Ménerbes is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France, a walled village on a hilltop in the Luberon mountains, foothills of the French Alps.
Rural Vaucluse was described by author Marcel Pagnol in such novels as Manon des Sources, a hardscrabble peasant life in a declining economy. In the years after 1945 the region offered cheap holiday homes. By 1960 Ménerbes was half depopulated but was the residence of Dora Maar, one of Picasso's models, and the widow of artist Nicolas de Staël, and holiday homes of a London art dealer and a French diplomat, whose visitors to Ménerbes thus included many artistic notables. The region grew lavender, mushrooms, truffles and harsh red wine. Within sight of Ménerbes are the ruins of the Chateau de Lacoste, country residence of the notorious Marquis de Sade.
Ménerbes became known in the English-speaking world since 1990 through the books of British author Peter Mayle, tales of a British expatriate who settled in the village of Ménerbes. One of his books was made into the film A Good Year (2006), directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe, which was filmed nearby in the region, largely in the nearby town of Bonnieux. Mayle's best-known book was A Year in Provence, and this put the Luberon region onto the tourist map.
Currently, The Brown Foundation Fellows Program based at Dora Maar's former home in Menerbes provides residencies of one to three months for mid-career professionals in the arts and humanities to concentrate on their fields of expertise.
- Redirect Ménerbes