The cemetery of Saint Paul de Vence is located on the Plateau du Puy, where the village center was located many years ago. The original dwellings were located around the church of Saint Michel. In addition to its religious purposes, it also served as a meeting place and a place to discuss important matters. Unfortunately, the original church has not survived. Historical sources indicate that the chapel that now stands in the cemetery dates from the 16th century.
The cemetery serves as the final resting place of many famous people who lived in Saint Paul de Vence. One of them was Aimé Maeght, who is buried there with his wife Marguerite and his son, who died of leukaemia, at just 11 years old. This French art collector and publisher is best known to locals as the founder of the Fondation Maeght, the museum of modern art on the Colline des Gardettes, a hill overlooking Saint Paul de Vence.
However, the most famous person buried in the cemetery is undoubtedly Marc Chagall. This Russian-born painter, poet and graphic designer lived in Saint-Paul de Vence between the years 1966 and 1985. During this period, he painted many works inspired by this beautiful village and its surroundings. His grave is remarkably interesting. It is a simple white tomb decorated with small stones and coins. Visitors can thus pay their respects to the painter, following the Russian-Jewish tradition. If you want to find Chagall’s grave in the cemetery, go first right and then left from the entrance, you should not miss it.