Monday, July 7, 2014

Bastion Museum / Musée du Bastion Menton

Standing guard at the foot of Vieux Menton along the harbor wall of the city is the Bastion Museum, a seventeenth century fort built into the jetty a stone’s throw away from the newer Jean Cocteau Museum.

Long past being a defensive structure, the artist himself discovered the fort was abandoned and with the permission of the city authorities he decided to slowly turn it into a gallery museum where his work could be showcased from the inside out.

One can see the love and passion he poured into the museum, although notably a durable building, once Jean Cocteau got a hold of it, a more delicate feel came upon the exterior of the place.

Having opened to the public in 1966, three years after Cocteau’s death, this is a place he wanted to transform as a setting for his some of his own “Mediterranean” creations from the period of 1950 to 1963.

Approaching the museum as it sits perched on the edge of the sea, you instantly want to explore it and one can immediately see the welcoming touches in Cocteau’s natural pebble mosaics not only on the outside of the building but the flow is carried through on the ground floor work as well.

Inside will bring on a team of emotions. You can feel the strength of the rough, thick walls almost as though you are captured, yet there is an intimacy of the space brought through in Jean Cocteau’s use of color and mediums of work on display including everything from ceramics to paintings with new exhibitions of his art installed every year.

The Bastion Museum is well worth a visit. The small admission fee from either the Bastion or Jean Cocteau Museum allows you entry to both places, so why not make it a good part of your day to discover the world of Jean Cocteau.

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