Jean-Pierre EICHENBERGER, painter and sculptor
Before settling in Piégon in 1957, the artist was living in Switzerland where he designed and executed frescoes on private and public buildings.
Seduced by the light and softness of our Provence landscapes, he consecrated the rest of his life to easel painting, while patiently restoring our vast residence open to artists and art donors.
It was finally in 1964 that the art centre came into being.
A multi-media man before the word was invented
The founder of the centre died on 25 August 2000. The bonds of friendship that he had forged since his establishment in Provence allow his work to continue thanks to all those who knew the hospitality, the incomparable personality, the daring character, the flamboyant and infinitely loving nature of Jean-Pierre EICHENBERGER.
The evocation of what he will have been for some for others: « an enlightened guide », « this sower of ideas who shook up energies », « this prophet in the image of Moses », « this true scholar of the Renaissance », « a man of the multi-media before the word was invented » is completed by a unanimous homage to his greatness and his goodness.
The impressions are eloquent; He was always the very symbol of a total commitment that seemed to have no limits’, ‘the great attention he gave to each person was a reflection of his joy of working’, ‘he had an immense capacity for self-sacrifice and the courage to embody the highest values in his works’, Filled with physical and moral projects, with an almost overflowing vitality, kindness and his awareness of being a link between ancient Provence and the welcome of a true Provence, it is difficult to imagine him leaving », « Jean-Pierre, in his prime, discovered this superb property; dazzled by the site, dedicating his life and his heritage to it. He saw it as he made it: his empire. The repairs, the servitudes of all kinds, his dangerous generosity. Nothing prevented him from being happy there. From making others happy.
Jean-Pierre Eichenberger’s spiritual stature shines through and reveals not only the intensity of a life devoted to others, but also a force of love that strengthens bonds and creates a new unity. A sun has been removed from this galaxy. Its fruits, already sown, announce, however, at the dawn of autumn, continuity. The work is well and truly alive, tending towards that not-yet-created which was the driving force behind the action of its initiator; it is entrusted to us, all imprinted with his spirit, ready for the development which, together, we will offer it.
A monumental sculpture of 26 metres
At a meeting of the local associations, the painter and sculptor Jean-Pierre Eichenberger, president of the Centre Artistique, put forward the idea of an aesthetic improvement of the bare rock.
Jean-Pierre Eichenberger chose to symbolise the vine on the rock:
« Cep in winter, bud and flower in spring, leaf in summer and bunch in autumn, the vine is one of the oldest country decorations of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, medieval and modern civilizations.
The geometry of its broad foliage harmonizes the salient lights with the deep shadows from which the fruit springs. »
This proposal for a monumental sculpture (26 x 6 metres) is not accompanied by any financial requirements, despite the costs involved in the implementation of such a large project (pneumatic chisels, compressor, scaffolding, etc.).
Nostalgia for the forms hollowed out by erosion and patinated by time, it was necessary to bring a rhythm to these surfaces recently cut into the « safre » from which the ancestors extracted the stones of their village and their farms.
Motivated by the same creative impulse as in the past and encouraged by the general approval of today, the resident-artists of the centre will extract from the rock the symbol of the prosperity of our community and its region.
Would you like to know more about the man, the artist and the artistic centre?
We invite you to discover his book « Jean-Pierre Eichenberger, Peintre et sculpteur ».
As well as the new publication « Jean-Pierre Eichenberger, Journey of an artist outside the box »
To order, please contact us via the form below.
The Centre Artistique de Piègon is an independent association, approved by the Ministry of the Interior in 1965, recognised as being of general interest, and declared a « Rural Cultural Centre » by the Ministry of Culture in 2018. It receives no subsidies and lives only on membership fees and donations from its members. Learn more about being a member of the Artistic Centre.
Jean-Pierre Eichenberger has always sought to highlight the importance of the role played by the artist in society. His work is often considered « superfluous » and lacking in seriousness and profitability. The embellishment of both the small and the large contributions of artists is often disregarded.
Deploring the lack of recognition that artists in general receive, Jean-Pierre Eichenberger chooses to dedicate his house to them so that they can create in an atmosphere that is conducive to them, encouraged by people who love the arts and seek their inspiring company.
« There, artists bridge the gap between themselves and the public every day by inviting art lovers to experience the daily adventure of creation with them. Through the grace of this communion established in a site blessed by the Muses, all are enriched by beneficial contacts. Sing then the poet without worrying about a fatal criticism on which, elsewhere, his future depends! Here, it is not to please, it is only to love. The essential condition for the harmonious development of the artist is the understanding of the art lover. All those who translate life must be cherished. In this way, existence will be embellished, the fruits of the labour of some ripening in the sun of the love of others. Jean-Pierre Eichenberger »
Today, the exchange between artists and lovers of the arts or sciences continues.
The remarkable concerts and conferences on a wide variety of subjects given at the Centre contribute to the harmony of these encounters with a passionate public.
Would you like to contribute to the sustainability of the centre and the preservation of the site? Click here to find out more