Since renovating our little maisonette in the Medieval town of Beynac, France, I've wanted to share something very special with you. It's been a long time coming, this post, and I am quite thrilled to finally let you in on a little secret, or rather, an undiscovered treasure.
This small, picturesque village situated on a steep cliff, has been a destination for artists since the 19th century. We know for certain that French Impressionist painter, Paul Signac sojourned in Beynac; and we also know that another French Impressionist, Camille Pisarro, spent time in our village back in the 1800's. I was recently thrilled to discover, via one of our guests, that one of my favorite photographers, Henri Cartier-Bresson, also visited and photographed Beynac back in the 60's. What I wouldn't give to take a walk with him down the bumpy, cobblestone paths.
Carrying on the artistic heritage in Beynac today, is an amazingly talented painter named Pierre Van Dijk. His paintings are the most exquisite contemporary works I've seen. My husband, Ben, and I see as much beauty in Pierre's paintings as we do when visiting the Museé Marmottan in Paris (definitely a must-see!). And the beautiful part of this story is that he is not only an exceptional artist, but he is a kind person (and so is his lovely wife). We are grateful to call them friends and for the incredible beauty and warmth their presence adds to the village. I share these things because catching a glimpse of a person's heart and soul is important to me when purchasing art--it's part of the whole package, you know?
One afternoon during our most recent visit, I spent two afternoons walking the paths of Beynac, capturing the beauty of the village and of Pierre's work, for the express purpose of sharing it with you today. Needless to say, it wasn't difficult :) It is no wonder Pierre settled here to paint. There is inspiration around every corner.
His "atelier", or workshop, is particularly delightful. A solid wood easel is settled next to the window where always a lovely painting is perched. Finished works are displayed on the walls and in the window on pretty days (see above). Sometimes his wife Ellie adds a cheerful vase of flowers--a sight that always makes me happy upon passing.
If you have the opportunity to visit Beynac, definitely carve out a little time to meet Pierre. But in the meantime, you can read up more on Pierre, his interesting background, color theory, and available paintings on his website. Works are available framed or unframed and ship worldwide. Feel free to contact Pierre over the phone or email as well. He speaks fluent English, Dutch and French!
Pierre van Dijk
Rue de la Balme
main: +33 (0)6 32 88 49 89
mobile: +33 (0)5 53 59 62 66