Born on July 5, 1889, Jean Cocteau showed himself all his life a lover of the French Riviera. From the age of 18, in 1907, he was already present in Cap-Martin where he was presented to Empress Eugénie, 80-year-old, who lived in Cap-Martin. All his life, he alternated stays in Paris and in Saint-Jean- Cap-Ferrat where he lived, among others, in villa Santo Sospir. From the end of the First World war and till the end of his life, he participated in almost all the artistic and fashionable events of Nice andof the French Riviera. His prolix and diversified talents led him to take an interest in an abandoned chapel on the port of Villefranche-sur-Mer where he stayed very often between the two wars. It was Saint Peter Chapel , patron saint of the fishermen. He decorated it, in 1957 , with a graphic style privileging the line and with a rich creation inspired by the sea and the Christian subjects of the fishermen of souls. It was also in Villefranche that he wrote " Orphée ".In 1958, he decorated the room of the marriages of the City hall of Menton with talent and inventiveness using allegories of the Mediterranean myths, . Film-maker, he realized " Orphée's will " in 1959 in the studios de la Victorine, in Nice. This dandy, this " Frivolous Prince ", to resume one of his expressions, did a lot for the reputation of the French Riviera.

Gilbert CROUÉ

 

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