“ How lovely yellow is!”
Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)

 

“What a horrible thing yellow is.”
Edgar Degas (1834-1917)

 

“Painting is the way that the artist says ta to God.” Stanley Spencer (1891-1959)

The village and the region

Aubais general view

The house is in a quiet street. It is one of the older dwellings of this mainly 17th century village, Aubais. Thirty minutes from the sea, close to Nîmes and Montpellier, six kilometres from Sommières and a little further to Lunel. The area has a rich history, from ancient Greek and Roman settlements to the Templars’ hospitals, the Moors and the Cathars. More recently influences from both east and west have honed this region of France into the Languedoc Roussillon we live in today.

aubaisThe village is set amongst vineyards and olive groves; it is typical of the region, on top of a hill with an imposing Château. There are many footpaths and bridleways with interesting and unusual flora. The Voie Verte in nearby and is a cycle path that joins Sommières with Nîmes. The village is tranquil although the house is in the heart of it. The surrounding area has many walks that lead to vistas reminiscent of Poussin and Claude. The indigenous bulls, white Camargue horses and birdlife abound.

This is the region that inspired so much of Gustave Courbet’s work and which drew many of generations of painters including Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin to its wonderful light, terrain and mediterranean esprit.

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A visitor's description:

“Aubais is an ancient village in the Gard departement of France, situated between Montpellier and Nimes, some miles from the little town of Sommieres that grew up on rising ground on the banks of the river.
The remains of a roman bridge and village lie a few miles to the east at Villevielle. The Camargue stretches far to the south and the sea, and to the east the light falling on the Pic st. Loup in the distance. Vineyards, meadows and the garrigue surround the village which is presided over by a crumbling chateau. There are stone houses, red tiled roofs, narrow streets and courtyards with iron gates, vegetable plots and meadows with the small black camarguais bulls grazing under chestnuts trees. The village square lies below the chateau where fetes and parties are held. There is a bar, restaurants and cafes, a chemist, patisseries and epicerie. Despite an international mixture of newcomers to the village it remains very French or rather carmargais which means the inhabitants are probably of Greek, Roman Occitane and Provençale descent with a liberal mixture of Spanish and especially Catalan, which makes for an exciting amalgam.”
Julia Rushbury’s impression of Aubais 2011