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Painter Jaques Majorelle and His Ethereal Moroccan Oasis for YSL

For those fortunate enough to have wandered through Morocco, you may be familiar with a certain Rue Yves Saint Laurent, and it’s blue garden oasis, somewhat far removed from the liveliness of Marrakech. If not the case, then the North African oasis is an absolute must see – inviting you into an ambiance of rhythmic streams of water flowing from it’s fountains, beautiful terracotta tiles and the quiet chirping of birds to melodically welcome you. As the worlds of art, design and fashion coalesce to evoke a living masterpiece, this Jardin is truly one of the city’s grandest landmarks – and naturally a NBGA favourite. So ethereal is the visiting experience, that you’d feel almost as though you were in an authentic painting by the artist himself, Jacques Majorelle. With this endeavour, he urged to create his best work, or in his own words an assemblage of “vast splendors ”

Renowned for his realistic depictions of Northern Africa, Jacques Majorelle was a French painter who travelled extensively, notably throughout Morocco, where he created his most famous paintings. Mostly incorporating sights of Marrakesh, these works often featured landscape scenes, women, or traditional Moroccan architecture. During his tenure living in Marrakech, Majorelle built a house and series of botanical gardens which are referred to as the Majorelle Garden today. His extensive use of a particular blue — which moved him upon observing the ceramic pottery and tile of the Islamic culture surrounding him — this hue earned the title “Majorelle Blue.” It was noted by Quito Fierro, head of communications at Jardin Majorelle, that following his passing in 1962 French couturier Yves Saint Laurent, who was born in Algeria, immediately felt at home in the Arabic city. “Marrakech became not only a holiday place but was a big inspiration for Yves Saint Laurent in terms of fabrics and colours. He was only using black and white before in his design” In 1980, on hearing it was to be razed to make way for a development, Saint Laurent and Bergé resolved to buy it, opening the garden to the public and keeping a spectacular private residence called Villa Oasis, which Bergé continues to use to this day.

Jacques Majorelle had grown up in an ideal artistic world, surrounded by creators and individuals who appreciated the ‘natural life and craftsmanship of humanity’. Ironically at the time of the Art Nouveau movement, a time for a strong appreciation of life, the artist, among others, became largely inspired by shapes found in nature. Ever since, Majorelle grew a lifelong love for flora, foliage, and “fauna.” After just one trip to Marrakech, the artist fell in love with the “oasis city,” whose colors, light, “souks  soaked with fertile and happy life,” swept him off his feet. For years following, Morocco became his top destination for both leisure and inspiration behind numerous paintings and artwork. In 1923, Jacques Majorelle purchased four acres of land in Palm Grove of Marrakech, only to acquire another six acres, setting his love for Morocco in stone.

It was noted by Quito Fierro, head of communications at Jardin Majorelle, that following his passing in 1962 French couturier Yves Saint Laurent, who was born in Algeria, immediately felt at home in the Arabic city. “Marrakech became not only a holiday place but was a big inspiration for Yves Saint Laurent in terms of fabrics and colours. He was only using black and white before in his design” In 1980, on hearing it was to be razed to make way for a development, Saint Laurent and Bergé resolved to buy it, opening the garden to the public and keeping a spectacular private residence called Villa Oasis, which Bergé continues to use to this day. By prolonging Majorelle’s legacy and dream of creating a luxuriant garden – one which sought to uncover all of Earth’s beauty by incorporating vegetation from all five continents, the jardin has now  become known in history as his most remembered work.

Discover & Visit Jardin Majorelle here

 

Amel Meghraoua