Provence is famous for producing many great French writers, such as Alphonse Daudet, Marcel Pagnol, Colette, Jean Giono, and Paul Arène. Over the years it has also been home to many well-known expatriates. For instance, F. Scott Fitzgerald stayed in Provence in a place in St Raphael, where he wrote much of The Great Gatsby (which is being made into a 2012 film) and Tender is the Night. The famous female writer Edith Wharton also lived, for a time, in Hyères.
As many who have been on a holiday in Provence will tell you, inspiration is everywhere. Many famous musicians have set their work in this beautiful French region, including saxophonist Paule Maurice, Opera legend Charles Gounod, Alphonse Daudet, Darius Milhaud, Ivan Barbotin, and James DeMars.
A friend of mine once said, reclining in his chair at our local patisserie, that 'as long as Provence exists, art will endure'. Certainly the sheer extent of art which has been inspired by the Provence region is a testament to this sentiment. There have even been cave paintings, dating back many thousands of years, found in and around the region! Among the famous artists to have captured Provence with an easel and brush are: Edvard Munch, Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, and Adolphe Monticelli.
As well as featuring in many traditional French films, such as L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat (The entry of a train into the station of Ciotat), which was one of the first modern motion picturs, Provence featured quite dramatically in the 2006 British romantic comedy A Good Year. This film, about a holiday in Provence, starred Russell Crowe, Marion Cotillard, Abbie Cornish, and Albert Finney.