Exposition temporaire

“The real plus the impossible”

A nod to the designer and painter Emmanuel Charles Bénézit

22 octobre 2022 - 05 novembre 2023
  • Exhibition catalog
  • Around the exhibition

For its reopening, the MHAB devoted its inaugural exhibition to the painter Emmanuel-Charles Bénézit,first curator of the museum. This exhibition was held in two chapters, with more than 70 of his works on display (from 22 October 2022 to 7 April 2023 and from 8 April 2023 to 5 November 2023.

Emmanuel-Charles Bénézit was born in Paris in 1887, into a family sensitive to the world of art. He started painting at the age of 6 and showed a rare talent for drawing at an early age. He spent his youth in Parisian museums, copying from the great masters of classical painting. The young painter developed the habit of sketching the world around him in his countless notebooks.

Bénézit left Parisian life in 1915 to settle in Bormes les Mimosas. For him, the South represented a real renaissance. The landscapes he discovered became his first source of inspiration. He remained fascinated by the colours and light of the southern sun until the end of his life.

Unknown to the general public, Bénézit left behind a creation that is disconcertingly diverse. He imposed no limits on himself, either in the choice of subjects, technique or style. The only constant in his art is the reference to the living. Whether in his landscapes or in his compositions tinged with dreams, the painter reveals a powerful imagination that draws its sources from the plant world and the forces of nature.

The works are vivid, colourful and surprising in their expressive power. The exhibition immerses you in Bénézit’s art, marked by his references to real and observed nature, imagined or drawn from mythological and religious literature.

This exhibition has inspired a thematic programme around the artist’s works with :

Monthly guided tours of the exhibition
– Throughout the exhibition, educational workshops on the representation of the artist’s works in volume or, for Easter, a reproduction of Benezit’s motifs on Easter eggs.
– On 13 April at 7 pm, Sophie Simon, who studied Bénézit, gave a lecture on his early years.
– Finally, during the night of the museums and the restitution of the work carried out by the primary school of Bormes les Mimosas within the framework of the national project La Classe l’œuvre, the sound interpretation of the works of Bénézit that the children imagined in collaboration with the school of music of Bormes les Mimosas were discovered.

The exhibition was made possible thanks to loans from the Association des Amis de Bénézit and the Musée des Cultures et des Paysages in Hyères.



Exhibition's venu Musée d’Histoire et d’art de Bormes
103, rue carnot 83230 Bormes-les-Mimosas




A nod to the designer and painter Emmanuel Charles Bénézit

We take you on a guided tour of the exhibition