The Founder

Jean-Pierre EICHENBERGER, painter and sculptor

Jean-Pierre Eichenberger


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.

Jean-Pierrre Eichenberger. Peintre et Sculpteur



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 ».

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