Towns of Provence Lecture Three: Avignon
This three-part lecture series investigates the history, art and architecture of three outstanding cultural centers located in Provence in the South of France.
Lecture Three: Avignon
Avignon is the city of the Popes. Beginning in 1309 and continuing through the century, the city was home to seven successive popes (and two anti-popes) who constructed an elaborate palace. Resembling a fortress, this was, and is, the largest gothic structure in the world — a symbol of earthly as well as spiritual power. Retaining its medieval flavor, the city of Avignon is surrounded by 3 miles of crenelated defensive walls punctuated by watch towers — its only connection with the outside world, the storied bridge of Avignon where ‘everybody danced’ as the popular song goes. Attracting artists and artisans and religious communities of all stripes from near and far, Avignon is rich in artistic and architectural treasures.
Pamela Morton is an artist and university teacher who has been living and working in the south of France for over thirty years. An expert on Provence and the artists of the south, she has organized and led museum and site visits for cultural organizations and college students. She lectures on Picasso and Matisse, as well as on Cezanne and van Gogh. She has also taught painting and drawing along with 19th and 20th century art history courses for study abroad programs in Aix and Marseille. With a background that includes art restoration and museum education, Pamela brings special insight to her understanding of artistic works and their settings, both in time and place. Like the artists she studies and admires, Pamela finds inspiration for her own work in the bold light and landscapes of the south of France.