March 12, 2009

Léopold Truc, Le jardin paradis / Paradise garden

pictures courtesy of Alain Kieffer

Cabrières d´Avignon, a small community east of Avignon in the Vaucluse in France, is one of the very picturesque villages in the south of France as it has retained much of its original character.

Life and works

Leopold Truc (1912-1991), an inhabitant of this community, was a farmer. He had a small cabin where he kept his farmer tools and around 1955 he decorated this cabin with mosaics.

This inspired him to continue this creative activity and he decided to transform his garden into an art environment, which he did by laying out small lanes, making sculptures and small buildings, and adding decorations of (shell) mosaic in geometric patterns.

The garden has a single-handedly constructed tower of some 8 m (26 ft) high, which allowed him and eventual visitors to take a look at the beautiful landscape of the Luberon.


And then, the site also has an ornamented grave, which Truc had made for himself. Eventually he has not been buried here, since French law does not permit this.

Leopold Truc has been embellishing his garden for almost forty years. He died in 1991.

Actual situation

Truc´s project was appreciated by artists living in the south of France, grouped around art singulier, but generally speaking this art environment has been somewhat forgotten.

The site still (partly) exists today, but it is situated on the premises of a private house and is not meant to be visited by the general public.

Documentation/more pictures
Catherine Gardone, Le Paradis de Leopold Truc, 2013 -56 p  
* Website Habitants-paysagistes (by Lille Art Museum from march 2018 on) has a series of photographs (1990) by Francis David
* A series of pictures (June 2015) on weblog Hérault Insolite
* Entry (June 2017) with a series of  pictures on dr Tony Shaw's weblog (UK)
* A series of pictures (March 2017) on weblog Un jour, une photo
* Notes and pictures (May 2018) on the weblog of Sophie Lepetit, here, here and here

* Catherine Gardone's photo's of the garden (see documentation) have been exposed from May 30 - June 14 2013 in Cabrières d'Avignon (salle des expositions)

Leopold Truc
Le jardin paradis
Chemin des Frileuses
84220 Cabrières-d'Avignon, dept Vaucluse, region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
private, not open for the public


  1. Interesting that he even designed his own tomb decorations, this is another place I hadn't heard about. I haven't thought much about where I'd like to have a final resting place, but if I could choose, I would like to design my own, rather than conform to the usual modern graveyard norms which are far less beautiful for the most part than what people were doing a hundred years ago.
    Best wishes, hope all is well in Holland

  2. Yes, that would be interesting, to design your own tomb. Others did the same: Irial Vets (who wanted to be buried in the chapel he decorated) and Facteur Cheval who wanted to have a tomb in his Palais Ideal (and who worked for another 8 years on a tomb on the local graveyard when he learned that the law does not permit a burial in the Palais)