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Sainte-Victoire : la montagne de Paul Cézanne ?

Abstract : Sainte-Victoire mountain (1 010 m) is only a modest relief at the East of Aix-en-Provence (France). It is constituted by a thrust fault of Jurassic limestones with a vergence to the south. It remained a long time of secondary importance in front of the Sainte-Baume Mountain that is higher (1 147 m), huger and was more renowned mainly because of its ancient Marie-Madeleine pilgrimage. Even Marius victory on Teutons (102 BC) was not sufficient to take it out of anonymity as shown by travelers accounts up to XXth century. Even if it began to appear on paintings as Granet's in the middle of the XIXth century, it is really Paul Cézanne which invented it with more than 80 portrayals and made of it this all over the world famous spot that is visited by 750 000 people/year, first from Aix-en-Provence, but also from France and foreign countries, sometimes coming from far away to see Cézanne's landscapes. It is only after Cézanne that the site was officially recognized then progressively listed from 1958 up to 1983. 1989 catastrophic forest fire has accelerated this process by the creation of a SIVU (1989), a House of Sainte-Victoire (1996) then a Departmental Mixed Syndicate (2000) named "Grand Site Sainte-Victoire" labelled "Grand Site de France" in 2004. This progressive structurating has permitted to become aware of natural hazards : recurrent forest fires hazards that are becoming threatening 20 years after the 1989 fire, and erosion hazard due to gullying as well as strollers tramples on. And the mountain has become a very strong patrimonial symbol : it gives its profile to the Communauté d'Agglomération du pays d'Aix logo and its name to a Côtes de Provence wines under appellation d'origine contrôlée (A.O.C.)
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https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01571396
Contributor : Jean-Louis Ballais <>
Submitted on : Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 11:41:31 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 26, 2020 - 3:30:49 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-01571396, version 1

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Jean-Louis Ballais. Sainte-Victoire : la montagne de Paul Cézanne ?. Géomorphosites 2009 : imagerie, inventaire, mise en valeur et vulgarisation du patrimoine géomorphologique, Jun 2009, Paris, France. pp.30. ⟨hal-01571396⟩

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