Villa Noailles

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Villa Noailles
General information
Architectural style International style
Town or city Hyères
Country France
Coordinates 43°07′26″N 6°07′38″E / 43.1240111°N 6.12717778°E / 43.1240111; 6.12717778Coordinates: 43°07′26″N 6°07′38″E / 43.1240111°N 6.12717778°E / 43.1240111; 6.12717778
Construction started 1923 (1923)
Completed 1928 (1928)
Renovated 1991; 1997
Client Marie-Laure and Charles de Noailles
Owner Commune of Hyères
Technical details
Floor area 1,800 m2 (19,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
Architect Robert Mallet-Stevens
Website
www.villanoailles-hyeres.com
Designations
Official name: Villa Marie-Laure-de-Noailles ou château Saint-Bernard
Type: maison ; château
Designated: 1975, 1987
Reference No. PA00081651
References
[1][2]
The Cubist Garden designed by Gabriel Guevrekian.

Villa Noailles (French pronunciation: ​[vi.la no.aj]) is an early modernist house, built by architect Robert Mallet-Stevens for art patrons Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, between 1923 and 1927.[3] It is located in the hills above Hyères, in the Var, southeastern France.

History[edit]

Charles de Noailles was born in 1891, his wife Marie-Laure in 1902. They were married in 1923. Before their marriage, they became friends of artist-filmmaker Jean Cocteau, and Noailles commissioned a portrait of his wife by Pablo Picasso in 1923.

In 1923, they signed a contract with the architect Robert Mallet-Stevens to build a summer villa in the hills above the city of Hyères. Construction took three years, and eventually also included a triangular Cubist garden designed by Gabriel Guevrekian.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the couple were important patrons of modern art, particularly surrealism; they supported film projects by Man Ray, Salvador Dalí, and Luis Buñuel; and commissioned paintings, photographs and sculptures by Balthus, Giacometti, Constantin Brâncuși, Miró, and Dora Maar. Villa Noailles features prominently in Man Ray's film Les Mystères du Château de Dé.

In 1940 the villa was occupied by the Italian Army and turned into a hospital. From 1947 until 1970, the villa was the summer residence of Marie-Laure. She died in 1970, and the house was purchased by the city of Hyères in 1973. Charles de Noailles died in 1981.

The villa is now used as an arts center and for special exhibits.

James Lord was a guest there in the mid-fifties. In his book Picasso and Dora: a memoir he writes: "...an undistinguished cubist extravaganza of reinforced concrete set atop a high hill, within the ancient walls of a Saracen fortress. It had been designed in the late twenties by a fashionable architect named Mallet-Stevens, contained something like fifty rooms and was surrounded by a large garden." He recalls the room, where Marie-Laure tried to seduce him: "...a large salon at Saint-Bernard which had no windows but was lighted from above by a bizarre cubist skylight which occupied almost all the ceiling, adding to the sense of existing outside time in a stranded ocean liner." The beauty of the location did not help, however, the "redoutable viscountess" in conquering his chastity.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Monument Historique (2009). "Villa Marie-Laure-de-Noailles ou château Saint-Bernard à Hyères - PA00081651". base Mérimée. 
  2. ^ Monument Historique (2009). "Maison dite Clos Saint-Bernard ou villa Noailles - IA83000024". Inventaire général du patrimoine culturel. 
  3. ^ "Villa Noailles". 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]