The François Pétrarque Museum-Bibliothèque brings to life a written and artistic heritage around the figure of the first humanist and the poet riparian of the Sorgue, René Char.
In 1314, Petrarch (1304-1374), aged 9, discovered the site of Vaucluse. He returns four times and stays there in all about fifteen years. Made mythical by the editorial staff of the “Canzioniere” and the Montée au Mont Ventoux, the place will be, over the centuries, a place of pilgrimage for people of letters, such as Urfé, Lamartine, Stendhal or Sand. La Sorgue, which finds its source here, also flows strongly into the heart of René Char's poetry, to which the museum also pays tribute through the illustrations that his friends, notably Picasso, Braque and Giacometti, have made for his collections of poems.
In 1927, during the commemoration of the 600 years of the mythical meeting between Petrarch and the “Lady of Her Thoughts”, Laure de Noves, on April 6, 1327, a place was chosen to house the memory of the passage of the Italian poet and humanist in Vaucluse. Owned by the General Council of Vaucluse since 1968, the Maison de Pétrarque was reborn in the 1980s to house thematic exhibitions in resonance with the site, and to promote contemporary creation.
The Museum-Bibliothèque houses collections from Aix-Marseille University and consists mainly of rare editions and drawings. On the ground floor, an exhibition of the illustrations of Char's works made by the artists friends of the writer (Lam, Da Silva, Picasso, Braque, Sima) highlight the fruitful links between writing and image. The museum is labeled Musée de France. It also belongs to the Maisons des Illustres network and houses a research centre and a writing and animation workshop.
Preserving the heritage of two great figures of the letters, François Pétrarque and René Char