La Napoule Art Foundation is shaped by the fascinating story of Henry and Marie Clews, the long legacy of the Chateau de La Napoule, and the remarkable history of the Foundation itself.

From Romans to Henry and Marie Clews


Le Glik

Situated just west of Cannes, the Château de La Napoule occupies a magnificent seafront site first settled by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago. Originally erected by the Villeneuve family during the 14th century, the fortress was destroyed and rebuilt eight times before it was transformed into a glass factory in the 19th century.
The two set sail for Paris where the artistic couple thrived. Henry worked on his sculpture while Marie pursued her own love of music. Paris, however, became a harrowing place to live with the arrival of World War I and their newborn baby, Mancha Madison, became ill just after his birth.
Their son’s diminishing health combined with frequent air raids forced the couple to relocate to the Mediterranean where they discovered the dilapidated and abandoned ruins of the Chateau.
The eccentric couple lived a virtual dream at La Napoule as they worked to restore the building together. Henry preferred to be called Mancha, fancying himself a modern-day Don Quixote. The couple often dressed in costume and had their servants do so as well. They filled their gardens with wildlife. Henry and Marie lived lavishly among the elite, hosting elaborate parties for European aristocrats and American expatriates. Yet the Clews were also active in community affairs. They invited the townsfolk in for performances and celebrations. They opened up the adjoining chapel for worship, and even held mass in their courtyard from time to time.
The Clews lived happily at La Napoule together until Henry’s untimely death in 1937.