by Annette Bartlett-Golden
@Annette Bartlett-Golden, House at Majorelle Garden. Oil on canvas, 10 by 8 inches. $150.
A bold color scheme centered around an electric cobalt blue and a huge variety of plant specimens are part of what make Majorelle Garden in Marrakech, Morocco so special. My husband came across photos of Majorelle Garden on the internet and was so fascinated by its bold exuberance that it inspired the design for his library. So, when we were planning our trip to Spain, we were delighted to find that we could easily visit Marrakech, too, (Morocco is just south of Spain). As it turns out, Majorelle Garden is a top attraction in Morocco and for good reason.
Bougainvillea, cacti of all shapes and sizes, water features, and the brightly painted villa dominate the senses. This stunning twelve-acre oasis is the conception of French artist Jacques Majorelle who settled in Marrakech and in 1923 purchased the land where the garden dwells. “Jacques Majorelle, a passionate amateur botanist, created a luxuriant garden which would become his most dazzling work. For almost forty years, he continued to enrich it with new varieties of plants from all five continents, fashioning a ‘cathedral of shapes and colours,’ an ‘impressive garden’,” explains the Majorelle Gardenwebsite.
Majorelle Garden in Marrakech, Morocco created by the French artist Jaques Majorelle and later the home of Yves St. Laurent.
Jacques Majorelle is also known for the distinctive vibrant cobalt blue with which he had the buildings painted. It is said that this color, called Majorelle blue, reminded him of the blue he observed in the Atlas Mountains, visible from Marrakech.
In 1980, the property, which had fallen into disrepair, was bought and renovated by French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé. The villa now hosts the Berber Museum with an excellently curated collection of artifacts from Berber life. I particularly enjoyed the air conditioning which was a welcome respite from the sweltering 106°F outside! Despite the heat, I enjoyed visiting this amazing garden and I am so glad to have had the opportunity.
A tranquil fountain and a beautiful sitting spot where I took a moment to rest.
Annette Bartlett-Golden paints a wide range of subjects from landscapes to animals and makes abstract works with paper. Using vibrant colors, she imparts a sense of immediacy, vivacity and optimism to her paintings and paper collages.