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1981. The Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh lived in Arles from 1888 to 1889 and produced over 300 paintings and drawings during his time there. An international photography festival has been held in the city since 1970.

 

Geography

 

The river Rhône forks into two branches just upstream of Arles, forming the Camargue delta. Because the Camargue is for a large part administratively part of Arles, the commune as a whole is the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory, although its population is only slightly more than 50,000. Its area is 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi), which is more than seven times the area of Paris.

Climate

 

Arles has a Mediterranean climate with a mean annual temperature of 14.6 °C (1948 - 1999). The summers are warm and moderately dry, with seasonal averages between 22 °C and 24 °C, and mild winters with a mean temperature of about 7 °C. The city is constantly, but especially in the winter months, subject to the influence of the mistral, a cold wind which can cause sudden and severe frosts. Rainfall (636 mm per year) is fairly evenly distributed from September to May, with the summer drought being less marked than in other Mediterranean areas.[1]

 

Ancient era

 

The Ligurians were in this area from about 800 BC. Later, Celtic influences have been discovered. The city became an important Phoenician trading port, before being taken by the Romans.

 

The Romans took the town in 123 BC and expanded it into an important city, with a canal link to the Mediterranean Sea being constructed in 104 BC. However, it struggled to escape the shadow of Massalia (Marseilles) further along the coast.

 

Its chance came when it sided with Julius Caesar against Pompey, providing military support. Massalia backed Pompey; when Caesar emerged victorious, Massalia was stripped of its possessions, which were transferred to Arelate as a reward. The town was formally established as a colony for veterans of the Roman legion Legio VI Ferrata, which had its base there. Its full title as a colony was Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelatensium Sextanorum, "the ancestral Julian colony of Arles of the soldiers of the Sixth."

 

Arelate was a city of considerable importance in the province of Gallia Narbonensis. It covered an area of some 40 hectares (99 acres) and possessed a number of monuments, including an amphitheatre, triumphal arch, Roman circus, theatre, and a full circuit of walls. Ancient Arles was closer to the sea than it is now and served as a major port. It also had (and still has) the southernmost bridge on the Rhône. Very unusually, the Roman bridge was not fixed but consisted of a pontoon-style bridge of boats, with towers and drawbridges at each end. The boats were secured in place by anchors and were tethered to twin towers built just upstream of the bridge. This unusual design was a way of coping with the river's frequent violent floods, which would have made short work of a conventional bridge. Nothing remains of the Roman bridge, which has been replaced by a more modern bridge near the same spot.

 

The city reached a peak of influence during the 4th and 5th centuries, when Roman Emperors frequently used it as their headquarters during military campaigns. In 395, it became the seat of the Praetorian Prefecture of the Gauls, governing the western part of the Western Empire: Gaul proper plus Hispania (Spain) and Armorica (Brittany). At that time, the city was perhaps home to 75,000–100,000 people.[2][3][4][5]

 

It became a favorite city of Emperor Constantine I, who built baths there, substantial remains of which are still standing. His son, Constantine II, was born in Arles. Usurper Constantine III declared himself emperor in the West (407–411) and made Arles his capital in 408.

 

Arles became renowned as a cultural and religious centre during the late Roman Empire. It was the birthplace of the sceptical philosopher Favorinus. It was also a key location for Roman Christianity and an important base for the Christianization of Gaul. The city's bishopric was held by a series of outstanding clerics, beginning with Saint Trophimus around 225 and continuing with Saint Honoratus, then Saint Hilarius in the first half of the 5th century. The political tension between the Catholic bishops of Arles and the Visigothic kings is epitomized in the career of the Frankish St. Caesarius, bishop of Arles 503–542, who was suspected by the Arian Visigoth Alaric II of conspiring with the Burgundians to turn over the Arelate to Burgundy, and was exiled for a year to Bordeaux in Aquitaine. Political tensions were evident again in 512, when Arles held out against Theodoric the Great and Caesarius was imprisoned and sent to Ravenna to explain his actions before the Ostrogothic king.[6]

 

The friction between the Arian Christianity of the Visigoths and the Catholicism of the bishops sent out from Rome established deep roots for religious heterodoxy, even heresy, in Occitan culture. At Treves in 385, Priscillian achieved the distinction of becoming the first Christian executed for heresy (Manichaean in his case, see also Cathars, Camisards). Despite this tension and the city's decline in the face of barbarian invasions, Arles remained a great religious centre and host of church councils (see Council of Arles), the rival of Vienne, for hundreds of years.

Roman aqueduct and mill

Aqueduct of Arles at Barbegal

 

The Barbegal aqueduct and mill is a Roman watermill complex located on the territory of the commune of Fontvieille, a few kilometres from Arles. The complex has been referred to as "the greatest known concentration of mechanical power in the ancient world".[7] The remains of the mill streams and buildings which housed the overshot water wheels are still visible at the site, and it is by far the best-preserved of ancient mills. There are two aqueducts which join just north of the mill complex, and a sluice which enabled the operators to control the water supply to the complex. The mill consisted of 16 waterwheels in two separate rows built into a steep hillside. There are substantial masonry remains of the water channels and foundations of the individual mills, together with a staircase rising up the hill upon which the mills are built. The mills apparently operated from the end of the 1st century until about the end of the 3rd century.[8] The capacity of the mills has been estimated at 4.5 tons of flour per day, sufficient to supply enough bread for 6,000 of the 30-40,000 inhabitants of Arelate at that time.[9] A similar mill complex existed also on the Janiculum in Rome. Examination of the mill leat still just visible on one side of the hill shows a substantial accretion of lime in the channel, tending to confirm its long working life.

 

It is thought that the wheels were overshot water wheels with the outflow from the top driving the next one down and so on, to the base of the hill. Vertical water mills were well known to the Romans, being described by Vitruvius in his De Architectura of 25 BC, and mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia of 77 AD. There are also later references to floating water mills from Byzantium and to sawmills on the river Moselle by the poet Ausonius. The use of multiple stacked sequences of reverse overshot water-wheels was widespread in Roman mines.

Middle Ages

Place de la République.

Cafe Terrace at Night by Vincent van Gogh (September 1888), depicts the warmth of a café in Arles

 

In 735, after raiding the Lower Rhône, Andalusian Saracens led by Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri moved into the stronghold summoned by Count Maurontus, who feared Charles Martel's expansionist ambitions, though this may have been an excuse to further Moorish expansion beyond Iberia. The next year, Charles campaigned south to Septimania and Provence, attacking and capturing Arles after destroying Avignon. In 739. Charles definitely drove Maurontus to exile, and brought Provence to heel. In 855, it was made the capital of a Frankish Kingdom of Arles, which included Burgundy and part of Provence, but was frequently terrorised by Saracen and Viking raiders. In 888, Rudolph, Count of Auxerre (now in north-western Burgundy), founded the kingdom of Transjuran Burgundy (literally, beyond the Jura mountains), which included western Switzerland as far as the river Reuss, Valais, Geneva, Chablais and Bugey.

 

In 933, Hugh of Arles ("Hugues de Provence") gave his kingdom up to Rudolph II, who merged the two kingdoms into a new Kingdom of Arles. In 1032, King Rudolph III died, and the kingdom was inherited by Emperor Conrad II the Salic. Though his successors counted themselves kings of Arles, few went to be crowned in the cathedral. Most of the kingdom's territory was progressively incorporated into France. During these troubled times, the amphitheatre was converted into a fortress, with watchtowers built at each of the four quadrants and a minuscule walled town being constructed within. The population was by now only a fraction of what it had been in Roman times, with much of old Arles lying in ruins.

 

The town regained political and economic prominence in the 12th century, with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa traveling there in 1178 for his coronation. In the 12th century, it became a free city governed by an elected podestat (chief magistrate; literally "power"), who appointed the consuls and other magistrates. It retained this status until the French Revolution of 1789.

 

Arles joined the countship of Provence in 1239, but, once more, its prominence was eclipsed by Marseilles. In 1378, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV ceded the remnants of the Kingdom of Arles to the Dauphin of France (later King Charles VI of France) and the kingdom ceased to exist even on paper.

Modern era

 

Arles remained economically important for many years as a major port on the Rhône. In the 19th century, the arrival of the railway diminished river trade, leading to the town becoming something of a backwater.

 

This made it an attractive destination for the painter Vincent van Gogh, who arrived there on 21 February 1888. He was fascinated by the Provençal landscapes, producing over 300 paintings and drawings during his time in Arles. Many of his most famous paintings were completed there, including The Night Cafe, the Yellow Room, Starry Night Over the Rhone, and L'Arlésienne. Paul Gauguin visited van Gogh in Arles. However, van Gogh's mental health deteriorated and he became alarmingly eccentric, culminating in the well-known ear-severing incident in December 1888 which resulted in two stays in the Old Hospital of Arles. The concerned Arlesians circulated a petition the following February demanding that van Gogh be confined. In May 1889, he took the hint and left Arles for the Saint-Paul asylum at nearby Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Jewish history

Main article: History of the Jews in Arles

 

Arles had an important and evident Jewish community between the Roman era and until the end of the 15th century. A local legend describes the first Jews in Arles as exiles from Judaea after Jerusalem fell to the Romans. Nevertheless, the first documented evident of Jews in Arles is not before fifth century, when a distinguished community had already existed in town. Arles was an important Jewish crossroads, as a port city and close to Spain and the rest of Europe alike. It served a major role in the work of the Hachmei Provence group of famous Jewish scholars, translators and philosophers, who were most important to Judaism throughout the Middle Ages. At the eighth century, the jurisdiction of the Jews of Arles were passed to the local Archbishop, making the Jewish taxes to the clergy somewhat of a shield for the community from mob attacks, most frequent during the Crusades. The community lived relatively peacefully until the last decade of the 15th century, when they were expelled out of the city never to return. Several Jews did live in the city in the centuries after, though no community was found ever after. Nowadays, Jewish archaeological findings and texts from Arles can be found in the local museum.[10]

Population

 

Arles has important Roman remnants, most of which have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1981 within the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments group. They include:

 

The Gallo-Roman theatre

The arena or amphitheatre

The Alyscamps (Roman necropolis)

The Thermae of Constantine

The cryptoporticus

Arles Obelisk

Barbegal aqueduct and mill

 

The Church of St. Trophime (Saint Trophimus), formerly a cathedral, is a major work of Romanesque architecture, and the representation of the Last Judgment on its portal is considered one of the finest examples of Romanesque sculpture, as are the columns in the adjacent cloister.

 

The town also has a museum of ancient history, the Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence antiques, with one of the best collections of Roman sarcophagi to be found anywhere outside Rome itself. Other museums include the Musée Réattu and the Museon Arlaten.

 

The courtyard of the Old Arles hospital, now named "Espace Van Gogh," is a center for Vincent van Gogh's works, several of which are masterpieces.[11] The garden, framed on all four sides by buildings of the complex, is approached through arcades on the first floor. A circulation gallery is located on the first and second floors.[12]

Archaeology

Main article: Arles portrait bust

 

In September–October 2007, divers led by Luc Long from the French Department of Subaquatic Archaeological Research, headed by Michel L'Hour, discovered a life-sized marble bust of an apparently important Roman person in the Rhône near Arles, together with smaller statues of Marsyas in Hellenistic style and of the god Neptune from the third century AD. The larger bust was tentatively dated to 46 BC. Since the bust displayed several characteristics of an ageing person with wrinkles, deep naso-labial creases and hollows in his face, and since the archaeologists believed that Julius Caesar had founded the colony Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelate Sextanorum in 46 BC, the scientists came to the preliminary conclusion that the bust depicted a life-portrait of the Roman dictator: France's Minister of Culture Christine Albanel reported on May 13, 2008, that the bust would be the oldest representation of Caesar known today.[13] The story was picked up by all larger media outlets.[14][15] The realism of the portrait was said to place it in the tradition of late Republican portrait and genre sculptures. The archaeologists further claimed that a bust of Julius Caesar might have been thrown away or discreetly disposed of, because Caesar's portraits could have been viewed as politically dangerous possessions after the dictator's assassination.

 

Historians and archaeologists not affiliated with the French administration, among them Paul Zanker, the renowned archaeologist and expert on Caesar and Augustus, were quick to question whether the bust is a portrait of Caesar.[16][17][18] Many noted the lack of resemblances to Caesar's likenesses issued on coins during the last years of the dictator's life, and to the Tusculum bust of Caesar,[19] which depicts Julius Caesar in his lifetime, either as a so-called zeitgesicht or as a direct portrait. After a further stylistic assessment, Zanker dated the Arles-bust to the Augustan period. Elkins argued for the third century AD as the terminus post quem for the deposition of the statues, refuting the claim that the bust was thrown away due to feared repercussions from Caesar's assassination in 44 BC.[20] The main argument by the French archaeologists that Caesar had founded the colony in 46 BC proved to be incorrect, as the colony was founded by Caesar's former quaestor Tiberius Claudius Nero on the dictator's orders in his absence.[21] Mary Beard has accused the persons involved in the find of having willfully invented their claims for publicity reasons. The French ministry of culture has not yet responded to the criticism and negative reviews.

Sport

 

AC Arles-Avignon is a professional French football team. They currently play in Championnat de France Amateur, the fourth division in French football. They play at the Parc des Sports, which has a capacity of just over 17,000.

Culture

 

A well known photography festival, Rencontres d'Arles, takes place in Arles every year, and the French national school of photography is located there.

 

The major French publishing house Actes Sud is also situated in Arles.

 

Bull fights are conducted in the amphitheatre, including Provençal-style bullfights (courses camarguaises) in which the bull is not killed, but rather a team of athletic men attempt to remove a tassle from the bull's horn without getting injured. Every Easter and on the first weekend of September, during the feria, Arles also holds Spanish-style corridas (in which the bulls are killed) with an encierro (bull-running in the streets) preceding each fight.

 

The film Ronin was partially filmed in Arles.

European Capital of Culture

 

Arles played a major role in Marseille-Provence 2013, the year-long series of cultural events held in the region after it was designated the European Capital of Culture for 2013. The city hosted a segment of the opening ceremony with a pyrotechnical performance by Groupe F on the banks of the Rhône. It also unveiled the new wing of the Musée Départemental Arles Antique as part of Marseille-Provence 2013.

Economy

 

Arles's open-air street market is a major market in the region. It occurs on Saturday and Wednesday mornings.

Transport

 

The Gare d'Arles railway station offers connections to Avignon, Nîmes, Marseille, Paris, Bordeaux and several regional destinations.

Notable people

 

Vincent van Gogh, lived here from February 1888 until May 1889.

The Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral (1830–1914) was born near Arles

Jeanne Calment (1875–1997), the oldest human being whose age is documented, was born, lived and died, at the age of 122 years and 164 days, in Arles

Anne-Marie David, singer (Eurovision winner in 1973)

Christian Lacroix, fashion designer

Lucien Clergue, photographer

Djibril Cissé, footballer

Antoine de Seguiran, 18th-century encyclopédiste

Genesius of Arles, a notary martyred under Maximianus in 303 or 308

Blessed Jean Marie du Lau, last Archbishop of Arles, killed by the revolutionary mob in Paris on September 2, 1792

Juan Bautista (real name Jean-Baptiste Jalabert), matador

Maja Hoffmann, art patron

Mehdi Savalli, matador

The medieval writer Antoine de la Sale was probably born in Arles around 1386

Home of the Gipsy Kings, a music group from Arles

Gael Givet, footballer

Lloyd Palun, footballer

Fanny Valette, actress

Luc Hoffmann, ornithologist, conservationist and philanthropist.

Saint Caesarius of Arles, bishop who lived from the late 5th to the mid 6th century, known for prophecy and writings that would later be used by theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas

Samuel ibn Tibbon, famous Jewish translator and scholar during the Middle Ages.

Kalonymus ben Kalonymus, famous Jewish scholar and philosopher, Arles born, active during the Middle Ages.

 

Twin towns — sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in France

 

Arles is twinned with:

 

Pskov, Russia

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Fulda, Germany

York, Pennsylvania, United States

Cubelles, Spain

Vercelli, Italy

Sagné, Mauritania

Kalymnos, Greece

Wisbech, United Kingdom

Zhouzhuang, Kunshan, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China

Verviers, Belgium

 

See also

 

Archbishopric of Arles

Montmajour Abbey

Trinquetaille

Langlois Bridge

Saint-Martin-de-Crau

Communes of the Bouches-du-Rhône department

 

References

 

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Archdiocese of Aix". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.

INSEE

 

The table contains the temperatures and precipitation of the city of Arles for the period 1948-1999, extracted from the site Sophy.u-3mrs.fr.

www.academia.edu/1166147/_The_Fall_and_Decline_of_the_Rom...

Rick Steves' Provence & the French Riviera, p. 78, at Google Books

Nelson's Dictionary of Christianity: The Authoritative Resource on the Christian World, p. 1173, at Google Books

Provence, p. 81, at Google Books

Wace, Dictionary)

Greene, Kevin (2000). "Technological Innovation and Economic Progress in the Ancient World: M.I. Finley Re-Considered". The Economic History Review. New Series. 53 (1): 29–59 [p. 39]. doi:10.1111/1468-0289.00151.

"Ville d'Histoire et de Patrimoine". Patrimoine.ville-arles.fr. Retrieved 2013-03-25.

"La meunerie de Barbegal". Etab.ac-caen.fr. Retrieved 2013-03-25.

jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/1784-arles

Fisher, R, ed (2011). Fodor's France 2011. Toronto and New York: Fodor's Travel, division of Random House. p. 563 ISBN 978-1-4000-0473-7.

"Espace Van Gogh". Visiter, Places of Interest. Arles Office de Tourisme. Retrieved 2011-04-29.

Original communiqué (May 13, 2008); second communiqué (May 20, 2008); report (May 20, 2008)

E.g."Divers find marble bust of Caesar that may date to 46 B.C.". Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-05-14. , CNN-Online et al.

Video (QuickTime) Archived May 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. on the archaeological find (France 3)

Paul Zanker, "Der Echte war energischer, distanzierter, ironischer" Archived May 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Sueddeutsche Zeitung, May 25, 2008, on-line

Mary Beard, "The face of Julius Caesar? Come off it!", TLS, May 14, 2008, on-line

Nathan T. Elkins, 'Oldest Bust' of Julius Caesar found in France?, May 14, 2008, on-line

Cp. this image at the AERIA library

A different approach was presented by Mary Beard, in that members of a military Caesarian colony would not have discarded portraits of Caesar, whom they worshipped as god, although statues were in fact destroyed by the Anti-Caesarians in the city of Rome after Caesar's assassination (Appian, BC III.1.9).

Konrat Ziegler & Walther Sontheimer (eds.), "Arelate", in Der Kleine Pauly: Lexikon der Antike, Vol. 1, col. 525, Munich 1979; in 46 BC, Caesar himself was campaigning in Africa, before later returning to Rome.

+++++ FROM WIKIPEDIA +++++

 

Arles (/ɑːrl(z)/, also US: /ˈɑːrəl/,[2][3][4][5] French: [aʁl]; Provençal: Arle [ˈaʀle] in both classical and Mistralian norms; Classical Latin: Arelate) is a city and commune in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which it is a subprefecture, in the former province of Provence.

 

A large part of the Camargue is located on the territory of the commune, making it the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory (though Maripasoula, French Guiana, is much larger). The city has a long history, and was of considerable importance in the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis. The Roman and Romanesque Monuments of Arles were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1981. The Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh lived in Arles from 1888 to 1889 and produced over 300 paintings and drawings during his time there. An international photography festival has been held in the city since 1970.

  

Contents

1Geography

2History

2.1Ancient era

2.2Roman aqueduct and mill

2.3Middle Ages

2.4Modern era

2.5Jewish history

3Climate

4Population

5Main sights

6Archaeology

7Sport

8Culture

8.1European Capital of Culture

9Economy

10Transport

11Notable people

12Twin towns — sister cities

13See also

14References

15External links

Geography

The river Rhône forks into two branches just upstream of Arles, forming the Camargue delta. Because the Camargue is for a large part administratively part of Arles, the commune as a whole is the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory, although its population is only slightly more than 50,000. Its area is 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi), which is more than seven times the area of Paris.

 

History

Ancient era

 

Arles Amphitheatre, a Roman arena

 

Passageway in the Amphitheatre

 

Church of St. Trophime and its cloister

The Ligurians were in this area from about 800 BC. Later, Celtic influences have been discovered. The city became an important Phoenician trading port, before being taken by the Romans.

 

The Romans took the town in 123 BC and expanded it into an important city, with a canal link to the Mediterranean Sea being constructed in 104 BC. However, it struggled to escape the shadow of Massalia (Marseilles) further along the coast.

 

Its chance came when it sided with Julius Caesar against Pompey, providing military support. Massalia backed Pompey; when Caesar emerged victorious, Massalia was stripped of its possessions, which were transferred to Arelate as a reward. The town was formally established as a colony for veterans of the Roman legion Legio VI Ferrata, which had its base there. Its full title as a colony was Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelatensium Sextanorum, "the ancestral Julian colony of Arles of the soldiers of the Sixth."

 

Arelate was a city of considerable importance in the province of Gallia Narbonensis. It covered an area of some 40 hectares (99 acres) and possessed a number of monuments, including an amphitheatre, triumphal arch, Roman circus, theatre, and a full circuit of walls. Ancient Arles was closer to the sea than it is now and served as a major port. It also had (and still has) the southernmost bridge on the Rhône. Very unusually, the Roman bridge was not fixed but consisted of a pontoon-style bridge of boats, with towers and drawbridges at each end. The boats were secured in place by anchors and were tethered to twin towers built just upstream of the bridge. This unusual design was a way of coping with the river's frequent violent floods, which would have made short work of a conventional bridge. Nothing remains of the Roman bridge, which has been replaced by a more modern bridge near the same spot.

 

The city reached a peak of influence during the 4th and 5th centuries, when Roman Emperors frequently used it as their headquarters during military campaigns. In 395, it became the seat of the Praetorian Prefecture of the Gauls, governing the western part of the Western Empire: Gaul proper plus Hispania (Spain) and Armorica (Brittany). At that time, the city was perhaps home to 75,000–100,000 people.[6][7][8][9]

 

It became a favorite city of Emperor Constantine I, who built baths there, substantial remains of which are still standing. His son, Constantine II, was born in Arles. Usurper Constantine III declared himself emperor in the West (407–411) and made Arles his capital in 408.

 

Arles became renowned as a cultural and religious centre during the late Roman Empire. It was the birthplace of the sceptical philosopher Favorinus. It was also a key location for Roman Christianity and an important base for the Christianization of Gaul. The city's bishopric was held by a series of outstanding clerics, beginning with Saint Trophimus around 225 and continuing with Saint Honoratus, then Saint Hilarius in the first half of the 5th century. The political tension between the Catholic bishops of Arles and the Visigothic kings is epitomized in the career of the Frankish St. Caesarius, bishop of Arles 503–542, who was suspected by the Arian Visigoth Alaric II of conspiring with the Burgundians to turn over the Arelate to Burgundy, and was exiled for a year to Bordeaux in Aquitaine. Political tensions were evident again in 512, when Arles held out against Theodoric the Great and Caesarius was imprisoned and sent to Ravenna to explain his actions before the Ostrogothic king.[10]

 

The friction between the Arian Christianity of the Visigoths and the Catholicism of the bishops sent out from Rome established deep roots for religious heterodoxy, even heresy, in Occitan culture. At Treves in 385, Priscillian achieved the distinction of becoming the first Christian executed for heresy (Manichaean in his case, see also Cathars, Camisards). Despite this tension and the city's decline in the face of barbarian invasions, Arles remained a great religious centre and host of church councils (see Council of Arles), the rival of Vienne, for hundreds of years.

 

Roman aqueduct and mill

 

Aqueduct of Arles at Barbegal

The Barbegal aqueduct and mill is a Roman watermill complex located on the territory of the commune of Fontvieille, a few kilometres from Arles. The complex has been referred to as "the greatest known concentration of mechanical power in the ancient world".[11] The remains of the mill streams and buildings which housed the overshot water wheels are still visible at the site, and it is by far the best-preserved of ancient mills. There are two aqueducts which join just north of the mill complex, and a sluice which enabled the operators to control the water supply to the complex. The mill consisted of 16 waterwheels in two separate rows built into a steep hillside. There are substantial masonry remains of the water channels and foundations of the individual mills, together with a staircase rising up the hill upon which the mills are built. The mills apparently operated from the end of the 1st century until about the end of the 3rd century.[12] The capacity of the mills has been estimated at 4.5 tons of flour per day, sufficient to supply enough bread for 6,000 of the 30-40,000 inhabitants of Arelate at that time.[13] A similar mill complex existed also on the Janiculum in Rome. Examination of the mill leat still just visible on one side of the hill shows a substantial accretion of lime in the channel, tending to confirm its long working life.

 

It is thought that the wheels were overshot water wheels with the outflow from the top driving the next one down and so on, to the base of the hill. Vertical water mills were well known to the Romans, being described by Vitruvius in his De Architectura of 25 BC, and mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia of 77 AD. There are also later references to floating water mills from Byzantium and to sawmills on the river Moselle by the poet Ausonius. The use of multiple stacked sequences of reverse overshot water-wheels was widespread in Roman mines.

 

Middle Ages

 

Cafe Terrace at Night by Vincent van Gogh (September 1888), depicts the warmth of a café in Arles

In 735, after raiding the Lower Rhône, Andalusian Saracens led by Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri moved into the stronghold summoned by Count Maurontus, who feared Charles Martel's expansionist ambitions, though this may have been an excuse to further Moorish expansion beyond Iberia. The next year, Charles campaigned south to Septimania and Provence, attacking and capturing Arles after destroying Avignon. In 739. Charles definitely drove Maurontus to exile, and brought Provence to heel. In 855, it was made the capital of a Frankish Kingdom of Arles, which included Burgundy and part of Provence, but was frequently terrorised by Saracen and Viking raiders. In 888, Rudolph, Count of Auxerre (now in north-western Burgundy), founded the kingdom of Transjuran Burgundy (literally, beyond the Jura mountains), which included western Switzerland as far as the river Reuss, Valais, Geneva, Chablais and Bugey.

 

In 933, Hugh of Arles ("Hugues de Provence") gave his kingdom up to Rudolph II, who merged the two kingdoms into a new Kingdom of Arles. In 1032, King Rudolph III died, and the kingdom was inherited by Emperor Conrad II the Salic. Though his successors counted themselves kings of Arles, few went to be crowned in the cathedral. Most of the kingdom's territory was progressively incorporated into France. During these troubled times, the amphitheatre was converted into a fortress, with watchtowers built at each of the four quadrants and a minuscule walled town being constructed within. The population was by now only a fraction of what it had been in Roman times, with much of old Arles lying in ruins.

 

The town regained political and economic prominence in the 12th century, with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa traveling there in 1178 for his coronation. In the 12th century, it became a free city governed by an elected podestat (chief magistrate; literally "power"), who appointed the consuls and other magistrates. It retained this status until the French Revolution of 1789.

 

Arles joined the countship of Provence in 1239, but, once more, its prominence was eclipsed by Marseilles. In 1378, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV ceded the remnants of the Kingdom of Arles to the Dauphin of France (later King Charles VI of France) and the kingdom ceased to exist even on paper.

 

Modern era

Arles remained economically important for many years as a major port on the Rhône. In the 19th century, the arrival of the railway diminished river trade, leading to the town becoming something of a backwater.

 

This made it an attractive destination for the painter Vincent van Gogh, who arrived there on 21 February 1888. He was fascinated by the Provençal landscapes, producing over 300 paintings and drawings during his time in Arles. Many of his most famous paintings were completed there, including The Night Cafe, the Yellow Room, Starry Night Over the Rhone, and L'Arlésienne. Paul Gauguin visited van Gogh in Arles. However, van Gogh's mental health deteriorated and he became alarmingly eccentric, culminating in the well-known ear-severing incident in December 1888 which resulted in two stays in the Old Hospital of Arles. The concerned Arlesians circulated a petition the following February demanding that van Gogh be confined. In May 1889, he took the hint and left Arles for the Saint-Paul asylum at nearby Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

 

Jewish history

Main article: History of the Jews in Arles

Arles had an important and prominent Jewish community between the Roman era and the end of the 15th century. A local legend describes the first Jews in Arles as exiles from Judaea after Jerusalem fell to the Romans. Nevertheless, the first documented evidence of Jews in Arles is not before the fifth century, when a distinguished community already existed in the town. Arles was an important Jewish crossroads, as a port city and close to Spain and the rest of Europe alike. It served a major role in the work of the Hachmei Provence group of famous Jewish scholars, translators and philosophers, who were most important to Judaism throughout the Middle Ages. In the eighth century, jurisdiction over the Jews of Arles was passed to the local Archbishop, making the Jewish taxes to the clergy somewhat of a shield for the community from mob attacks, most frequent during the Crusades. The community lived relatively peacefully until the last decade of the 15th century, when they were expelled out of the city never to return. Several Jews did live in the city in the centuries after, though no community was found ever after. Nowadays, Jewish archaeological findings and texts from Arles can be found in the local museum.[14]

 

Climate

Arles has a warm summer mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa)[15] with a mean annual temperature of 14.6 °C (1948–1999). The summers are warm and moderately dry, with seasonal averages between 22 °C and 24 °C, and mild winters with a mean temperature of about 7 °C. The city is constantly, but especially in the winter months, subject to the influence of the mistral, a cold wind which can cause sudden and severe frosts. Rainfall (636 mm per year) is fairly evenly distributed from September to May, with the summer drought being less marked than in other Mediterranean areas.[16]

  

Main sights

 

Gallo-Roman theatre.

 

The Alyscamps.

Arles has important Roman remnants, most of which have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1981 within the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments group. They include:

 

The Church of St. Trophime (Saint Trophimus), formerly a cathedral, is a major work of Romanesque architecture, and the representation of the Last Judgment on its portal is considered one of the finest examples of Romanesque sculpture, as are the columns in the adjacent cloister.

 

The town also has a museum of ancient history, the Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence antiques, with one of the best collections of Roman sarcophagi to be found anywhere outside Rome itself. Other museums include the Musée Réattu and the Museon Arlaten.

 

The courtyard of the Old Arles hospital, now named "Espace Van Gogh," is a center for Vincent van Gogh's works, several of which are masterpieces.[18] The garden, framed on all four sides by buildings of the complex, is approached through arcades on the first floor. A circulation gallery is located on the first and second floors.[19]

 

Archaeology

Main article: Arles portrait bust

In September–October 2007, divers led by Luc Long from the French Department of Subaquatic Archaeological Research, headed by Michel L'Hour, discovered a life-sized marble bust of an apparently important Roman person in the Rhône near Arles, together with smaller statues of Marsyas in Hellenistic style and of the god Neptune from the third century AD. The larger bust was tentatively dated to 46 BC. Since the bust displayed several characteristics of an ageing person with wrinkles, deep naso-labial creases and hollows in his face, and since the archaeologists believed that Julius Caesar had founded the colony Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelate Sextanorum in 46 BC, the scientists came to the preliminary conclusion that the bust depicted a life-portrait of the Roman dictator: France's Minister of Culture Christine Albanel reported on May 13, 2008, that the bust would be the oldest representation of Caesar known today.[20] The story was picked up by all larger media outlets.[21][22] The realism of the portrait was said to place it in the tradition of late Republican portrait and genre sculptures. The archaeologists further claimed that a bust of Julius Caesar might have been thrown away or discreetly disposed of, because Caesar's portraits could have been viewed as politically dangerous possessions after the dictator's assassination.

 

Historians and archaeologists not affiliated with the French administration, among them Paul Zanker, the renowned archaeologist and expert on Caesar and Augustus, were quick to question whether the bust is a portrait of Caesar.[23][24][25] Many noted the lack of resemblances to Caesar's likenesses issued on coins during the last years of the dictator's life, and to the Tusculum bust of Caesar,[26] which depicts Julius Caesar in his lifetime, either as a so-called zeitgesicht or as a direct portrait. After a further stylistic assessment, Zanker dated the Arles-bust to the Augustan period. Elkins argued for the third century AD as the terminus post quem for the deposition of the statues, refuting the claim that the bust was thrown away due to feared repercussions from Caesar's assassination in 44 BC.[27] The main argument by the French archaeologists that Caesar had founded the colony in 46 BC proved to be incorrect, as the colony was founded by Caesar's former quaestor Tiberius Claudius Nero on the dictator's orders in his absence.[28] Mary Beard has accused the persons involved in the find of having willfully invented their claims for publicity reasons. The French ministry of culture has not yet responded to the criticism and negative reviews.

 

Sport

AC Arles-Avignon is a professional French football team. They currently play in Championnat de France Amateur, the fourth division in French football. They play at the Parc des Sports, which has a capacity of just over 17,000.

 

Culture

Arles is a cultural hotspot. A well known photography festival, Rencontres d'Arles, takes place in Arles every year, and the French national school of photography is located there.

 

The major French publishing house Actes Sud is also situated in Arles.

 

In the past years, several cultural organizations set up a presence in Arles, such as the LUMA Foundation, the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles, the Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation or the Lee Ufan Foundation.[29] On top of that, there are countless galleries scattered throughout the city.

 

Bullfights are conducted in the amphitheatre, including Provençal-style bullfights (courses camarguaises) in which the bull is not killed, but rather a team of athletic men attempt to remove a tassle from the bull's horn without getting injured. Every Easter and on the first weekend of September, during the feria, Arles also holds Spanish-style corridas (in which the bulls are killed) with an encierro (bull-running in the streets) preceding each fight.

 

The parts of the films Ronin, At Eternity's Gate and "Taxi 3" were filmed in Arles.

 

European Capital of Culture

Arles played a major role in Marseille-Provence 2013, the year-long series of cultural events held in the region after it was designated the European Capital of Culture for 2013. The city hosted a segment of the opening ceremony with a pyrotechnical performance by Groupe F on the banks of the Rhône. It also unveiled the new wing of the Musée Départemental Arles Antique as part of Marseille-Provence 2013.

 

Economy

Arles's open-air street market is a major market in the region. It occurs on Saturday and Wednesday mornings.

 

Transport

The Gare d'Arles railway station offers connections to Avignon, Nîmes, Marseille, Paris, Bordeaux and several regional destinations.

 

Arles does not have its own commercial airport, but is served by a number of airports in the region, most notably the major international airport of Marseille Provence approximately an hour's drive away.

 

The A54 autoroute toll motorway, which locally connects Salon-de-Provence with Nîmes and in a wider sense forms part of European route E80, passes by Arles.

 

The Rhône, which for navigation purposes is classified as a Class V waterway as far upstream as Lyon, is an historically important transport route connecting the inland Rhône-Alpes region with the Mediterranean Sea. The port of Arles and its adjacent rail and road connections provides a major transshipment node, which in 2013 handled approximately 450,000 tonnes of goods.[30]

 

Notable people

Genesius of Arles, a notary martyred under Maximianus in 303 or 308

Vincent van Gogh, lived here from February 1888 until May 1889.

Jenny Berthelius (born 1923), Swedish crime novelist and children's writer, lives in Arles[31]

Jeanne Calment (1875–1997), the oldest human being whose age is documented, was born, lived and died, at the age of 122 years and 164 days, in Arles

Lucien Clergue, photographer

Djibril Cissé, footballer

Anne-Marie David, singer (Eurovision winner in 1973)

Home of the Gipsy Kings, a music group from Arles

Gaël Givet, footballer

Luc Hoffmann, ornithologist, conservationist and philanthropist.

Maja Hoffmann, art patron

Juan Bautista (real name Jean-Baptiste Jalabert), matador

Laure Favre-Kahn (born 1976), classical pianist

Kalonymus ben Kalonymus, famous Jewish scholar and philosopher, Arles born, active during the Middle Ages.

Christian Lacroix, fashion designer

Blessed Jean Marie du Lau, last Archbishop of Arles, killed by the revolutionary mob in Paris on September 2, 1792

The Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral (1830–1914) was born near Arles

Mehdi Savalli, matador

Lloyd Palun, footballer

Major-General Hugh Anthony Prince CBE, Indian Army and British Army officer

The medieval writer Antoine de la Sale was probably born in Arles around 1386

Saint Caesarius of Arles, bishop who lived from the late 5th to the mid 6th century, known for prophecy and writings that would later be used by theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas

Antoine de Seguiran, 18th-century encyclopédiste

Samuel ibn Tibbon, famous Jewish translator and scholar during the Middle Ages.

Fanny Valette, actress

Twin towns — sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in France

Arles is twinned with:

 

Pskov, Russia

Jerez de la Frontera and Cubelles, Spain

Fulda, Germany

York, Pennsylvania, United States

Vercelli, Italy

Sagné, Mauritania

Kalymnos, Greece

Wisbech, United Kingdom

Zhouzhuang, Kunshan, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China

Verviers, Belgium

George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Il Sassoferrato. (Giovanni Battista Salvi) 1609-1685. Roma

The Virgin and Child embracing vers 1645.

Londres National Gallery.

 

Un peintre exemplaire de l'école classique issue des Carraci, très influencé par Guido Reni. Son classicisme est teinté de maniérisme tout à fait dans le style de Raphaël dont il a copié des tableaux ou dont il s'est fortement inspiré, de telle sorte qu'il est parfois difficile pour un profane de le distinguer de son modèle. Ses thèmes sont essentiellement religieux et sa clientèle plus privée qu'institutionnelle. Il a été surnommé le "peintre des Madonnes"

 

An exemplary painter of the classical school from the Carraci, very influenced by Guido Reni. His classicism is tinged with mannerism entirely in the style of Raphael from which he copied paintings or from which he was strongly inspired, so that it is sometimes difficult for a layman to distinguish it from his model. Its themes are essentially religious and its clientele more private than institutional.He was nicknamed the "Madonna painter"

 

L'ART MIROIR DES VALEURS D'UNE SOCIETE (2)

 

"Regardez notre art, nous avons l'esthétique de notre éthique : un cri dans le désert.

Jean DUCHE". Le Bouclier d’Athéna. L'Occident, son histoire, son destin. 1983

 

"Une œuvre est reconnue comme œuvre d'art parce qu'elle a subi victorieusement l'épreuve de la critique, de l’opinion publique commune et du temps."

Mikel DUFRENNE (1910-1995 Universalis. article Œuvre d’art)

  

L'Art est ce que vous croyez. Et l'art vous fait croire en ce que vous croyez. L'art vous fait aussi croire en ce que vous ne croiriez pas, si vous étiez libre de croire. Et si vous ne croyez plus en rien ? Même pas en l'homme ? Seulement en vous-même, au mépris de tous les autres ? C'est l'Art Contemporain Officiel.

 

L'art est une expression de la manipulations des hommes par leurs élites gouvernantes, politiques et idéologiques. C'est un fait historique. Reste une question : cette manipulation est-elle bénéfique, créatrice d'une civilisation durable dans une société donnée ? Ou cet art et l'idéologie qu'il sert sont-ils stériles et conduisent-ils à la mort des sociétés auxquelles ils ont été imposées ? Il existe là aussi des exemples historiques.

 

L'Histoire de la peinture européenne démontre une vérité : l'Art est fondamentalement idéologique et politique. Dans la Politique Aristote a défini l'homme comme un animal politique. Et l'homme se gouverne et est gouverné par des croyances, des idéologies. L'Art est idéologique c'est à dire qu'il est le reflet, l'expression, du système de valeurs qui façonne une société donnée à une époque donnée. L'Art est politique car ce système de valeurs est toujours imposé par les puissances gouvernantes de l'époque. Ces puissances gouvernantes ne se confondent pas nécessairement avec les chefs politiques au pouvoir. Ce sont des Influences qui débordent souvent le cercle étroit des dirigeants manifestes, les politiciens.

L'art de tous les temps et dans toutes les sociétés est un moyen pour les élites d'imposer une religion (sacrée) ou une idéologie (profane, laïque). Dans toutes les civilisations l'art de chaque époque se comprend donc au travers du filtre idéologique qui inspire les élites de cette civilisation à cette époque.

L'art est donc un intéressant révélateur de la pensée philosophique et morale qui anime les élites d'une société donnée en un temps donné.

 

La peinture Egyptienne permet d'apercevoir les croyances de ce peuple à son époque. On y voit clairement le reflet d' une société bien équilibrée, également partagée entre un amour de la vie quotidienne, celle du peuple et celle des élites, et des espérances concernant l'au delà. Espérances qui, contrairement à ce qui a été écrit, n'étaient pas réservées au Pharaon. On y lit l'existence d'une société relativement libre, où la femme est très présente, égale de l'homme dans toutes les classes de la société. Sans entrer dans les détails, l'art des civilisations de la Mésopotamie, à la même époque, ne présente pas les mêmes caractéristiques.

 

L'art des lettrés chinois est un reflet des conceptions du monde taoïstes et confucianistes. Il est significatif que dans d'immenses paysages, l'homme y est toujours présenté comme une créature agissante, pensante, mais presque insignifiante. Un être parmi les Dix mille Êtres. Le commandement premier est de ne pas troubler l'harmonie de l'Univers. Il est clair aussi que cet art ne reflète pas les valeurs de la société chinoise dans son ensemble mais d'une petite minorité. Cet art n'est pas destiné aux populations, c'est un art séparé.

 

L'Art hindouiste exprime l'extraordinaire complexité, la profondeur, des interrogations philosophiques et religieuses qui caractérise la civilisation indienne. On y voit clairement que l'une des idées essentielles de la spiritualité hindoue est que la vérité à des visages multiples, et même apparemment contraires. La profusion des Dieux qui fait que certains esprits simples croient voir dans l'hindouisme religieux un polythéisme est le symbole de cette multiplicité des aspects de la vérité. L'homme tient dans l'univers une place éminente, mais il reste une créature parmi d'autres, au sein d'un univers complexe qui le dépasse beaucoup, dans le temps comme dans l'espace.

 

L'Art de l'Antiquité Grecque et Romaine donne l'image d'une société équilibrée mais où l'humain a pris beaucoup d'importance. L'Homme domine clairement un monde où il vit sa vie, mais cependant toujours à condition de se tenir à distance des Dieux, tout en les honorant. On n'aperçoit pas en Grèce ou Rome, à la différence de l' Egypte, de grandes espérances métaphysiques. La Vie c'est la vie, puis la mort. Point.

 

L'Art, la peinture en particulier, montre que pendant Mille Cinq Cent ans (500-1500) l'Europe a construit sa société sur les fondements de la spiritualité et de la morale catholique et orthodoxe. 1500 ans cela constitue des racines. Ces racines peuvent être totalement oubliées, si l'élite le veut. Et elle le veut. Au Proche Orient absolument rien n'a subsisté, après les invasions musulmanes, d'une domination de la civilisation gréco-romaine qui avait pourtant duré, elle aussi, plus de mille ans. Mais les racines, profondes, au Proche Orient étaient sémitiques pas indo-européennes. La Grèce et Rome n'étaient qu'une greffe superficielle. Les "Maîtres du monde" occidental on décidé, depuis les "Lumières", qu'ils feraient table rase du passé catholique et orthodoxe de l'Europe, et que les valeurs que ces religions représentent seraient abolies. Depuis la seconde guerre mondiale ils sont en train de réussir pleinement. Jusqu'alors les peuples européens, surtout au sud, avaient résisté. Mais le laminoir de l'éducation publique et des médias agit efficacement. De telle sorte que ces religions ne seront bientôt pas plus vécues par les populations européennes que la religion égyptienne antique dans l'égypte moderne.

 

La peinture des Pays Bas du Nord, protestants, met en évidence l'existence d'une rupture très claire, et très rapide, en l'espace d'une ou deux générations, des valeurs qui animent une partie de la société européenne.

D'une part c'est la disparition des références à l'Antiquité Grecque et Romaine. La revanche de l'Europe du Nord sur celle du Sud n'est pas seulement économique, elle est culturelle.

D'autre part c'est la quasi disparition des thèmes religieux. C'est la naissance d'une peinture, profane, matérialiste, dont les thèmes sont : Le paysage, les moeurs de la vie en société, la nature morte, le portrait. La peinture du Siècle d'Or néerlandais est l' acte de naissance de la peinture que l'on appellera "Art Moderne".

Pas seulement dans le domaine du paysage, comme l'histoire universitaire de l'art le reconnaît tout à fait exactement : idéologiquement et sociologiquement tout l'Art Moderne européen, et ensuite l'art de la peinture occidentale, a pris d'autres orientations inspirées par le siècle d'Or néerlandais. Pas ou peu du point de vue du style, mais quant aux thèmes de la peinture. Ces orientations, protestantes, rationalistes, matérialistes, naturalistes, vont mettre deux siècles (1650-1850), et même un peu plus, à s'imposer dans le reste de l'Europe et ensuite en Occident. Constatons un fait : L'historiographie universitaire, celle destinée au grand public, l'histoire racontée par les Encyclopédies (Wikipédia, Universalis, Britannica, Larousse…) est une reconstruction qui fait le silence sur une des composantes absolument essentielles de l'histoire humaine : les Idéologies, ou en langage simple : les Croyances. Les doctes le savent très bien, mais ils doivent se conformer : Les idéologies (les croyances) dans l'art, et dans l'histoire événementielle, ce n'est pas un sujet convenable, "objectif". Il est impératif de les dissimuler. Dans Wikipédia l'article n'aura pas le label "vous lisez un bon article". Pourtant, c'est un fait : l'idéologie est l'angle de vue absolument incontournable pour comprendre l'histoire des hommes depuis le paléolithique jusqu'à nos jours, dans toutes les civilisations. Ce n'est pas un critère naturel à l'échelle de tous les Êtres vivants : Ce n'est pas une optique intéressante pour observer les fourmis ou les loups, qui sont cependant capables de former des sociétés très organisées. Mais les humains ont ce privilège de créer ou de détruire, plus ou moins, parfois beaucoup plus ou beaucoup moins, au nom des idéologies, au nom de leurs croyances. Au 17e siècle, aux Pays-Bas du Nord, il est indiscutable qu'un regard différent sur l'humanité s'est amorcé et même accompli, qui a construit une société remarquablement en avance sur beaucoup d'autres à la même époque. Ce regard idéologique s'est traduit en peinture. Et le résultat a été beau.

 

A partir de 1815, une fois la paix revenue en Europe, et jusque vers 1950, en dates grosses et larges, c'est la période de l'Art Moderne. Dès l'époque romantique la peinture explose en une multitude de courants représentatifs de conceptions du monde et de valeurs extrêmement diverses. Globalement, et malgré les conflits très violents, l'Europe n'est pas soumise à une idéologie unique. La peinture montre cette diversité d'inspiration. Du romantisme au classicisme, du réalisme à l'expressionnisme, du symbolisme au surréalisme, du néo-raphaélisme au fauvisme, de l'art académique à l'impressionnisme, du figuratif à l'abstrait c'est une explosion de diversité, de recherches, d'innovations. Mais le passé européen n'est pas rejeté, ni moralement, ni culturellement, ni techniquement. L'Architecture montre aussi très bien cette diversité : c'est à la fois le temps de la Tour Effel, et l'époque de toutes les architectures historicistes : néo-grec, néo-romain, néo-byzantin, néo-roman, néo-gothique, néo-baroque. C'est surtout une époque de grande liberté artistique : l'art s'invente à la base comme au sommet de la pyramide sociale. L'élite n'est plus la seule inspiratrice de l'esthétique européenne. Pourquoi ? Parce que les élites européennes sont idéologiquement divisées. Cette division des élites va être la cause de la mort des peuples sur les champs de bataille. Mais cette division des élites va être aussi à l'origine de la diversité de l'Art Moderne.

Un chant du cygne ?

 

A partir de 1950 la peinture européenne change : On le constate dans nos musées d'Art Contemporain.

Les élites idéologiques occidentales ont décidé une inversion totale des valeurs qui gouvernaient l'art européen depuis 3000 ans et notamment imposé l'idée que l'art de la peinture et la sculpture ne devaient pas nécessairement être beau. Le Beau était selon les nouveaux Influents un concept dépassé.

En réalité c'est la notion même d'un art qui serait un partage d'idées et d'émotions communes entre les élites et les peuples qui est reniée avec l'Art Contemporain (l'Art Moderne II selon les dernières tendances). Cet "Art" nait aux Etats Unis dans les années 1920, à partir d'idées européennes et même françaises (Duchamp), et s'impose en Europe après la seconde guerre mondiale. L'art laid et absurde, provocateur jusqu'à l'abjection, faussement révolutionnaire, mais totalement académique, est un art imposé car politiquement et idéologiquement conforme.

Des questions se posent inévitablement :

Quelles valeurs de civilisation cette peinture contemporaine reflète ?

Quelles fidélités, et quelles espérances ?

Quelles beautés ?

Quelles significations, métaphysiques ou physiques, symboliques ou réalistes ?

Quelles croyances ?

Quelle vie pour aujourd'hui ou demain ?

 

Sauf le public des scolaires et de leurs enseignants, public contraint d'être là, les musées d'art contemporains d'Occident sont vides. Le jugement esthétique s'établit par la conjonction de l'avis des peuples et des élites à une période donnée mais aussi au cours des siècles.

Depuis 1950s l'Art Contemporain officiel des musées a eu le temps de faire ses preuves dans le présent : les peuples d'occident s'en détournent en masse. On verra bien quel sera le jugement de l'avenir à propos d'une peinture qui revendique expressément le laid et l'absurde comme thèmes d'expression esthétique. Il est possible de conduire une politique ou de faire des affaires contre les peuples, mais on ne fait pas un art durable contre les peuples. Et on peut attendre avec intérêt le verdict de l'histoire sur "l'Art Contemporain". L'histoire ne s'est pas encore prononcée à ce sujet, il est bien trop tôt, mais on commence à lire, en français, des avis de spécialistes de l'art qui s'écartent de la louange idéologiquement et économiquement obligée, comme le livre de Christine Sourgins "Les Mirages de l'Art Contemporain. Brève histoire de l'art financier" aux éditions de la Table Ronde 2005 et 2018. Ou encore comme les livres de Aude de Kerros "L'Art caché, les dissidents de l'art contemporain" Eyrolles 2007 et 2013 et "L'imposture de l'Art contemporain, une utopie financière" Eyrolles 2016. En anglais l'article "How Modern Art Serves the Rich" by Rachel Wetzler, in the Republic de February 26, 2018 est aussi très intéressant.

 

L'affirmation selon laquelle l'art d'une époque est commandé par les croyances actives en son temps est une évidence pour tout le monde, quand le sujet de l'étude est l'art Égyptien, l'art Grec ou l'art de l'Europe médiévale. Aucune contestation ne s'élève. Il est unanimement admis que l'art de l'Europe médiévale est le reflet des valeurs de la religion catholique, qui en a conditionné toutes les représentations notamment en peinture. Le constat est considéré comme une vérité d'évidence sans intérêt.

Par contre, dès que cette clé de lecture et de compréhension de l'art, est appliquée à l'Europe de la Réforme, puis à l'art Moderne, et encore plus à l'Art Contemporain de l'Occident, de fortes réserves, des réticences, des circonspections, des contestations apparaissent. Il n'y a plus d'évidences, mais des synthèses hasardeuses et polémiques, conspirationnistes dira-t-on de nos jours. La même clef, qui était reconnue opérante, mais banale, insignifiante, sans grand intérêt, pour les temps du passé lointain, est ressentie comme agressive, outrancière, quand elle est utilisée pour les temps actuels ou pour les périodes proches de nous.

 

Pourquoi?

Une clé qui ouvre les portes d'une compréhension, simple mais efficace, de l'art d'une civilisation qui s'est épanouie 2500 ans avant notre ère, et encore de civilisations ayant duré de cinq siècles avant notre ère à cinq siècles après, qui fonctionne encore pendant plus de 1000 ans pour toute l'Europe, de 500 à 1500, doit aussi être efficace du 17è siècle au 21è siècle.

Cette clef est simple et toujours efficace, mais elle est devenue totalement dérangeante, et l' historiquement correct à destination du grand public la met de côté. Cette clé est acceptée pour le passé lointain, et les civilisations étrangères, mais pas pour le passé récent et pas pour notre présente société. L' historiquement correct existe en effet dans l'histoire de l'art comme dans le domaine de l'histoire événementielle.

L'homme de tous les temps n'a jamais aimé qu'il lui soit démontré qu'il vit en fonction de croyances, souvent respectables, souvent aussi très efficaces en pratique, au plan social et politique, mais qui sont tout à fait contingentes, qui sont des vérités très relatives, ou même seulement des erreurs communes, des superstitions partagées.

Les hommes veulent bien qu'il leur soit démontré que leurs ancêtres, ou leurs voisins plus ou moins lointains, ont vécu ou vivent conditionnés par une religion ou une idéologie profane qui n'est qu'une vision du monde hypothétique. Mais ils n'acceptent pas d'appliquer à eux-mêmes, et à leur époque, cette clé de lecture. Le relatif, l'hypothèse, l'erreur, c'est pour les époques passées ou pour les autres, mais eux vivent dans la vérité. L'homme n'a jamais aimé qu'il lui soit démontré que ses rêves du monde, ses vérités, absolues et incontestables, n'existent que pour lui, et seulement pour son époque. Que ces vérités n'existent pas du tout, ou peu, ou moins, ou très différemment, dans d'autres lieux et dans d'autres temps.

 

Un des grands principes de toutes les croyances, sacrées ou profanes, principe d'intolérance maximale, rarement efficacement combattu, qui n'a rien de surréaliste, mais qui est au contraire tout à fait réaliste, est celui ci: "Même si c'est vrai, c'est faux" et son corollaire "Même si c'est faux, c'est vrai". C'est faux parce que ce n'est pas conforme à ce que nous croyons à un moment donné de l'histoire. Et le faux avéré, établi, est quand même vrai pour le même motif de conformité à l'idéologie régnante.

L'aveuglement des humains quant aux idéologies actives à leur propre époque est un constat qu'il est possible de faire tous les jours. Dans un reportage sur une grande chaîne de télévision à propos de la Chine actuelle le commentateur a déclaré avec le plus grand sérieux : " Le Petit Livre Rouge n'a pas eu raison des superstitions. Les vieilles croyances n'ont pas totalement disparues". Comme si le Petit Livre Rouge, et le marxisme, n'avaient pas été une des plus grandes superstitions de tous les temps. Une des plus grandes religions laïques jamais inventée, sous le couvert d'une rationalité faussement scientifique. Comme si nos idées actuelles sur le monde n'étaient pas elles-mêmes des croyances infiniment relatives :

"Les Lumières" sont une accumulation de superstitions (Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité,Raison, Révolution, Progrès, Bonheur, Démocratie, République Universelle...), mais elles sont actuellement actives, elle ne sont pas vieilles, donc elles sont "vraies". Les superstitions auxquelles l'homme croit ne sont évidemment pas des superstitions. Les superstitieux ce sont les autres.

 

C'est ainsi que le Discours officiel, correct, encyclopédique (Wikipédia par exemple), prétend que l'Art Contemporain est indépendant des idéologies, qu'il s'est libéré des doctrines comme le fascisme le nazisme et le communisme. Bref l'Art Contemporain est à l'image de la statue de la Liberté : une Icône de la Vérité, une nouvelle Vierge, vierge de toute superstition. En réalité l'Art Contemporain Institutionnel est le pur produit d'une idéologie qu'il convient d'identifier clairement car elle se dissimule, contrairement aux idéologies religieuses et profanes qui ont constamment inspiré les arts européens et mondiaux. La contemporanéité n'échappe pas aux idéologies contrairement à ce qu'elle affirme.

Ce n'est pas une réaction populaire qui caractériserait seulement les analphabètes. Les personnes instruites, les intellectuels et les idéologues y sont tout particulièrement soumis. Ils ont élaboré une vision du monde et ils y souscrivent d'autant plus qu'ils l'ont inventée et qu'elle sert leurs intérêts. Ils ne veulent pas admettre que leurs conceptions du monde sont relatives, que c'est une affaire de point de vue. Et qu'il est possible d'en changer. La réponse immédiate est l'anathème, l'exclusion, la crucifixion ou le bûcher. Les mises en accusation pour sorcellerie, blasphème, réaction, racisme, conspirationnisme etc...fonctionnent exactement de la même manière à toutes les époques de l'histoire. L'esprit scientifique dont l'Occident se vante d'être la terre d'origine, sans doute avec raison, n'a absolument aucune influence dans ce domaine. La Science est constamment sous la surveillance étroite des Idéologues, des Financiers et des Politiques.

Les "Eclairés" de notre société des "Lumières" sont au moins aussi intolérants que les croyants des temps passés et des civilisations lointaines. Leur doctrine proclame que tout ce qui a vécu, pensé, agi, avant "les Lumières" est obsolète. Eux seuls, sont l'incarnation de la Raison éclairant le Monde. Ils sont la nouvelle "Révélation". Tous les autres avant, et tous les contemporains égarés, qui ne pensent pas selon leurs schémas, sont dans l'Erreur. Et c'est définitif, car bien sûr ils sont la Modernité pour Mille ans, et même bien plus, pour l'Eternité. Les "Lumières" c'est pour plus longtemps que la vie même ! C'est exactement ce que signifie la Statue de la Liberté, ouvrage maçonnique, à l'entrée du port de New York. Tout discours qui tend à montrer que leur doctrine ne fait que systématiser des vérités très contingentes et très fragiles, de simples hypothèses, des points de vue très relatifs sur le monde, est inacceptable. Les Idéologues occidentaux ne peuvent admettre qu'ils ne sont que les serviteurs d' une vision du monde parmi d'autres possibles, tout aussi valables ou même plus. C'est ainsi que le monde occidental aboutit à l'Art Contemporain Officiel : l'art des Guidestones et de la Corporatocratie Illuminée.

 

L'Art Contemporain Institutionnel est un anti-art, sur commande, mondialiste, étatique et supra-étatique, public et privé, qui combine sept constantes que l'on retrouve dans presque tous les musées européens: Il est laid, absurde, provocateur, bâclé, triste, déraciné, obsessionnel, et comme conséquence de tout cela, totalement artificiel.

Un art qui se dit démocratique et universaliste mais qui n'est en définitive qu'un art d'état, anti-national, anti-populaire, néocolonialiste qui avance masqué derrière de grandes idées proclamées qui sont seulement les superstitions des temps contemporains.

Les religions c'étaient craindre et adorer les Dieux ou Dieu. L'homme était au second plan. La pensée actuellement correcte impose de critiquer cette vision multi-séculaire du monde. Les idéologies contemporaines qui ont remplacé les religions, du moins en Occident, sont clairement une adoration de l'Homme. Il se pourrait que cela conduise aussi beaucoup à craindre les hommes. Car les hommes avec les Dieux ou Dieu, ce n'était déjà pas l'idéal, mais sans Dieux, ni Dieu...? C'est peut-être bien pire.

Quand l'homme ne croit plus qu'en Mac Donald ou KFC, il y a peut-être, sans être excessivement pessimiste, du souci à se faire. Certes, ce n'était pas mieux quand l'homme croyait dans le Parti Unique des Éclairés Léninistes ou Maoïstes... Dont les "sociétés sans classe" et les "paradis sur terre" se sont effondrés en moins de deux décennies après avoir provoqué une centaine de millions de morts, dont personne ne se soucie plus. Mais qui se soucie des morts ? Il faudrait faire une moyenne entre nos croyances les moins stupides. Avec un peu de bon sens et moins de croyances peut être ? Impossible. On n'est pas des fourmis. Pourtant elles sont plus nombreuses que nous, et le Covid 19 ne les atteint pas.

 

ART, MIRROR OF THE VALUES OF A SOCIETY (2)

 

"Look at our art, we have the aesthetics of our ethics: a cry in the desert."

Jean DUCHE. The Shield of Athena The West, its history, its destiny 1983

 

"A work is recognized as a work of art because it has won the test of criticism, public opinion and time."

Mikel DUFRENNE (1910-1995 Universalis. Artwork)

  

Art is what you believe. And art makes you believe in what you believe. Art also makes you believe in what you would not believe, if you were free to believe. What if you don't believe in anything anymore? Not even in man? Only in yourself, in defiance of all others? That's Official Contemporary Art.

 

Art is an expression of the manipulation of men by their governing, political and ideological elites. This is a historical fact. A question remains: is this manipulation beneficial, creating a sustainable civilization in a given society? Or are this art and the ideology it serves sterile and lead to the death of the societies on which it has been imposed? Here too there are historical examples.

The history of European painting shows a truth: Art is fundamentally ideological and political.

In Politics Aristotle defined man as a political animal. And man governs himself and is governed by beliefs, ideologies. Art is ideological ie it is the reflection, the expression, of the value system which shapes a society at a given time. Art is political because this system of values is always imposed by the ruling powers of the time. The governing powers do not necessarily overlap with the political leaders in power. These are Influences that often extend beyond the narrow circle of manifest leaders, the politicians.

The art of all times and in all societies is a means for the elites to impose a (sacred) religion or an ideology (secular, secular). In all civilizations the art of each era is understood through the ideological filter that inspires the elites of this civilization at that time. Art is therefore an interesting revealer of the philosophical and moral thought that inspires the elites of a given society in a given time. These religions or ideologies can differ a lot as to the benefit that peoples will or will not withdraw. Some are conducive to the establishment of long-term civilizations (ancient Egypt, Greek-Roman antiquity, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam ...) others are more or less rapidly mortal (Aztec and Inca religions, Communism, national Socialism).

Indeed, certain ideologies, sacred or secular, conceived by the elites, have been, more or less short term, accepted and totally shared by the peoples who adhered to it without reluctance. They can then impose themselves completely without hurting the feelings and freedoms of the people, or at least a largely significant majority, even unanimity within their society for a long period of time.

Other ideologies, on the other hand, have been imposed by the elites, but did not generate the membership unanimous or majority of peoples that came into resistance, passive or active with more or less success after a shorter or longer period.

It is possible to encounter a different situation in the history of the world: those of ideologies, sacred or secular, often of foreign origin which have been adopted, or would have been adopted by peoples, but were fought by the elites ideological and political of the country.

  

The Egyptian paint allows to see the beliefs of the people in his time. It clearly shows the reflection of a well-balanced society, also shared a love of everyday life, that of the people and the elite, and the Hopes for the afterlife. Expectations that, contrary to what was written, were not reserved for the Pharaoh. We read the existence of a relatively free society, where women are very present, equal to men in all classes of society. Without going into details, the art of the civilizations of Mesopotamia, at the same time, does not have the same characteristics.

 

The art of the Chinese literati is a reflection of the Taoist and Confucian concepts of the world. It is significant that in immense landscapes, the human is always presented as an creature, acting, thinking, but almost insignificant. A Being among the ten thousand Beings. The first commandment is not to disturb the harmony of the universe. It is also clear that this art does not reflect the values of Chinese society as a whole, but a small minority.

 

Hindu Art expresses the extraordinary complexity, the depth of philosophical and religious questions that characterize Indian civilization. It is clear that one of the essential ideas of Hindu spirituality is that the truth has multiple faces, and even apparently opposite ones. The profusion of Gods, which makes certain simple minds believe that religious Hinduism is a polytheism, is the symbol of this multiplicity of aspects of truth. Man holds an eminent place in the universe, but he remains a creature among others, in a complex universe that is far beyond him, both in time and space.

 

Art, the painting in particular, shows that during Thousand Five Hundred Years (500-1500) Europe has built his society on the foundations of spirituality and morality Catholic and Orthodox. 1500 years this is roots. These roots can be completely forgotten, if the elite wants. And she wants. In the Middle East absolutely nothing has remained, after the Muslim invasions, of domination of the Greco-Roman civilization, although it had lasted, too, over a thousand years. But deep roots in the Middle East, were Semitic. They where not Indo-European. Greece and Rome were only a superficial graft. The "masters of the Western world" have decided, since the "Enlightenment", that they would make a clean sweep of the catholic and orthodox past of Europe, and that the values that these religions represent would be abolished. Since the second world war they are succeeding fully. Until then the European peoples, especially in the south, had resisted. But the rolling mill of public education and media acts effectively. In such a way that these religions will soon be no more lived by the European populations than the ancient Egyptian religion in modern Egypt.

 

The painting of the Netherlands Northern, Protestant, reveals the existence of a very clear rupture, and very fast, within one or two generation, of the values that animate a part of European society.

On the one hand it is the disappearance of references to ancient Greek and Roman. Revenge of northern Europe on the South is not only economic, it is cultural.

On the other hand it is the virtual disappearance of religious themes. This is the birth of a painting, secular, materialist, whose themes are: landscape, customs of social life, still life, portrait. The painting of the Dutch Golden Age is the birth of painting which will be called "Modern Art".

Not only in the field of landscape, as the university history, of art recognizes quite exactly: ideologically and sociologically all European Modern Art, and later the art of Western painting, took other directions inspired by the Dutch Golden Century. Not or little from the point of view of style, but as far as the themes of painting are concerned. These orientations, Protestant, rationalist, materialist, naturalist, will take two centuries (1650-1850), and even a little more, to impose themselves in the rest of Europe and then in the West. Let us note a fact: University historiography, that intended for the general public, the history told by the Encyclopaedias (Wikipedia, Universalis, Britannica, Larousse...) is a reconstruction that silences one of the absolutely essential components of human history: the Ideologies, or in simple language: the Beliefs. Doctricians know it very well, but they must conform: Ideologies (Beliefs) in art, and in event history, is not a suitable, "objective" subject. It is imperative to conceal them. In Wikipedia the article will not have the label "you read a good article". However, it is a fact: ideology is the absolutely unavoidable angle of view to understand the history of mankind from the Paleolithic to the present day, in all civilizations. It is not a natural criterion on the scale of all living beings: It's not an interesting viewpoint for observing ants or wolves, who are, however, capable of forming highly organized societies. But humans have this privilege to create or destroy, more or less, sometimes much more or much less, in the name of ideologies, in the name of their beliefs. In the 17th century, in the Northern Netherlands, it is indisputable that a different view of humanity was initiated and even accomplished, which built a society that was remarkably ahead of many others at the same time. This ideological outlook was translated into painting. And the result was beautiful.

  

Since 1815, when peace returned to Europe, and until about 1950, in large and wide dates, it is the period of Modern Art. Since the romantic era, the painting explodes in a multitude of currents, representative of worldviews and values, extremely diverse. Overall, and despite the very violent conflicts, Europe is not subject to a single ideology. The painting shows the diversity of inspiration. From romanticism to classicism, from realism to expressionism, from symbolism to surrealism, from raphaélisme to fauvisme, from academic art to impressionism, from figurative to abstract, it is an explosion of diversity, research and innovations.

But the European past is not rejected, neither morally or culturally or technically. The architecture also shows very well this diversity: it is both the time of the Eiffel Tower, and times of all historicist architectures: Greek Revival, neo-Roman, neo-Byzantine, Romanesque, neo-Gothic, neo-Baroque.

It is especially a time of great artistic freedom: art is invented at the base as at the top of the social pyramid. The elite is no longer the only inspirer of European aesthetics. Why ? Because the European elites are ideologically divided. This division of the elites is going to be the cause of the death of the peoples on the battlefields. But this division of the elites will also be at the origin of the diversity of Modern Art.

A swan song?

 

After 1950 European painting changed: This can be seen in our museums of Contemporary Art.

The Western elites have decided a total reversal of the values that have governed European art for 3000 years and imposed the idea that the art of painting and sculpture need not necessarily be beautiful. Beauty was, according to the new Influents, an outdated concept. In reality it is the very notion of an art that would be a sharing of ideas and common emotions between elites and peoples that is denied with Contemporary Art (Modern Art II according to the latest trends). This "Art" was born in the United States in the 1920s, from European and even French ideas (Duchamp), and was imposed in Europe after the Second World War. The ugly and absurd art, provocative until abjection , falsely revolutionary, but totally academic art is an imposed art because politically and ideologically compliant.

Various questions inevitably arise:

What values of civilization reflects this contemporary painting ?

What loyalties, and what hopes?

What beauty?

What meanings, metaphysical or physical, symbolic or realistic?

What beliefs?

What a life for today or tomorrow?

Except the public of the school and their teachers, public forced to be there, the contemporary art museums of the West are empty. The aesthetic judgment is established by the conjunction of the opinion of peoples and elites at a given period but also over the centuries.

Since 1950s the official Contemporary Art of museums has had time to prove itself in the present: the Western peoples are turning away en masse (70% in France in the 2000s). We will see what will be the judgment of the future about a painting that expressly claims the ugly and the absurd as a theme of aesthetic expression. It is possible to conduct a policy or to do business against the people, but one does not make an enduring art against the peoples. And we can look forward to the verdict of history on "contemporary art". History has not yet pronounced on this subject, it is too early, but we begin to read in French the opinions of art specialists who deviate from the praise ideologically and economically obliged, such as the book by Chrstine Sourgins "The Mirages of Contemporary Art: A Short History of Financial Art" at the 2005 and 2018 Round Table editions, or like Kerros' Aude's books "L'Art caché, les dissidents de contemporary art "Eyrolles 2007 and 2013 and" The imposture of Contemporary Art, a financial utopia "Eyrolles 2016. In English the article" How Modern Art Serves the Rich "by Rachel Wetzler, in the newspaper "Republic" of February 26 , 2018 is also very interesting.

  

The assertion that the art of an era is controlled by the beliefs active in its time is obvious to everyone, when the subject of study is Egyptian art, Greek art or the art of medieval Europe. No dispute arises. It is unanimously accepted that the art of Medieval Europe reflects the values of the Catholic religion, which conditioned all its representations, particularly in painting. The finding is considered an obvious truth without interest.

On the other hand, as soon as this key to reading and understanding art is applied to the Europe of the Reformation, then to Modern Art, and even more so to Contemporary Art of the West, strong reservations, reticence, circumspection and disputes appear. There are no more evidences, but risky and polemical, conspiracyist syntheses, one would say nowadays. The same key, which was recognized as operative, but banal, insignificant, without much interest, for the times of the distant past, is felt as aggressive, outrageous, when it is used for the present times or for the periods close to us.

Why?

A key that opens the doors to a simple but effective understanding of the art of a civilization that flourished 2500 years before our era, and still of civilizations that lasted from five centuries before our era to five centuries later , which still works during more than 1000 years for all of Europe, from 500 to 1500, must also be effective from the 17th century to the 21st century.

This key is simple and still effective, but it has become totally disturbing, and the historically correct for the general public puts it aside. This key is accepted for the distant past, and foreign civilizations, but not for the recent past and not for our present society. Historically correct indeed exists in the history of art as in the field of event history.

The man of all times has never liked having been shown to him that he lives according to beliefs, often respectable, often also very effective in practice, socially and politically, but which are completely contingent , which are very relative truths, or even just common errors, shared superstitions.

Men are willing to be shown that their ancestors, or their more or less distant neighbours, have lived or are living conditioned by a secular religion or ideology that is only a hypothetical world view. But they do not accept to apply to themselves, and in their time, this reading key. The relative, the hypothesis, the error is for past times or for others, but they live in the truth. Man has never liked it shown to him that his dreams of the world, his truths, absolute and incontestable, exist only for him, and only for his time.

That these truths do not exist at all, or little, or less, or very differently, in other places and in other times.

 

One of the great principles of all beliefs, sacred or profane, principle of maximum intolerance, rarely effectively fought, which is not surrealistic, but which is on the contrary quite realistic, is this: "Even if it is is true, it's false "and its corollary" Even if it's false, it's true ". It's wrong because it's not consistent with what we believe at some point in history . And the false proved, established, is still true for the same reason of conformity to the reigning ideology.

The blindness of humans to the ideologies active in their own time is an observation that can be made every day. In a report on a major television channel about present-day China the commentator said with the utmost seriousness: "The Little Red Book did not overcome superstition. The old beliefs have not completely disappeared". As if the Little Red Book, and Marxism, had not been one of the greatest superstitions of all time. One of the greatest secular religions ever invented, under the guise of a falsely scientific rationality. As if our current ideas about the world were not themselves infinitely relative beliefs: "The lights" are a accumulation of superstitions (Freedom, Equality, Fraternity, Reason, Revolution, Progress, Happiness, Democracy, Universal Republic ...), but they are currently active, they are not old, so they are "true". The superstitions that man believes in are obviously not superstitions. The superstitious are the others.

 

This is how the official, correct, encyclopedic discourse (Wikipedia for example) claims that Contemporary Art is independent of ideologies, that it has freed itself from doctrines such as fascism, Nazism and communism. In short, Contemporary Art is like the Statue of Liberty: an Icon of the Truth, a new Virgin, virgin from all superstition. In reality, Institutional Contemporary Art is the pure product of an ideology that should be clearly identified because it is hidden, contrary to the religious and secular ideologies that have constantly inspired European and world arts. Contemporaneity does not escape ideologies, contrary to what it claims.

This is not a popular reaction that would characterize only the illiterate. Educated people, intellectuals and ideologues are particularly subject to it. They have developed a vision of the world and they subscribe to it all the more because they invented it and it serves their interests. They do not want to admit that their conceptions of the world are relative, that it is a matter of point of view. And that it is possible to change. The immediate response is anathema, exclusion, crucifixion or pyre. Accusations for witchcraft, blasphemy, reaction, racism,conspirationnism etc ... work in exactly the same way at all times of history. The scientific spirit that the West boasts of being the land of origin, no doubt with reason, has absolutely no influence in this field. Science is constantly under the close surveillance of Ideologists, Financiers and Politics.

 

The "Enlightened" of our "Enlightenment" society are at least as intolerant as the believers of past times and distant civilizations. Their doctrine proclaims that everything that has lived, thought, acted before the "Enlightenment" is obsolete. They alone are the incarnation of Reason enlightening the world. They are the new "Revelation". All the others before, and all the misguided contemporaries, who do not think according to their schemas, are in the error. And it is definitive, because of course they are Modernity during even more than a thousand years, and even more, for Eternity. The "Lights" it is for longer than life itself! That's exactly what the Statue of Liberty, Masonic work, means at the entrance to New York Harbor. Any speech that tends to show that their doctrine only systematizes very contingent and very fragile truths, simple hypotheses, very relative points of view on the world, is unacceptable. Western ideologues can not admit that they are but the servants of a vision of the world among others possible, just as valid or even more. This is why the Institutional Contemporary Art is ugly, absurd and sacred. This is how the Western world ends up with Official Contemporary Art: the art of the Guidestones and the Illuminated Corporatocracy.

 

Institutional Contemporary Art is an anti-art, commissioned, Globalist, state and supra-state, public and private, which combines seven constants found in almost all European museums:

He is ugly, absurd, provocative, botched, sad, uprooted, obsessional, and as a result of all this, totally artificial.

An art that is said himself to be democratic and universalist but which is ultimately a state art, anti-national, anti-popular, neocolonialist who advances masked behind large proclaimed ideas that are only the superstitions of contemporary times.

Religions were about fearing and worshipping the Gods or God. Man was in the background. Today's correct thinking imposes to criticize this multi-secular vision of the world. Contemporary ideologies that have replaced religions, at least in the West, are clearly a worship of Man. This may also lead to a great deal of fear of mans. Because men with the Gods or God, it was not already the ideal, but without Gods, or God ...? It may be much worse.

When a man only believes in McDonald's or KFC, there is perhaps, without being overly pessimistic, something to worry about. Certainly, it was no better when man believed in the One Party of the Enlightened Leninists or Maoists ... Whose "classless societies" and "paradises on earth" collapsed in less than two decades after having caused a hundred million deaths, of which nobody cares anymore. But who cares about the dead? We should average our least stupid beliefs. With a little common sense and fewer beliefs maybe? Not possible. We're not ants. However, they are more numerous than us, and the Covid 19 does not reach them.

   

Hans Memling (1430/40-1534)

 

Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany.

 

Angels surround the Virgin Mary and her child and are playing music for them in a hortus conclusus. Jesus eagerly takes the apples the proffer him. This can be seen as a reference to Christ's future suffering. The peaceful scene seen in the armour worn by St. George, who is accompanying the donor, is a device the Netherlandish painters liked to employ to demonstrate their artistic skills. This small winged altarpiece was used for devotional prayer while illustrating it at the same time.

 

Inventory No. 680 and 5

Provenance: From the Zweibrücker Gallery

========================================================

Hortus Conclusus

 

Hortus conclusus is a Latin term, meaning literally "enclosed garden". At their root, both of the words in hortus conclusus refer linguistically to enclosure.[1]

 

Hortus conclusus is both an emblematic attribute and a title of the Virgin Mary in Medieval and Renaissance poetry[2] and art, suddenly appearing in paintings and manuscript illuminations about 1330 [3] [4] as well as a genre of actual garden that was enclosed both symbolically and as a practical concern, a major theme in the history of gardening.[5]

 

The term hortus conclusus is derived from the Vulgate Bible's Canticle of Canticles (also called the Song of Songs or Song of Solomon) 4:12, in Latin: "Hortus conclusus soror mea, sponsa, hortus conclusus, fons signatus" ("A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up.")[6]

 

This provided the shared linguistic culture of Christendom, expressed in homilies expounding the Song of Songs as allegory where the image of King Solomon's nuptial song to his bride was reinterpreted as the love and union between Christ and the Church, the mystical marriage with the Church as the Bride of Christ.

 

The verse "Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee" (4.7) from the Song was also regarded as a scriptural confirmation of the developing and still controversial doctrine of Mary's Immaculate Conception - being born without Original Sin ("macula" is Latin for spot).

 

Christian tradition states that Jesus Christ was conceived to Mary miraculously and without disrupting her virginity by the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity. As such, Mary in late medieval and Renaissance art, illustrating the long-held doctrine of the Perpetual virginity of Mary, as well as the Immaculate Conception, was shown in or near a walled garden or yard.

 

This was a representation of her "closed off" womb, which was to remain untouched, and also of her being protected, as by a wall, from sin. In the Grimani Breviary, scrolling labels identify the emblemmatic objects betokening the Immaculate Conception: the enclosed garden (hortus conclusus), the tall cedar (cedrus exalta), the well of living waters (puteus aquarum viventium), the olive tree (oliva speciosa), the fountain in the garden (fons hortorum), the rosebush (plantatio rosae).[7] Not all actual medieval horti conclusi even strove to include all these details, the olive tree in particular being insufficiently hardy for northern European gardens.

 

Two pilgrimage sites are dedicated to Mary of the Enclosed Garden in the Dutch-Flemish cultural area. One is the statue at the hermitage-chapel in Warfhuizen: "Our Lady of the Enclosed Garden". The second, "Onze Lieve Vrouw van Tuine" (literally "Our Lady of the Garden"), is venerated at the cathedral of Ypres.

 

All gardens are by definition enclosed or bounded spaces, but the enclosure may be somewhat open, and consist of columns, low hedges or fences. An actual walled garden, literally surrounded by a wall, is a subset of gardens. The meaning of hortus conclusus suggests a more private style of garden.

 

In the history of gardens the High Medieval hortus conclusus typically had a well or fountain at the center, bearing its usual symbolic freight (see "Fountain of Life") in addition to its practical uses. The convention of four paths that divided the square enclosure into quadrants, was so strong that the pattern was employed even where the paths led nowhere. All medieval gardens were enclosed, protecting the private precinct from public intrusion, whether by folk or by stray animals. The enclosure might be as simple as woven wattle fencing or of stout or decorative masonry; or it might be enclosed by trelliswork tunneled pathways in a secular garden or by an arcaded cloister, for communication or meditative pacing.

 

The origin of the cloister is in the Roman colonnaded peristyle, as every garden history notes; the ruined and overgrown Roman villas that were so often remade as the site of Benedictine monasteries had lost their planted garden features with the first decades of abandonment: "gardening, more than architecture, more than painting, more than music, and far more than literature, is an ephemeral art; its masterpieces disappear, leaving little trace."[8]

 

Though "when, in 1070, the abbey of Cassino[9] was rebuilt," Georgina Masson observed,[10] "the garden was described as 'a paradise in the Roman fashion'", it may have been merely "the aura of the great classical tradition" alone that had survived. The ninth-century idealised plan of Saint Gall (illustration) shows an arcaded cloister with a central well and cross paths from the centers of each range of arcading, but when a consciously patterned garden was revived for the medieval cloister, the patterning came through Norman Sicily and its hybrid culture that adapted many Islamic elements, in this case the enclosed North African courtyard gardens, ultimately based on the Persian garden tradition.

 

The practical enclosed garden was laid out in the treatise by Pietro Crescenzi of Bologna, Liber ruralium commodorum, a work that was often copied, as the many surviving manuscripts of its text attest, and often printed in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Late medieval paintings and illuminations in manuscripts such as for The Romance of the Rose— where the garden in the text is largely allegorical— often show a turfed bank for a seat as a feature of the hortus conclusus. Only in the fifteenth century, at first in Italy, did some European gardens begin to look outward.

 

Sitting, walking and playing music were the activities most often portrayed in the numerous fifteenth-century paintings and illuminated manuscripts, where strenuous activities were inappropriate. In Rome, a late fifteenth-century cloister at San Giovanni dei Genovesi was constructed for the use of the Genoese natio, an Ospitium Genoensium, as a plaque still proclaims, which provided shelter in cubicles off its vaulted encircling arcades, and a meeting place and shelter reuniting those from the distant home city.[11]

 

Somewhat earlier, Pietro Barbo, who became Pope Paul II in 1464, began the construction of a hortus conclusus, the Palazzetto del Giardino di San Marco, attached to the Venetian Cardinals' Roman seat, the Palazzo Venezia.[12] It served as Paul's private garden during his papacy; inscriptions stress its secular functions as sublimes moenibus hortos...ut relevare animum, durasque repellere curas, a garden of sublime delights, a retreat from cares, and praise it in classicising terms, as the home of the dryads, suggesting that there was a central grove of trees, and mentioning its snowy-white stuccoed porticoes. An eighteenth-century engraving shows a tree-covered central mount, which has been recreated in the modern replanting, with box-bordered cross and saltire gravelled paths.[13]

 

The Farnese Gardens (Orti Farnesiani sul Palatino—or "Gardens of Farnese upon the Palatine") were created by Vignola in 1550 on Rome's northern Palatine Hill, for Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (1520–89). These become the first private botanical gardens in Europe (the first botanical gardens of any kind in Europe being started by Italian universities in the mid-16th century, only a short time before). Alessandro called his summer home at the site Horti Farnesiani, probably in reference to the hortus conclusus. These gardens were also designed in the Roman peristylium style with a central fountain.[14]

 

Again in the age of the automobile, the enclosed garden that had never disappeared in Islamic society, became an emblem of serenity and privacy in the Western world.

 

The hortus conclusus was one of a number of depictions of the Virgin in the late Middle Ages developed to be more informal and intimate than the traditional hieratic enthroned Virgin adopted from Byzantine icons, or the Coronation of the Virgin.

 

The subject began as a specific metaphor for the Annunciation,[16] but tended to develop into a relaxed sacra conversatione, with several figures beside the Virgin seated, and less specific associations. Germany and the Netherlands in the 15th century saw the peak popularity of this depiction of the Virgin, usually with Child, and very often a crowd of angels, saints and donors, in the garden - the garden by itself, to represent the Virgin, was much rarer. Often walls, or trellises close off the sides and rear, or it may be shown as open, except for raised banks, to a landscape beyond. Sometimes, as with a Gerard David's The Virgin and Child with Saints and Donor (Below) the garden is very fully depicted; at other times, as in engravings by Martin Schongauer, only a wattle fence and a few sprigs of grass serve to identify the theme. Italian painters typically also keep plants to a minimum, and do not have grass benches. A sub-variety of the theme was the German "Madonna of the Roses", sometimes attempted in sculptured altarpieces. The image was rare in Orthodox icons, but there are at least some Russian examples.[17]

 

One type of depiction, not usually compatible with correct perspective, concentrates on showing the whole wall, and several garden structures or features that symbolize the mystery of Christ's conception, mostly derived from the Song of Songs or other Biblical passages, as interpreted by theological writers. These may include one or more temple or church-like buildings, an Ivory Tower (SS 7.4), an open-air altar with Aaron's rod flowering, surrounded by the bare rods of the other tribes, a gatehouse "tower of David, hung with shields" (SS 7.4),[18] with the gate closed, the Ark of the Covenant, a well (often covered), a fountain, and the morning sun above (SS 6.10).[19] This type of depiction usually shows the Annunciation, although sometimes the child Jesus is held by Mary.[20] The miniature at right shows a relatively simple example; below a large Spanish altarpiece is able to combine many of the usual features (others no doubt contained in the many chapels) with correct perspective.

 

A rather rare, late 15th century, variant of this depiction was to combine the Annunciation in the hortus conclusus with the Hunt of the Unicorn and Virgin and Unicorn, so popular in secular art. The unicorn already functioned as a symbol of the Incarnation and whether this meaning is intended in many prima facie secular depictions can be a difficult matter of scholarly interpretation. There is no such ambiguity in the scenes where the archangel Gabriel is shown blowing a horn, as hounds chase the unicorn into the Virgin's arms, and a little Christ Child descends on rays of light from God the Father. The Council of Trent finally banned this somewhat over-elaborated, if charming, depiction,[21] partly on the grounds of realism, as no one now believed the unicorn to be a real animal. In the 16th century the subject of the hortus conclusus drifts into the open air Sacra Conversazione and the Madonnas in a landscape of Giovanni Bellini, Albrecht Dürer and Raphael, where it is hard to say if an allusion is intended.

 

An exhibition of later medieval visual representations of hortus inclusus was mounted at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC;[22] the exhibition drew a distinction between "garden representations as thematic reinforcements and those that seemingly treat the garden as a subject in itself"; in reviewing it Timothy Husband, warned against uncritical interpretation of the refined detail in manuscript illuminations' "seemingly objective representation". "Late medieval garden imagery, by subjugating direct observation to symbolic or allegorical intention, reflects more a state of mind than reality," [23] if a disjunct can be detected where the objects of the world shimmered with pregnant allegorical meaning. South Netherlandish illuminations and painting appear to document the "turf benches, fountains, raised beds, 'estrade'[24] trees, potted plants, walkways, enclosing walls, trellises, wattle fences and bowers" familiar to contemporary viewers, but assembled into an illusion of reality.[25]

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hortus_conclusus

   

Firs Zhuravlev (Saratov, December 22, 1836 - Saint Petersburg, September 17, 1901) was A Russian genre painter. In 1863, he became part of the Revolt of the Fourteen, a group of students who supported Realism and were protesting the Academy's insistence on promoting the Classical style. He joined the others in withdrawing from the school and accepting a designation as Artist Second-Degree. From 1862 to 1874, he was under police surveillance for alleged ties to revolutionary groups, possibly due to the social criticism inherent in many of his portrayals of peasant life.

 

[State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow - Oil on canvas, 99 x 134 cm]

+++++ FROM WIKIPEDIA +++++

 

Arles (/ɑːrl(z)/, also US: /ˈɑːrəl/,[2][3][4][5] French: [aʁl]; Provençal: Arle [ˈaʀle] in both classical and Mistralian norms; Classical Latin: Arelate) is a city and commune in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which it is a subprefecture, in the former province of Provence.

 

A large part of the Camargue is located on the territory of the commune, making it the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory (though Maripasoula, French Guiana, is much larger). The city has a long history, and was of considerable importance in the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis. The Roman and Romanesque Monuments of Arles were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1981. The Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh lived in Arles from 1888 to 1889 and produced over 300 paintings and drawings during his time there. An international photography festival has been held in the city since 1970.

  

Contents

1Geography

2History

2.1Ancient era

2.2Roman aqueduct and mill

2.3Middle Ages

2.4Modern era

2.5Jewish history

3Climate

4Population

5Main sights

6Archaeology

7Sport

8Culture

8.1European Capital of Culture

9Economy

10Transport

11Notable people

12Twin towns — sister cities

13See also

14References

15External links

Geography

The river Rhône forks into two branches just upstream of Arles, forming the Camargue delta. Because the Camargue is for a large part administratively part of Arles, the commune as a whole is the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory, although its population is only slightly more than 50,000. Its area is 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi), which is more than seven times the area of Paris.

 

History

Ancient era

 

Arles Amphitheatre, a Roman arena

 

Passageway in the Amphitheatre

 

Church of St. Trophime and its cloister

The Ligurians were in this area from about 800 BC. Later, Celtic influences have been discovered. The city became an important Phoenician trading port, before being taken by the Romans.

 

The Romans took the town in 123 BC and expanded it into an important city, with a canal link to the Mediterranean Sea being constructed in 104 BC. However, it struggled to escape the shadow of Massalia (Marseilles) further along the coast.

 

Its chance came when it sided with Julius Caesar against Pompey, providing military support. Massalia backed Pompey; when Caesar emerged victorious, Massalia was stripped of its possessions, which were transferred to Arelate as a reward. The town was formally established as a colony for veterans of the Roman legion Legio VI Ferrata, which had its base there. Its full title as a colony was Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelatensium Sextanorum, "the ancestral Julian colony of Arles of the soldiers of the Sixth."

 

Arelate was a city of considerable importance in the province of Gallia Narbonensis. It covered an area of some 40 hectares (99 acres) and possessed a number of monuments, including an amphitheatre, triumphal arch, Roman circus, theatre, and a full circuit of walls. Ancient Arles was closer to the sea than it is now and served as a major port. It also had (and still has) the southernmost bridge on the Rhône. Very unusually, the Roman bridge was not fixed but consisted of a pontoon-style bridge of boats, with towers and drawbridges at each end. The boats were secured in place by anchors and were tethered to twin towers built just upstream of the bridge. This unusual design was a way of coping with the river's frequent violent floods, which would have made short work of a conventional bridge. Nothing remains of the Roman bridge, which has been replaced by a more modern bridge near the same spot.

 

The city reached a peak of influence during the 4th and 5th centuries, when Roman Emperors frequently used it as their headquarters during military campaigns. In 395, it became the seat of the Praetorian Prefecture of the Gauls, governing the western part of the Western Empire: Gaul proper plus Hispania (Spain) and Armorica (Brittany). At that time, the city was perhaps home to 75,000–100,000 people.[6][7][8][9]

 

It became a favorite city of Emperor Constantine I, who built baths there, substantial remains of which are still standing. His son, Constantine II, was born in Arles. Usurper Constantine III declared himself emperor in the West (407–411) and made Arles his capital in 408.

 

Arles became renowned as a cultural and religious centre during the late Roman Empire. It was the birthplace of the sceptical philosopher Favorinus. It was also a key location for Roman Christianity and an important base for the Christianization of Gaul. The city's bishopric was held by a series of outstanding clerics, beginning with Saint Trophimus around 225 and continuing with Saint Honoratus, then Saint Hilarius in the first half of the 5th century. The political tension between the Catholic bishops of Arles and the Visigothic kings is epitomized in the career of the Frankish St. Caesarius, bishop of Arles 503–542, who was suspected by the Arian Visigoth Alaric II of conspiring with the Burgundians to turn over the Arelate to Burgundy, and was exiled for a year to Bordeaux in Aquitaine. Political tensions were evident again in 512, when Arles held out against Theodoric the Great and Caesarius was imprisoned and sent to Ravenna to explain his actions before the Ostrogothic king.[10]

 

The friction between the Arian Christianity of the Visigoths and the Catholicism of the bishops sent out from Rome established deep roots for religious heterodoxy, even heresy, in Occitan culture. At Treves in 385, Priscillian achieved the distinction of becoming the first Christian executed for heresy (Manichaean in his case, see also Cathars, Camisards). Despite this tension and the city's decline in the face of barbarian invasions, Arles remained a great religious centre and host of church councils (see Council of Arles), the rival of Vienne, for hundreds of years.

 

Roman aqueduct and mill

 

Aqueduct of Arles at Barbegal

The Barbegal aqueduct and mill is a Roman watermill complex located on the territory of the commune of Fontvieille, a few kilometres from Arles. The complex has been referred to as "the greatest known concentration of mechanical power in the ancient world".[11] The remains of the mill streams and buildings which housed the overshot water wheels are still visible at the site, and it is by far the best-preserved of ancient mills. There are two aqueducts which join just north of the mill complex, and a sluice which enabled the operators to control the water supply to the complex. The mill consisted of 16 waterwheels in two separate rows built into a steep hillside. There are substantial masonry remains of the water channels and foundations of the individual mills, together with a staircase rising up the hill upon which the mills are built. The mills apparently operated from the end of the 1st century until about the end of the 3rd century.[12] The capacity of the mills has been estimated at 4.5 tons of flour per day, sufficient to supply enough bread for 6,000 of the 30-40,000 inhabitants of Arelate at that time.[13] A similar mill complex existed also on the Janiculum in Rome. Examination of the mill leat still just visible on one side of the hill shows a substantial accretion of lime in the channel, tending to confirm its long working life.

 

It is thought that the wheels were overshot water wheels with the outflow from the top driving the next one down and so on, to the base of the hill. Vertical water mills were well known to the Romans, being described by Vitruvius in his De Architectura of 25 BC, and mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia of 77 AD. There are also later references to floating water mills from Byzantium and to sawmills on the river Moselle by the poet Ausonius. The use of multiple stacked sequences of reverse overshot water-wheels was widespread in Roman mines.

 

Middle Ages

 

Cafe Terrace at Night by Vincent van Gogh (September 1888), depicts the warmth of a café in Arles

In 735, after raiding the Lower Rhône, Andalusian Saracens led by Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri moved into the stronghold summoned by Count Maurontus, who feared Charles Martel's expansionist ambitions, though this may have been an excuse to further Moorish expansion beyond Iberia. The next year, Charles campaigned south to Septimania and Provence, attacking and capturing Arles after destroying Avignon. In 739. Charles definitely drove Maurontus to exile, and brought Provence to heel. In 855, it was made the capital of a Frankish Kingdom of Arles, which included Burgundy and part of Provence, but was frequently terrorised by Saracen and Viking raiders. In 888, Rudolph, Count of Auxerre (now in north-western Burgundy), founded the kingdom of Transjuran Burgundy (literally, beyond the Jura mountains), which included western Switzerland as far as the river Reuss, Valais, Geneva, Chablais and Bugey.

 

In 933, Hugh of Arles ("Hugues de Provence") gave his kingdom up to Rudolph II, who merged the two kingdoms into a new Kingdom of Arles. In 1032, King Rudolph III died, and the kingdom was inherited by Emperor Conrad II the Salic. Though his successors counted themselves kings of Arles, few went to be crowned in the cathedral. Most of the kingdom's territory was progressively incorporated into France. During these troubled times, the amphitheatre was converted into a fortress, with watchtowers built at each of the four quadrants and a minuscule walled town being constructed within. The population was by now only a fraction of what it had been in Roman times, with much of old Arles lying in ruins.

 

The town regained political and economic prominence in the 12th century, with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa traveling there in 1178 for his coronation. In the 12th century, it became a free city governed by an elected podestat (chief magistrate; literally "power"), who appointed the consuls and other magistrates. It retained this status until the French Revolution of 1789.

 

Arles joined the countship of Provence in 1239, but, once more, its prominence was eclipsed by Marseilles. In 1378, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV ceded the remnants of the Kingdom of Arles to the Dauphin of France (later King Charles VI of France) and the kingdom ceased to exist even on paper.

 

Modern era

Arles remained economically important for many years as a major port on the Rhône. In the 19th century, the arrival of the railway diminished river trade, leading to the town becoming something of a backwater.

 

This made it an attractive destination for the painter Vincent van Gogh, who arrived there on 21 February 1888. He was fascinated by the Provençal landscapes, producing over 300 paintings and drawings during his time in Arles. Many of his most famous paintings were completed there, including The Night Cafe, the Yellow Room, Starry Night Over the Rhone, and L'Arlésienne. Paul Gauguin visited van Gogh in Arles. However, van Gogh's mental health deteriorated and he became alarmingly eccentric, culminating in the well-known ear-severing incident in December 1888 which resulted in two stays in the Old Hospital of Arles. The concerned Arlesians circulated a petition the following February demanding that van Gogh be confined. In May 1889, he took the hint and left Arles for the Saint-Paul asylum at nearby Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

 

Jewish history

Main article: History of the Jews in Arles

Arles had an important and prominent Jewish community between the Roman era and the end of the 15th century. A local legend describes the first Jews in Arles as exiles from Judaea after Jerusalem fell to the Romans. Nevertheless, the first documented evidence of Jews in Arles is not before the fifth century, when a distinguished community already existed in the town. Arles was an important Jewish crossroads, as a port city and close to Spain and the rest of Europe alike. It served a major role in the work of the Hachmei Provence group of famous Jewish scholars, translators and philosophers, who were most important to Judaism throughout the Middle Ages. In the eighth century, jurisdiction over the Jews of Arles was passed to the local Archbishop, making the Jewish taxes to the clergy somewhat of a shield for the community from mob attacks, most frequent during the Crusades. The community lived relatively peacefully until the last decade of the 15th century, when they were expelled out of the city never to return. Several Jews did live in the city in the centuries after, though no community was found ever after. Nowadays, Jewish archaeological findings and texts from Arles can be found in the local museum.[14]

 

Climate

Arles has a warm summer mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa)[15] with a mean annual temperature of 14.6 °C (1948–1999). The summers are warm and moderately dry, with seasonal averages between 22 °C and 24 °C, and mild winters with a mean temperature of about 7 °C. The city is constantly, but especially in the winter months, subject to the influence of the mistral, a cold wind which can cause sudden and severe frosts. Rainfall (636 mm per year) is fairly evenly distributed from September to May, with the summer drought being less marked than in other Mediterranean areas.[16]

  

Main sights

 

Gallo-Roman theatre.

 

The Alyscamps.

Arles has important Roman remnants, most of which have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1981 within the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments group. They include:

 

The Church of St. Trophime (Saint Trophimus), formerly a cathedral, is a major work of Romanesque architecture, and the representation of the Last Judgment on its portal is considered one of the finest examples of Romanesque sculpture, as are the columns in the adjacent cloister.

 

The town also has a museum of ancient history, the Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence antiques, with one of the best collections of Roman sarcophagi to be found anywhere outside Rome itself. Other museums include the Musée Réattu and the Museon Arlaten.

 

The courtyard of the Old Arles hospital, now named "Espace Van Gogh," is a center for Vincent van Gogh's works, several of which are masterpieces.[18] The garden, framed on all four sides by buildings of the complex, is approached through arcades on the first floor. A circulation gallery is located on the first and second floors.[19]

 

Archaeology

Main article: Arles portrait bust

In September–October 2007, divers led by Luc Long from the French Department of Subaquatic Archaeological Research, headed by Michel L'Hour, discovered a life-sized marble bust of an apparently important Roman person in the Rhône near Arles, together with smaller statues of Marsyas in Hellenistic style and of the god Neptune from the third century AD. The larger bust was tentatively dated to 46 BC. Since the bust displayed several characteristics of an ageing person with wrinkles, deep naso-labial creases and hollows in his face, and since the archaeologists believed that Julius Caesar had founded the colony Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelate Sextanorum in 46 BC, the scientists came to the preliminary conclusion that the bust depicted a life-portrait of the Roman dictator: France's Minister of Culture Christine Albanel reported on May 13, 2008, that the bust would be the oldest representation of Caesar known today.[20] The story was picked up by all larger media outlets.[21][22] The realism of the portrait was said to place it in the tradition of late Republican portrait and genre sculptures. The archaeologists further claimed that a bust of Julius Caesar might have been thrown away or discreetly disposed of, because Caesar's portraits could have been viewed as politically dangerous possessions after the dictator's assassination.

 

Historians and archaeologists not affiliated with the French administration, among them Paul Zanker, the renowned archaeologist and expert on Caesar and Augustus, were quick to question whether the bust is a portrait of Caesar.[23][24][25] Many noted the lack of resemblances to Caesar's likenesses issued on coins during the last years of the dictator's life, and to the Tusculum bust of Caesar,[26] which depicts Julius Caesar in his lifetime, either as a so-called zeitgesicht or as a direct portrait. After a further stylistic assessment, Zanker dated the Arles-bust to the Augustan period. Elkins argued for the third century AD as the terminus post quem for the deposition of the statues, refuting the claim that the bust was thrown away due to feared repercussions from Caesar's assassination in 44 BC.[27] The main argument by the French archaeologists that Caesar had founded the colony in 46 BC proved to be incorrect, as the colony was founded by Caesar's former quaestor Tiberius Claudius Nero on the dictator's orders in his absence.[28] Mary Beard has accused the persons involved in the find of having willfully invented their claims for publicity reasons. The French ministry of culture has not yet responded to the criticism and negative reviews.

 

Sport

AC Arles-Avignon is a professional French football team. They currently play in Championnat de France Amateur, the fourth division in French football. They play at the Parc des Sports, which has a capacity of just over 17,000.

 

Culture

Arles is a cultural hotspot. A well known photography festival, Rencontres d'Arles, takes place in Arles every year, and the French national school of photography is located there.

 

The major French publishing house Actes Sud is also situated in Arles.

 

In the past years, several cultural organizations set up a presence in Arles, such as the LUMA Foundation, the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles, the Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation or the Lee Ufan Foundation.[29] On top of that, there are countless galleries scattered throughout the city.

 

Bullfights are conducted in the amphitheatre, including Provençal-style bullfights (courses camarguaises) in which the bull is not killed, but rather a team of athletic men attempt to remove a tassle from the bull's horn without getting injured. Every Easter and on the first weekend of September, during the feria, Arles also holds Spanish-style corridas (in which the bulls are killed) with an encierro (bull-running in the streets) preceding each fight.

 

The parts of the films Ronin, At Eternity's Gate and "Taxi 3" were filmed in Arles.

 

European Capital of Culture

Arles played a major role in Marseille-Provence 2013, the year-long series of cultural events held in the region after it was designated the European Capital of Culture for 2013. The city hosted a segment of the opening ceremony with a pyrotechnical performance by Groupe F on the banks of the Rhône. It also unveiled the new wing of the Musée Départemental Arles Antique as part of Marseille-Provence 2013.

 

Economy

Arles's open-air street market is a major market in the region. It occurs on Saturday and Wednesday mornings.

 

Transport

The Gare d'Arles railway station offers connections to Avignon, Nîmes, Marseille, Paris, Bordeaux and several regional destinations.

 

Arles does not have its own commercial airport, but is served by a number of airports in the region, most notably the major international airport of Marseille Provence approximately an hour's drive away.

 

The A54 autoroute toll motorway, which locally connects Salon-de-Provence with Nîmes and in a wider sense forms part of European route E80, passes by Arles.

 

The Rhône, which for navigation purposes is classified as a Class V waterway as far upstream as Lyon, is an historically important transport route connecting the inland Rhône-Alpes region with the Mediterranean Sea. The port of Arles and its adjacent rail and road connections provides a major transshipment node, which in 2013 handled approximately 450,000 tonnes of goods.[30]

 

Notable people

Genesius of Arles, a notary martyred under Maximianus in 303 or 308

Vincent van Gogh, lived here from February 1888 until May 1889.

Jenny Berthelius (born 1923), Swedish crime novelist and children's writer, lives in Arles[31]

Jeanne Calment (1875–1997), the oldest human being whose age is documented, was born, lived and died, at the age of 122 years and 164 days, in Arles

Lucien Clergue, photographer

Djibril Cissé, footballer

Anne-Marie David, singer (Eurovision winner in 1973)

Home of the Gipsy Kings, a music group from Arles

Gaël Givet, footballer

Luc Hoffmann, ornithologist, conservationist and philanthropist.

Maja Hoffmann, art patron

Juan Bautista (real name Jean-Baptiste Jalabert), matador

Laure Favre-Kahn (born 1976), classical pianist

Kalonymus ben Kalonymus, famous Jewish scholar and philosopher, Arles born, active during the Middle Ages.

Christian Lacroix, fashion designer

Blessed Jean Marie du Lau, last Archbishop of Arles, killed by the revolutionary mob in Paris on September 2, 1792

The Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral (1830–1914) was born near Arles

Mehdi Savalli, matador

Lloyd Palun, footballer

Major-General Hugh Anthony Prince CBE, Indian Army and British Army officer

The medieval writer Antoine de la Sale was probably born in Arles around 1386

Saint Caesarius of Arles, bishop who lived from the late 5th to the mid 6th century, known for prophecy and writings that would later be used by theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas

Antoine de Seguiran, 18th-century encyclopédiste

Samuel ibn Tibbon, famous Jewish translator and scholar during the Middle Ages.

Fanny Valette, actress

Twin towns — sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in France

Arles is twinned with:

 

Pskov, Russia

Jerez de la Frontera and Cubelles, Spain

Fulda, Germany

York, Pennsylvania, United States

Vercelli, Italy

Sagné, Mauritania

Kalymnos, Greece

Wisbech, United Kingdom

Zhouzhuang, Kunshan, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China

Verviers, Belgium

George Town, Penang, Malaysia

++++++++++ FROM WKIPEDIA +++++++++

 

Kolkata /koʊlˈkɑːtə/ ([kolkata] (About this soundlisten), also known as Calcutta /kælˈkʌtə/, the official name until 2001) is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River approximately 75 kilometres (47 mi) west of the border with Bangladesh, it is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port. The city is widely regarded as the "cultural capital" of India, and is also nicknamed the "City of Joy".[1][2][3].According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the seventh most populous city. the city had a population of 4.5 million, while the population of the city and its suburbs was 14.1 million, making it the third-most populous metropolitan area in India. Recent estimates of Kolkata Metropolitan Area's economy have ranged from $60 to $150 billion (GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity) making it third most-productive metropolitan area in India, after Mumbai and Delhi.[11][12][13]

 

In the late 17th century, the three villages that predated Calcutta were ruled by the Nawab of Bengal under Mughal suzerainty. After the Nawab granted the East India Company a trading licence in 1690,[15] the area was developed by the Company into an increasingly fortified trading post. Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah occupied Calcutta in 1756, and the East India Company retook it the following year. In 1793 the East India company was strong enough to abolish Nizamat (local rule), and assumed full sovereignty of the region. Under the company rule, and later under the British Raj, Calcutta served as the capital of British-held territories in India until 1911, when its perceived geographical disadvantages, combined with growing nationalism in Bengal, led to a shift of the capital to New Delhi. Calcutta was the centre for the Indian independence movement; it remains a hotbed of contemporary state politics. Following Indian independence in 1947, Kolkata, which was once the centre of modern Indian education, science, culture, and politics, suffered several decades of economic stagnation.

 

As a nucleus of the 19th- and early 20th-century Bengal Renaissance and a religiously and ethnically diverse centre of culture in Bengal and India, Kolkata has local traditions in drama, art, film, theatre, and literature. Many people from Kolkata—among them several Nobel laureates—have contributed to the arts, the sciences, and other areas. Kolkata culture features idiosyncrasies that include distinctively close-knit neighbourhoods (paras) and freestyle intellectual exchanges (adda). West Bengal's share of the Bengali film industry is based in the city, which also hosts venerable cultural institutions of national importance, such as the Academy of Fine Arts, the Victoria Memorial, the Asiatic Society, the Indian Museum and the National Library of India. Among professional scientific institutions, Kolkata hosts the Agri Horticultural Society of India, the Geological Survey of India, the Botanical Survey of India, the Calcutta Mathematical Society, the Indian Science Congress Association, the Zoological Survey of India, the Institution of Engineers, the Anthropological Survey of India and the Indian Public Health Association. Though home to major cricketing venues and franchises, Kolkata differs from other Indian cities by giving importance to association football and other sports.

 

Etymology

 

The word Kolkata derives from the Bengali term Kôlikata (Bengali: কলিকাতা) [ˈkɔlikat̪a], the name of one of three villages that predated the arrival of the British, in the area where the city eventually was to be established; the other two villages were Sutanuti and Govindapur.[16]

 

There are several explanations about the etymology of this name:

 

The term Kolikata is thought to be a variation of Kalikkhetrô [ˈkalikʰːet̪rɔ] (Bengali: কালীক্ষেত্র), meaning "Field of [the goddess] Kali". Similarly, it can be a variation of 'Kalikshetra' (Sanskrit: कालीक्षेत्र, lit. "area of Goddess Kali").

Another theory is that the name derives from Kalighat.[17]

Alternatively, the name may have been derived from the Bengali term kilkila (Bengali: কিলকিলা), or "flat area".[18]

The name may have its origin in the words khal [ˈkʰal] (Bengali: খাল) meaning "canal", followed by kaṭa [ˈkata] (Bengali: কাটা), which may mean "dug".[19]

According to another theory, the area specialised in the production of quicklime or koli chun [ˈkɔlitɕun] (Bengali: কলি চুন) and coir or kata [ˈkat̪a] (Bengali: কাতা); hence, it was called Kolikata [ˈkɔlikat̪a] (Bengali: কলিকাতা).[18]

 

Although the city's name has always been pronounced Kolkata [ˈkolkat̪a] (Bengali: কলকাতা) or Kôlikata [ˈkɔlikat̪a] (Bengali: কলিকাতা) in Bengali, the anglicised form Calcutta was the official name until 2001, when it was changed to Kolkata in order to match Bengali pronunciation.[20] (It should be noted that "Calcutt" is an etymologically unrelated place name found at several locations in England.)

History

 

The discovery and archaeological study of Chandraketugarh, 35 kilometres (22 mi) north of Kolkata, provide evidence that the region in which the city stands has been inhabited for over two millennia.[21][22] Kolkata's recorded history began in 1690 with the arrival of the English East India Company, which was consolidating its trade business in Bengal. Job Charnock, an administrator who worked for the company, was formerly credited as the founder of the city;[23] In response to a public petition,[24] the Calcutta High Court ruled in 2003 that the city does not have a founder.[25] The area occupied by the present-day city encompassed three villages: Kalikata, Gobindapur, and Sutanuti. Kalikata was a fishing village; Sutanuti was a riverside weavers' village. They were part of an estate belonging to the Mughal emperor; the jagirdari (a land grant bestowed by a king on his noblemen) taxation rights to the villages were held by the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family of landowners, or zamindars. These rights were transferred to the East India Company in 1698.[26]:1

  

In 1712, the British completed the construction of Fort William, located on the east bank of the Hooghly River to protect their trading factory.[27] Facing frequent skirmishes with French forces, the British began to upgrade their fortifications in 1756. The Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah, condemned the militarisation and tax evasion by the company. His warning went unheeded, and the Nawab attacked; he captured Fort William which led to the killings of several East India company officials in the Black Hole of Calcutta.[28] A force of Company soldiers (sepoys) and British troops led by Robert Clive recaptured the city the following year.[28] Per the 1765 Treaty of Allahabad following the battle of Buxar, East India company was appointed imperial tax collector of the Mughal emperor in the province of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, while Mughal-appointed Nawabs continued to rule the province.[29] Declared a presidency city, Calcutta became the headquarters of the East India Company by 1773.[30] In 1793, ruling power of the Nawabs were abolished and East India company took complete control of the city and the province. In the early 19th century, the marshes surrounding the city were drained; the government area was laid out along the banks of the Hooghly River. Richard Wellesley, Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William between 1797 and 1805, was largely responsible for the development of the city and its public architecture.[31] Throughout the late 18th and 19th century, the city was a centre of the East India Company's opium trade.[32]

  

By the 1850s, Calcutta had two areas: White Town, which was primarily British and centred on Chowringhee and Dalhousie Square; and Black Town, mainly Indian and centred on North Calcutta.[33] The city underwent rapid industrial growth starting in the early 1850s, especially in the textile and jute industries; this encouraged British companies to massively invest in infrastructure projects, which included telegraph connections and Howrah railway station. The coalescence of British and Indian culture resulted in the emergence of a new babu class of urbane Indians, whose members were often bureaucrats, professionals, newspaper readers, and Anglophiles; they usually belonged to upper-caste Hindu communities.[34] In the 19th century, the Bengal Renaissance brought about an increased sociocultural sophistication among city denizens. In 1883, Calcutta was host to the first national conference of the Indian National Association, the first avowed nationalist organisation in India.[35]

Bengali billboards on Harrison Street. Calcutta was the largest commercial centre in British India.

  

The partition of Bengal in 1905 along religious lines led to mass protests, making Calcutta a less hospitable place for the British.[36][37] The capital was moved to New Delhi in 1911.[38] Calcutta continued to be a centre for revolutionary organisations associated with the Indian independence movement. The city and its port were bombed several times by the Japanese between 1942 and 1944, during World War II.[39][40] Coinciding with the war, millions starved to death during the Bengal famine of 1943 due to a combination of military, administrative, and natural factors.[41] Demands for the creation of a Muslim state led in 1946 to an episode of communal violence that killed over 4,000.[42][43][44] The partition of India led to further clashes and a demographic shift—many Muslims left for East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh), while hundreds of thousands of Hindus fled into the city.[45]

 

During the 1960s and 1970s, severe power shortages, strikes, and a violent Marxist–Maoist movement by groups known as the Naxalites damaged much of the city's infrastructure, resulting in economic stagnation.[46] The Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 led to a massive influx of thousands of refugees, many of them penniless, that strained Kolkata's infrastructure.[47] During the mid-1980s, Mumbai (then called Bombay) overtook Kolkata as India's most populous city. In 1985, prime minister Rajiv Gandhi dubbed Kolkata a "dying city" in light of its socio-political woes.[48] In the period 1977–2011, West Bengal was governed from Kolkata by the Left Front, which was dominated by the Communist Party of India (CPM). It was the world's longest-serving democratically elected communist government, during which Kolkata was a key base for Indian communism.[49][50][51] In the West Bengal Legislative Assembly election, 2011, Left Front was defeated by the Trinamool Congress. The city's economic recovery gathered momentum after the 1990s, when India began to institute pro-market reforms. Since 2000, the information technology (IT) services sector has revitalised Kolkata's stagnant economy. The city is also experiencing marked growth in its manufacturing base.[52]

 

Geography

 

Spread roughly north–south along the east bank of the Hooghly River, Kolkata sits within the lower Ganges Delta of eastern India approximately 75 km (47 mi) west of the international border with Bangladesh; the city's elevation is 1.5–9 m (5–30 ft).[53] Much of the city was originally a wetland that was reclaimed over the decades to accommodate a burgeoning population.[54] The remaining undeveloped areas, known as the East Kolkata Wetlands, were designated a "wetland of international importance" by the Ramsar Convention (1975).[55] As with most of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, the soil and water are predominantly alluvial in origin. Kolkata is located over the "Bengal basin", a pericratonic tertiary basin.[56] Bengal basin comprises three structural units: shelf or platform in the west; central hinge or shelf/slope break; and deep basinal part in the east and southeast. Kolkata is located atop the western part of the hinge zone which is about 25 km (16 mi) wide at a depth of about 45,000 m (148,000 ft) below the surface.[56] The shelf and hinge zones have many faults, among them some are active. Total thickness of sediment below Kolkata is nearly 7,500 m (24,600 ft) above the crystalline basement; of these the top 350–450 m (1,150–1,480 ft) is Quaternary, followed by 4,500–5,500 m (14,760–18,040 ft) of Tertiary sediments, 500–700 m (1,640–2,300 ft) trap wash of Cretaceous trap and 600–800 m (1,970–2,620 ft) Permian-Carboniferous Gondwana rocks.[56] The quaternary sediments consist of clay, silt, and several grades of sand and gravel. These sediments are sandwiched between two clay beds: the lower one at a depth of 250–650 m (820–2,130 ft); the upper one 10–40 m (30–130 ft) in thickness.[57] According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, on a scale ranging from I to V in order of increasing susceptibility to earthquakes, the city lies inside seismic zone III.[58]

Urban structure

Howrah Bridge from the western bank of the Ganges

 

The Kolkata metropolitan area is spread over 1,886.67 km2 (728.45 sq mi)[59]:7 and comprises 3 municipal corporations (including Kolkata Municipal Corporation), 39 local municipalities and 24 panchayat samitis, as of 2011.[59]:7 The urban agglomeration encompassed 72 cities and 527 towns and villages, as of 2006.[60] Suburban areas in the Kolkata metropolitan area incorporate parts of the following districts: North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, and Nadia.[61]:15 Kolkata, which is under the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), has an area of 185 km2 (71 sq mi).[60] The east–west dimension of the city is comparatively narrow, stretching from the Hooghly River in the west to roughly the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass in the east—a span of 9–10 km (5.6–6.2 mi).[62] The north–south distance is greater, and its axis is used to section the city into North, Central, and South Kolkata. East Kolkata is also a section.

 

North Kolkata is the oldest part of the city. Characterised by 19th-century architecture, dilapidated buildings, overpopulated slums, crowded bazaars, and narrow alleyways, it includes areas such as Shyambazar, Hatibagan, Maniktala, Kankurgachi, Rajabazar, Shobhabazar, Shyampukur, Sonagachi, Kumortuli, Bagbazar, Jorasanko, Chitpur, Pathuriaghata, Cossipore, Kestopur, Sinthee, Belgachia, Jorabagan, and Dum Dum.[63]:65–66 The northern suburban areas like Baranagar, Durganagar, Noapara, Dunlop, Dakshineswar, Nagerbazar, Belghoria, Agarpara, Sodepur, Madhyamgram, Barasat, Birati, Khardah up to Barrackpur are also within the city of Kolkata (as a metropolitan structure).

Central Kolkata

 

Central Kolkata hosts the central business district. It contains B. B. D. Bagh, formerly known as Dalhousie Square, and the Esplanade on its east; Strand Road is on its west.[64] The West Bengal Secretariat, General Post Office, Reserve Bank of India, High Court, Lalbazar Police Headquarters, and several other government and private offices are located there. Another business hub is the area south of Park Street, which comprises thoroughfares such as Chowringhee, Camac Street, Wood Street, Loudon Street, Shakespeare Sarani, and A. J. C. Bose Road.[65] The Maidan is a large open field in the heart of the city that has been called the "lungs of Kolkata"[66] and accommodates sporting events and public meetings.[67] The Victoria Memorial and Kolkata Race Course are located at the southern end of the Maidan. Other important areas of Central Kolkata are Park Circus, Burrabazar, College Street, Sealdah, Taltala, Janbazar, Bowbazar, Entally, Chandni Chowk, Lalbazar, Chowringhee, Dharmatala, Tiretta Bazar, Bow Barracks, Mullick Bazar, Park Circus, Babughat etc. Among the other parks are Central Park in Bidhannagar and Millennium Park on Strand Road, along the Hooghly River.

South Kolkata

 

South Kolkata developed after India gained independence in 1947; it includes upscale neighbourhoods such as Ballygunge, Alipore, New Alipore, Lansdowne, Bhowanipore, Kalighat, Dhakuria, Gariahat, Tollygunge, Naktala, Jodhpur Park, Lake Gardens, Golf Green, Jadavpur, Garfa, Kalikapur, Haltu, Nandi Bagan, Santoshpur, Baghajatin, Garia, Ramgarh, Raipur, Kanungo Park, Ranikuthi, Bikramgarh, Bijoygarh, Bansdroni and Kudghat.[16] Outlying areas of South Kolkata include Garden Reach, Khidirpur, Metiabruz, Taratala, Majerhat, Budge Budge, Behala, Sarsuna, Barisha, Parnasree Pally, Thakurpukur, Maheshtala and Joka. The southern suburban neighbourhoods like Mahamayatala, Pratapgarh, Kamalgazi, Narendrapur, Sonarpur, Subhashgram and Baruipur are also within the city of Kolkata (as metropolitan, urban agglomeration area). Fort William, on the western part of the city, houses the headquarters of the Eastern Command of the Indian Army;[68] its premises are under the jurisdiction of the army.

East Kolkata

 

East Kolkata is largely composed of newly developed areas and neighbourhoods of Saltlake, Rajarhat, Tangra, Topsia, Kasba, Anandapur, Mukundapur, Picnic Garden, Beleghata, Ultadanga, Phoolbagan, Kaikhali, Lake Town, etc. Two planned townships in the greater Kolkata region are Bidhannagar, also known as Salt Lake City and located north-east of the city; and Rajarhat, also called New Town and sited east of Bidhannagar.[16][69] In the 2000s, Sector V in Bidhannagar developed into a business hub for information technology and telecommunication companies.[70][71] Both Bidhannagar and New Town are situated outside the Kolkata Municipal Corporation limits, in their own municipalities.[69]

Climate

  

Kolkata is subject to a tropical wet-and-dry climate that is designated Aw under the Köppen climate classification. According to a United Nations Development Programme report, its wind and cyclone zone is "very high damage risk".[58]

Temperature

 

The annual mean temperature is 26.8 °C (80.2 °F); monthly mean temperatures are 19–30 °C (66–86 °F). Summers (March–June) are hot and humid, with temperatures in the low 30s Celsius; during dry spells, maximum temperatures often exceed 40 °C (104 °F) in May and June.[72] Winter lasts for roughly two-and-a-half months, with seasonal lows dipping to 9–11 °C (48–52 °F) in December and January. May is the hottest month, with daily temperatures ranging from 27–37 °C (81–99 °F); January, the coldest month, has temperatures varying from 12–23 °C (54–73 °F). The highest recorded temperature is 43.9 °C (111.0 °F), and the lowest is 5 °C (41 °F).[72] The winter is mild and very comfortable weather pertains over the city throughout this season. Often, in April–June, the city is struck by heavy rains or dusty squalls that are followed by thunderstorms or hailstorms, bringing cooling relief from the prevailing humidity. These thunderstorms are convective in nature, and are known locally as kal bôishakhi (কালবৈশাখী), or "Nor'westers" in English.[73]

 

Rains brought by the Bay of Bengal branch of the south-west summer monsoon[74] lash Kolkata between June and September, supplying it with most of its annual rainfall of about 1,850 mm (73 in). The highest monthly rainfall total occurs in July and August. In these months often incessant rain for days brings live to a stall for the city dwellers. The city receives 2,528 hours of sunshine per year, with maximum sunlight exposure occurring in March.[75] Kolkata has been hit by several cyclones; these include systems occurring in 1737 and 1864 that killed thousands.[76][77]

  

Environmental issues

 

Pollution is a major concern in Kolkata. As of 2008, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide annual concentration were within the national ambient air quality standards of India, but respirable suspended particulate matter levels were high, and on an increasing trend for five consecutive years, causing smog and haze.[80][81] Severe air pollution in the city has caused a rise in pollution-related respiratory ailments, such as lung cancer.[82]

 

Economy

 

Kolkata is the main commercial and financial hub of East and North-East India[61] and home to the Calcutta Stock Exchange.[83][84] It is a major commercial and military port, and is the only city in eastern India, apart from Bhubaneswar to have an international airport. Once India's leading city, Kolkata experienced a steady economic decline in the decades following India's independence due to steep population increases and a rise in militant trade-unionism, which included frequent strikes that were backed by left-wing parties.[52] From the 1960s to the late 1990s, several factories were closed and businesses relocated.[52] The lack of capital and resources added to the depressed state of the city's economy and gave rise to an unwelcome sobriquet: the "dying city".[85] The city's fortunes improved after the Indian economy was liberalised in the 1990s and changes in economic policy were enacted by the West Bengal state government.[52]

 

Flexible production has been the norm in Kolkata, which has an informal sector that employs more than 40% of the labour force.[16] One unorganised group, roadside hawkers, generated business worth ₹ 8,772 crore (US$ 2 billion) in 2005.[86] As of 2001, around 0.81% of the city's workforce was employed in the primary sector (agriculture, forestry, mining, etc.); 15.49% worked in the secondary sector (industrial and manufacturing); and 83.69% worked in the tertiary sector (service industries).[61]:19 As of 2003, the majority of households in slums were engaged in occupations belonging to the informal sector; 36.5% were involved in servicing the urban middle class (as maids, drivers, etc.), and 22.2% were casual labourers.[87]:11 About 34% of the available labour force in Kolkata slums were unemployed.[87]:11 According to one estimate, almost a quarter of the population live on less than 27 rupees (equivalent to 45 US cents) per day.[88] As of 2010, Kolkata, with an estimated gross domestic product (GDP) by purchasing power parity of 150 billion dollars, ranked third among South Asian cities, after Mumbai and Delhi.[89] Kolkata's GDP in 2014 was Rs 1.84 trillion, according to a collaborative assessment by multiple universities and climate agencies.[90] As in many other Indian cities, information technology became a high-growth sector in Kolkata starting in the late 1990s; the city's IT sector grew at 70% per annum—a rate that was twice the national average.[52] The 2000s saw a surge of investments in the real estate, infrastructure, retail, and hospitality sectors; several large shopping malls and hotels were launched.[91][92][93][94][95] Companies such as ITC Limited, CESC Limited, Exide Industries, Emami, Eveready Industries India, Lux Industries, Rupa Company, Berger Paints, Birla Corporation and Britannia Industries are headquartered in the city. Philips India, PricewaterhouseCoopers India, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Steel have their registered office and zonal headquarters in Kolkata. Kolkata hosts the headquarters of three major public-sector banks: Allahabad Bank, UCO Bank, and the United Bank of India; and a private bank Bandhan Bank. Reserve Bank of India has its eastern zonal office in Kolkata, and India Government Mint, Kolkata is one of the four mints in India.

Panoramic view of the Down town Sector V one of the major IT hubs of Kolkata as seen from the lakes surrounding Bidhannagar. Major Buildings such as Technopolis, Godrej Waterside, TCS Lords, Eden and Wanderers Park, Gobsyn Crystal, South City Pinnacle, RDB Boulevard, West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation (WEBEL) Bhawan can be seen.

Demographics

See also: Ethnic communities in Kolkata

A skyline consisting of several high-rise buildings

Residential high-rise buildings in South City

A slum area of the city

 

The demonym for residents of Kolkata are Calcuttan and Kolkatan.[96][97] According to provisional results of the 2011 national census, Kolkata district, which occupies an area of 185 km2 (71 sq mi), had a population of 4,486,679;[98] its population density was 24,252/km2 (62,810/sq mi).[98] This represents a decline of 1.88% during the decade 2001–11. The sex ratio is 899 females per 1000 males—lower than the national average.[99] The ratio is depressed by the influx of working males from surrounding rural areas, from the rest of West Bengal; these men commonly leave their families behind.[100] Kolkata's literacy rate of 87.14%[99] exceeds the national average of 74%.[101] The final population totals of census 2011 stated the population of city as 4,496,694.[8] The urban agglomeration had a population of 14,112,536 in 2011.[9]

 

Bengali Hindus form the majority of Kolkata's population; Marwaris, Biharis and Muslims compose large minorities.[102] Among Kolkata's smaller communities are Chinese, Tamils, Nepalis, Odias, Telugus, Assamese, Gujaratis, Anglo-Indians, Armenians, Greeks, Tibetans, Maharashtrians, Konkanis, Malayalees, Punjabis, and Parsis.[26]:3 The number of Armenians, Greeks, Jews, and other foreign-origin groups declined during the 20th century.[103] The Jewish population of Kolkata was 5,000 during World War II, but declined after Indian independence and the establishment of Israel;[104] by 2013, there were 25 Jews in the city.[105] India's sole Chinatown is in eastern Kolkata;[103] once home to 20,000 ethnic Chinese, its population dropped to around 2,000 as of 2009[103] as a result of multiple factors including repatriation and denial of Indian citizenship following the 1962 Sino-Indian War, and immigration to foreign countries for better economic opportunities.[106] The Chinese community traditionally worked in the local tanning industry and ran Chinese restaurants.[103][107]

Kolkata urban agglomeration population growth Census Total %±

1981 9,194,000 —

1991 11,021,900 19.9%

2001 13,114,700 19.0%

2011 14,112,536 7.6%

Source: Census of India[9]

Others include Sikhism, Buddhism & Other religions (0.03%)

Religion in Kolkata[108]

Religion Percent

Hinduism

 

76.51%

Islam

 

20.60%

Christianity

 

0.88%

Jainism

 

0.47%

Others

 

1.54%

 

Bengali, the official state language, is the dominant language in Kolkata.[109] English is also used, particularly by the white-collar workforce. Hindi and Urdu are spoken by a sizeable minority.[110][111] According to the 2011 census, 76.51% of the population is Hindu, 20.60% Muslim, 0.88% Christian, and 0.47% Jain.[112] The remainder of the population includes Sikhs, Buddhists, and other religions which accounts for 0.45% of the population; 1.09% did not state a religion in the census.[112] Kolkata reported 67.6% of Special and Local Laws crimes registered in 35 large Indian cities during 2004.[113] The Kolkata police district registered 15,510 Indian Penal Code cases in 2010, the 8th-highest total in the country.[114] In 2010, the crime rate was 117.3 per 100,000, below the national rate of 187.6; it was the lowest rate among India's largest cities.[115]

 

As of 2003, about one-third of the population, or 1.5 million people, lived in 3,500 unregistered squatter-occupied and 2,011 registered slums.[87]:4[116]:92 The authorised slums (with access to basic services like water, latrines, trash removal by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation) can be broadly divided into two groups—bustees, in which slum dwellers have some long term tenancy agreement with the landowners; and udbastu colonies, settlements which had been leased to refugees from present-day Bangladesh by the Government.[116][87]:5 The unauthorised slums (devoid of basic services provided by the municipality) are occupied by squatters who started living on encroached lands—mainly along canals, railway lines and roads.[116]:92[87]:5 According to the 2005 National Family Health Survey, around 14% of the households in Kolkata were poor, while 33% lived in slums, indicating a substantial proportion of households in slum areas were better off economically than the bottom quarter of urban households in terms of wealth status.[117]:23 Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding and working with the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata—an organisation "whose primary task was to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after".[118]

Government and public services

Civic administration

Main article: Civic administration of Kolkata

A red-and-yellow building with multiple arches and towers standing against a backdrop of blue sky and framed by trees

Calcutta High Court

 

Kolkata is administered by several government agencies. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation, or KMC, oversees and manages the civic infrastructure of the city's 15 boroughs, which together encompass 141 wards.[109] Each ward elects a councillor to the KMC. Each borough has a committee of councillors, each of whom is elected to represent a ward. By means of the borough committees, the corporation undertakes urban planning and maintains roads, government-aided schools, hospitals, and municipal markets.[119] As Kolkata's apex body, the corporation discharges its functions through the mayor-in-council, which comprises a mayor, a deputy mayor, and ten other elected members of the KMC.[120] The functions of the KMC include water supply, drainage and sewerage, sanitation, solid waste management, street lighting, and building regulation.[119]

 

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation was ranked 1st out of 21 Cities for best governance & administrative practices in India in 2014. It scored 4.0 on 10 compared to the national average of 3.3.[121]

 

The Kolkata Port Trust, an agency of the central government, manages the city's river port. As of 2012, the All India Trinamool Congress controls the KMC; the mayor is Firhad Hakim, while the deputy mayor is Atin Ghosh.[122] The city has an apolitical titular post, that of the Sheriff of Kolkata, which presides over various city-related functions and conferences.[123]

 

Kolkata's administrative agencies have areas of jurisdiction that do not coincide. Listed in ascending order by area, they are: Kolkata district; the Kolkata Police area and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation area, or "Kolkata city";[124] and the Kolkata metropolitan area, which is the city's urban agglomeration. The agency overseeing the latter, the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, is responsible for the statutory planning and development of greater Kolkata.[125]

 

As the seat of the Government of West Bengal, Kolkata is home to not only the offices of the local governing agencies, but also the West Bengal Legislative Assembly; the state secretariat, which is housed in the Writers' Building; and the Calcutta High Court. Most government establishments and institutions are housed in the centre of the city in B. B. D. Bagh (formerly known as Dalhousie Square). The Calcutta High Court is the oldest High Court in India. It was preceded by the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William which was established in 1774. The Calcutta High Court has jurisdiction over the state of West Bengal and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Kolkata has lower courts: the Court of Small Causes and the City Civil Court decide civil matters; the Sessions Court rules in criminal cases.[126][127][128] The Kolkata Police, headed by a police commissioner, is overseen by the West Bengal Ministry of Home Affairs.[129][130] The Kolkata district elects two representatives to India's lower house, the Lok Sabha, and 11 representatives to the state legislative assembly.[131]

Utility services

A telecommunications tower belonging to services provider Tata Communications

 

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation supplies the city with potable water that is sourced from the Hooghly River;[132] most of it is treated and purified at the Palta pumping station located in North 24 Parganas district.[133] Roughly 95% of the 4,000 tonnes of refuse produced daily by the city is transported to the dumping grounds in Dhapa, which is east of the town.[134][135] To promote the recycling of garbage and sewer water, agriculture is encouraged on the dumping grounds.[136] Parts of the city lack proper sewerage, leading to unsanitary methods of waste disposal.[75]

 

Electricity is supplied by the privately operated Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation, or CESC, to the city proper; the West Bengal State Electricity Board supplies it in the suburbs.[137][138] Fire services are handled by the West Bengal Fire Service, a state agency.[139] As of 2012, the city had 16 fire stations.[140]

 

State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, or BSNL, as well as private enterprises, among them Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Reliance, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Tata DoCoMo, Tata Teleservices, Virgin Mobile, and MTS India, are the leading telephone and cell phone service providers in the city.[141]:25–26:179 with Kolkata being the first city in India to have cell phone and 4G connectivity, the GSM and CDMA cellular coverage is extensive.[142][143] As of 2010, Kolkata has 7 percent of the total Broadband internet consumers in India; BSNL, VSNL, Tata Indicom, Sify, Airtel, and Reliance are among the main vendors.[144][145]

Military and diplomatic establishments

 

The Eastern Command of the Indian Army is based in the city. Being one of India's major city and the largest city in eastern and north-eastern India, Kolkata hosts diplomatic missions of many countries such as Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, People's Republic of China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Srilanka, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States. The U.S Consulate in Kolkata is the US Department of State's second oldest Consulate and dates from 19 November 1792.[146]

 

Transport

 

Public transport is provided by the Kolkata Suburban Railway, the Kolkata Metro, trams, rickshaws, and buses. The suburban rail network reaches the city's distant suburbs.

 

According to a 2013 survey conducted by the International Association of Public Transport, in terms of a public transport system, Kolkata ranks among the top of the six Indian cities surveyed.[147][148] The Kolkata Metro, in operation since 1984, is the oldest underground mass transit system in India.[149] It spans the north–south length of the city and covers a distance of 25.1 km (16 mi).[150] As of 2009, five Metro rail lines were under construction.[151] Kolkata has four long-distance railway stations, located at Howrah (the largest railway complex in India), Sealdah, Chitpur and Shalimar, which connect Kolkata by rail to most cities in West Bengal and to other major cities in India.[152] The city serves as the headquarters of three railway Zone out of Seventeen of the Indian Railways regional divisions—the Kolkata Metro Railways, Eastern Railway and the South-Eastern Railway.[153] Kolkata has rail and road connectivity with Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.[154][155][156]

 

Buses, which are the most commonly used mode of transport, are run by government agencies and private operators.[157] Kolkata is the only Indian city with a tram network, which is operated by the Calcutta Tramways Company.[158] The slow-moving tram services are restricted to certain areas of the city. Water-logging, caused by heavy rains that fall during the summer monsoon, can interrupt transportation networks.[159][160] Hired public conveyances include auto rickshaws, which often ply specific routes, and yellow metered taxis. Almost all of Kolkata's taxis are antiquated Hindustan Ambassadors by make; newer air-conditioned radio taxis are in service as well.[161][162] In parts of the city, cycle rickshaws and hand-pulled rickshaws are patronised by the public for short trips.[163]

 

Due to its diverse and abundant public transportation, privately owned vehicles are not as common in Kolkata as in other major Indian cities.[164] The city has witnessed a steady increase in the number of registered vehicles; 2002 data showed an increase of 44% over a period of seven years.[165] As of 2004, after adjusting for population density, the city's "road space" was only 6% compared to 23% in Delhi and 17% in Mumbai.[166] The Kolkata Metro has somewhat eased traffic congestion, as has the addition of new roads and flyovers. Agencies operating long-distance bus services include the Calcutta State Transport Corporation, the South Bengal State Transport Corporation, the North Bengal State Transport Corporation, and various private operators. The city's main bus terminals are located at Esplanade and Babughat.[167] The Kolkata–Delhi and Kolkata–Chennai prongs of the Golden Quadrilateral, and National Highway 34 start from the city.[168]

 

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, located in Dum Dum some 16 km (9.9 mi) north-east of the city centre, operates domestic and international flights. In 2013, the airport was upgraded to handle increased air traffic.[169][170]

 

The Port of Kolkata, established in 1870, is India's oldest and the only major river port.[171] The Kolkata Port Trust manages docks in Kolkata and Haldia.[172] The port hosts passenger services to Port Blair, capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; freighter service to ports throughout India and around the world is operated by the Shipping Corporation of India.[171][173] Ferry services connect Kolkata with its twin city of Howrah, located across the Hooghly River.[174][175]

 

The route from North Bengal to Kolkata is set to become cheaper and more efficient for people travelling by bus. Through April 2017 to March 2018, the North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) will be introducing a fleet of rocket buses equipped with bio-toilets for the bus route.[176]

Healthcare

See also: Health care in Kolkata

A big building in cream colour with many columns and a portico

Calcutta Medical College, the second institution in Asia to teach modern medicine(after 'Ecole de Médicine de Pondichéry')

IPGMER and SSKM Hospital, Kolkata is the largest hospital in West Bengal and one of the oldest in Kolkata.

 

As of 2011, the health care system in Kolkata consists of 48 government hospitals, mostly under the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal, and 366 private medical establishments;[177] these establishments provide the city with 27,687 hospital beds.[177] For every 10,000 people in the city, there are 61.7 hospital beds,[178] which is higher than the national average of 9 hospital beds per 10,000.[179] Ten medical and dental colleges are located in the Kolkata metropolitan area which act as tertiary referral hospitals in the state.[180][181] The Calcutta Medical College, founded in 1835, was the first institution in Asia to teach modern medicine.[182] However, These facilities are inadequate to meet the healthcare needs of the city.[183][184][185] More than 78% in Kolkata prefer the private medical sector over the public medical sector,[117]:109 due to the poor quality of care, the lack of a nearby facility, and excessive waiting times at government facilities.[117]:61

 

According to the Indian 2005 National Family Health Survey, only a small proportion of Kolkata households were covered under any health scheme or health insurance.[117]:41 The total fertility rate in Kolkata was 1.4, The lowest among the eight cities surveyed.[117]:45 In Kolkata, 77% of the married women used contraceptives, which was the highest among the cities surveyed, but use of modern contraceptive methods was the lowest (46%).[117]:47 The infant mortality rate in Kolkata was 41 per 1,000 live births, and the mortality rate for children under five was 49 per 1,000 live births.[117]:48

 

Among the surveyed cities, Kolkata stood second (5%) for children who had not had any vaccinations under the Universal Immunization Programme as of 2005.[117]:48 Kolkata ranked second with access to an anganwadi centre under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme for 57% of the children between 0 and 71 months.[117]:51 The proportion of malnourished, anaemic and underweight children in Kolkata was less in comparison to other surveyed cities.[117]:54–55

 

About 18% of the men and 30% of the women in Kolkata are obese—the majority of them belonging to the non-poor strata of society.[117]:105 In 2005, Kolkata had the highest percentage (55%) among the surveyed cities of anaemic women, while 20% of the men in Kolkata were anaemic.[117]:56–57 Diseases like diabetes, asthma, goitre and other thyroid disorders were found in large numbers of people.[117]:57–59 Tropical diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya are prevalent in Kolkata, though their incidence is decreasing.[186][187] Kolkata is one of the districts in India with a high number of people with AIDS; it has been designated a district prone to high risk.[188][189]

 

As of 2014, because of higher air pollution, the life expectancy of a person born in the city is four years fewer than in the suburbs.[190]

 

Education

  

Kolkata's schools are run by the state government or private organisations, many of which are religious. Bengali and English are the primary languages of instruction; Urdu and Hindi are also used, particularly in central Kolkata.[191][192] Schools in Kolkata follow the "10+2+3" plan. After completing their secondary education, students typically enroll in schools that have a higher secondary facility and are affiliated with the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, the ICSE, or the CBSE.[191] They usually choose a focus on liberal arts, business, or science. Vocational programs are also available.[191] Some Kolkata schools, for example La Martiniere Calcutta, Calcutta Boys' School, St. James' School (Kolkata), St. Xavier's Collegiate School, and Loreto House, have been ranked amongst the best schools in the country.[193]

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade

 

As of 2010, the Kolkata urban agglomeration is home to 14 universities run by the state government.[194] The colleges are each affiliated with a university or institution based either in Kolkata or elsewhere in India. Aliah University which was founded in 1780 as Mohammedan College of Calcutta is the oldest post-secondary educational institution of the city.[195] The University of Calcutta, founded in 1857, is the first modern university in South Asia.[196] Presidency College, Kolkata (formerly Hindu College between 1817 and 1855), founded in 1855, was one of the oldest and most eminent colleges in India. It was affiliated with the University of Calcutta until 2010 when it was converted to Presidency University, Kolkata in 2010. Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU) is the second oldest engineering institution of the country located in Howrah.[197] An Institute of National Importance, BESU was converted to India's first IIEST. Jadavpur University is known for its arts, science, and engineering faculties.[198] The Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, which was the first of the Indian Institutes of Management, was established in 1961 at Joka, a locality in the south-western suburbs. Kolkata also houses the prestigious Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, which was started here in the year 2006.[199] The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences is one of India's autonomous law schools,[200][201] and the Indian Statistical Institute is a public research institute and university. State owned Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology, West Bengal (MAKAUT, WB), formerly West Bengal University of Technology (WBUT) is the largest Technological University in terms of student enrollment and number of Institutions affiliated by it. Private institutions include the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute and University of Engineering & Management (UEM).

 

Notable scholars who were born, worked or studied in Kolkata include physicists Satyendra Nath Bose, Meghnad Saha,[202] and Jagadish Chandra Bose;[203] chemist Prafulla Chandra Roy;[202] statisticians Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis and Anil Kumar Gain;[202] physician Upendranath Brahmachari;[202] educator Ashutosh Mukherjee;[204] and Nobel laureates Rabindranath Tagore,[205] C. V. Raman,[203] and Amartya Sen.[206]

 

Kolkata houses many premier research institutes like Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Bose Institute, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP), All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CGCRI), S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS), Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management (IISWBM), National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Kolkata, Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC) and Indian Centre for Space Physics. Nobel laureate Sir C. V. Raman did his groundbreaking work in Raman effect in IACS.

 

Culture

  

Kolkata is known for its literary, artistic, and revolutionary heritage; as the former capital of India, it was the birthplace of modern Indian literary and artistic thought.[207] Kolkata has been called the "City of Furious, Creative Energy"[208] as well as the "cultural [or literary] capital of India".[209][210] The presence of paras, which are neighbourhoods that possess a strong sense of community, is characteristic of the city.[211] Typically, each para has its own community club and, on occasion, a playing field.[211] Residents engage in addas, or leisurely chats, that often take the form of freestyle intellectual conversation.[212][213] The city has a tradition of political graffiti depicting everything from outrageous slander to witty banter and limericks, caricatures, and propaganda.[214][215]

 

Kolkata has many buildings adorned with Indo-Islamic and Indo-Saracenic architectural motifs. Several well-maintained major buildings from the colonial period have been declared "heritage structures";[216] others are in various stages of decay.[217][218] Established in 1814 as the nation's oldest museum, the Indian Museum houses large collections that showcase Indian natural history and Indian art.[219] Marble Palace is a classic example of a European mansion that was built in the city. The Victoria Memorial, a place of interest in Kolkata, has a museum documenting the city's history. The National Library of India is the leading public library in the country while Science City is the largest science centre in the Indian subcontinent.[220]

 

The popularity of commercial theatres in the city has declined since the 1980s.[221]:99[222] Group theatres of Kolkata, a cultural movement that started in the 1940s contrasting with the then-popular commercial theatres, are theatres that are not professional or commercial, and are centres of various experiments in theme, content, and production;[223] group theatres use the proscenium stage to highlight socially relevant messages.[221]:99[224] Chitpur locality of the city houses multiple production companies of jatra, a tradition of folk drama popular in rural Bengal.[225][226] Kolkata is the home of the Bengali cinema industry, dubbed "Tollywood" for Tollygunj, where most of the state's film studios are located.[227] Its long tradition of art films includes globally acclaimed film directors such as Academy Award-winning director Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha, and contemporary directors such as Aparna Sen, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Goutam Ghose and Rituparno Ghosh.[228]

 

During the 19th and 20th centuries, Bengali literature was modernised through the works of authors such as Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.[229] Coupled with social reforms led by Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Vivekananda, and others, this constituted a major part of the Bengal Renaissance.[230] The middle and latter parts of the 20th century witnessed the arrival of post-modernism, as well as literary movements such as those espoused by the Kallol movement, hungryalists and the little magazines.[231] Large majority of publishers of the city is concentrated in and around College Street, "... a half-mile of bookshops and bookstalls spilling over onto the pavement", selling new and used books.[232]

 

Kalighat painting originated in 19th century Kolkata as a local style that reflected a variety of themes including mythology and quotidian life.[233] The Government College of Art and Craft, founded in 1864, has been the cradle as well as workplace of eminent artists including Abanindranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, and Nandalal Bose.[234] The art college was the birthplace of the Bengal school of art that arose as an avant garde and nationalist movement reacting against the prevalent academic art styles in the early 20th century.[235][236] The Academy of Fine Arts and other art galleries hold regular art exhibitions. The city is recognised for its appreciation of Rabindra sangeet (songs written by Rabindranath Tagore) and Indian classical music, with important concerts and recitals, such as Dover Lane Music Conference, being held throughout the year; Bengali popular music, including baul folk ballads, kirtans, and Gajan festival music; and modern music, including Bengali-language adhunik songs.[237][238] Since the early 1990s, new genres have emerged, including one comprising alternative folk–rock Bengali bands.[237] Another new style, jibonmukhi gaan ("songs about life"), is based on realism.[221]:105 Key elements of Kolkata's cuisine include rice and a fish curry known as machher jhol,[239] which can be accompanied by desserts such as roshogolla, sandesh, and a sweet yoghurt known as mishti dohi. Bengal's large repertoire of seafood dishes includes various preparations of ilish, a fish that is a favourite among Calcuttans. Street foods such as beguni (fried battered eggplant slices), kati roll (flatbread roll with vegetable or chicken, mutton, or egg stuffing), phuchka (a deep-fried crêpe with tamarind sauce) and Indian Chinese cuisine from Chinatown are popular.[240][241][242][243]

 

Though Bengali women traditionally wear the sari, the shalwar kameez and Western attire is gaining acceptance among younger women.[244] Western-style dress has greater acceptance among men, although the traditional dhoti and kurta are seen during festivals. Durga Puja, held in September–October, is Kolkata's most important and largest festival; it is an occasion for glamorous celebrations and artistic decorations.[245][246] The Bengali New Year, known as Poila Boishak, as well as the harvest festival of Poush Parbon are among the city's other festivals; also celebrated are Kali Puja, Diwali, Holi, Jagaddhatri Puja, Saraswati Puja, Rathayatra, Janmashtami, Maha Shivratri, Vishwakarma Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Ganesh Chathurthi, Makar Sankranti, Gajan, Kalpataru Day, Bhai Phonta, Maghotsab, Eid, Muharram, Christmas, Buddha Purnima and Mahavir Jayanti. Cultural events include the Rabindra Jayanti, Independence Day(15 August), Republic Day(26 January), Kolkata Book Fair, the Dover Lane Music Festival, the Kolkata Film Festival, Nandikar's National Theatre Festival, Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally and Gandhi Jayanti.

  

Media

See also: Kolkata in the media and List of Bengali-language television channels

A five storied building in cream colour with multiple columns in front

Akashvani Bhawan, the head office of state-owned All India Radio, Kolkata

 

The first newspaper in India, the Bengal Gazette started publishing from the city in 1780.[247] Among Kolkata's widely circulated Bengali-language newspapers are Anandabazar Patrika, Bartaman, Sangbad Pratidin, Aajkaal, Dainik Statesman and Ganashakti.[248] The Statesman and The Telegraph are two major English-language newspapers that are produced and published from Kolkata. Other popular English-language newspapers published and sold in Kolkata include The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, The Indian Express, and the Asian Age.[248] As the largest trading centre in East India, Kolkata has several high-circulation financial dailies, including The Economic Times, The Financial Express, Business Line, and Business Standard.[248][249] Vernacular newspapers, such as those in the Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati, Odia, Punjabi, and Chinese languages, are read by minorities.[248]