Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962) was a French painter who first visited Morocco in 1917, invited by the French colonial government of the time. In 1923, seduced by the “charms” of Marrakech, he decided to live there. He purchased a vast palm grove that would become the Jardin Majorelle that can be visited today.
In 1931, Majorelle commissioned an Art Deco style artist’s studio to be built (which you can just see at the end of the path in the second image below) and had it painted in the now famous “Majorelle Blue”. Around it, he designed a garden composed of exotic plants and rare species, collected during his travels around the world. He opened his garden to the public in 1947, but after his death in 1962, it fell into abandon.
In 1980, the famous French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, acquired the property and with his partner (Pierre Berge) set about restoring and developing the gardens. After Yves Saint Laurant’s death in 2008, Pierre Berge set up the Jardin Majorelle Foundation to manage and maintain the gardens for the enjoyment of future generations.
© Mark Simms Photography (2015)