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The Aixois

After his studies and many travels, he returned to Aix where he had, like Cezanne before him, refused to become a lawyer in order to follow his calling. His creed was like Stendhal's: "to have as a career one's passion in life". Despite his successful debut, he could not live off his earnings as a painter (although he would before long) and as he loved bargain hunting, his unshakable good taste in this field became his second career in which he became highly proficient. The year 1960 marked the beginning of a friendly relationship with Hélène Caral de Montéty and the creation of the antiques shop Le Buisson Ardent".


Very soon, the artist settled at Peynier-sur-Arc, a village where his uncle Vincent Delpuech had been long-time mayor.

Bernard Buffet was often seen at his house, living as he was nearby at 'Chateau l'Art'. The two artists, who were later to be neighbours in Saint Tropez, became firm friends. Then Vincent Roux 'le Magnifique', as he began to be called, settled in Aix itself in the Mazarin area. Magazines began to feature him as an arbiter of style, highlighting the refinement and originality of his clothes and of his glamorous life style (he was to remain to his death a favourite son of the press). Later, when he moved to Saint Tropez, he still remained faithful to Aix, because of his two great friends: Hélène and the montagne Sainte Victoire.

Antique dealer and 'socialite steamroller' as one coud say, Hélène teamed up with Michèle Cornut to create a new shop in rue Jaubert called 'Les Pâris d'Hélène'. It became the Aix high altar to "Rouxism" and remains so to this day. "My good fairies", Vincent would say tenderly of Hélène and Michèle.

The montagne Sainte Victoire will remain forever associated with Cézanne.

Although now resident by the sea, our hero (whose second name was Victor and whose first climbs toward the Croix de Provence dated from his childhood) doggedly continued to climb the giant of stone. How could he in the footsteps of the 'Master of Aix' dare to paint 'this place where the spirit breathes'? Indeed Roux refused to until July 1979. Then, live on FR3, he gave into the pleas of a journalist friend and sketched a brilliant scorching pastiche in pastel on cork. The result was a 'magic mountain' in the manner of Cézanne and the Fauves.

This marked the beginning of a new phase in his work, where landscape moved from second place to the fore. It was an invasion, an eruption into his life. It was also an omen: the growing influence on him of elemental forces and his failing health made him see the Sainte Victoire as if it was but heaving flesh. For those who know how to look, certain of the paintings in his penultimate exhibition were overwhelming and premonitory. As Antonin Artaud wrote: "my body is fissured like the great mountain..."


Jean-Michel ROYER

Hélène CARAL de Montety et Vincent ROUX

Vue Intérieur et Exterieur de la galerie "Le Buisson Ardent"

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