The Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech, Morocco, are French artist Jacques Majorelle’s ultimate masterpiece. The son of an Art Nouveau cabinetmaker, Majorelle (1886-1962) worked intensely for over 40 years to finish this enchanting place.
With hints of Art Deco and intense blue features, the Majorelle Gardens are one of the most visited venues in the country.
Opened to the public in 1947, the gardens host many bird species, as well as a creative array of exotic plants, flowers and trees, including a collection of cacti.
In 1980, French designers Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berger bought the gardens to prevent the place from being converted into a hotel. Instead, it remained a botanic garden as well as an archeological museum. The gardens also host the Islamic Art Museum of Marrakech, designed in the 1920s and 1930s by the same Jacques Majorelle, which collection includes some of his ceramics, jewelry and paintings.
Why all this blue? Majorelle explained he was inspired by Moroccan tiles and traditional Berber burnouses.
Ultramarine blue has refreshing properties: one feels ‘sucked’ into the colour, irresistibly absorbed by its deep hue. It creates a calming and soothing contrast with the dry Moroccan geography.
Like fellow French painter Yves Klein, who fathered his own shade of ultramarine, Majorelle also trademarked the bewitching hue painted over the walls, the fountains and surrounding of his garden: Majorelle Blue is a sister shade to IKB.
Here is why we want to go
‘We amble along shady lanes, in the midst of trees and exotic plants of dreamy origin; we walk past refreshing, burbling streams and pools filled with water lilies and lotus flowers; we hear wafting through the air, laden with sugared fragrance, the rustling of leaves and the chirping of numerous birds who come here to take refuge; we stop, and the path turns unexpectedly, revealing a building with Moorish charm, with a hint of Art Deco, painted in astonishingly vibrant primary colours, glowing with an intense blue the artist perceived in the Atlas Mountains.‘
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