majorelle's garden

At Jardin Majorelle , Rue Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech (Morocco)

The Majorelle Garden (ⵓⵔⵜⵉ ⵎⴰⵊⵓⵔⵉⵍ, حديقة ماجوريل‎‎), is a 12-acre botanical and artist’s landscape garden in Marrakech. An archaeological museum, it also contains the Islamic Art Museum. The edifice was designed by the expatriate French artist Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s. He was the son of Art Nouveau ébéniste, Louis Majorelle. Though his orientalist watercolors are largely forgotten today (many are preserved in the villa’s collection), the gardens are his creative masterpiece. The special shade of bold cobalt blue used in its buildings is named after him - Majorelle Blue. The garden hosts 15 bird species that are endemic to North Africa. It has many fountains and a collection of cacti. The garden has been open to the public since 1947.

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Online each month, the Roosevelt Library highlights works of art from its collections that are rarely seen by the public. This month we feature an oil painting of Bab El Khémis in Marrakech, Morocco, by Marius Hubert-Robert.

On January 24, 1943, following the Casablanca Conference, Roosevelt and Churchill traveled to Marrakech, Morocco, where they spent the evening at a large villa occupied by the US Vice-Consul at Marrakech, Kenneth Pendar. Along the way, they passed by the entrance gate to Bab El Khémis, a large marketplace. Later on, FDR and Churchill watched the sunset over the Atlas Mountains from the tower in the nearby Majorelle Gardens, as shown in the photo above.

French artist Marius Hubert-Robert painted the entrance to Bab El Khémis in 1943. Soon after, he presented the painting to President Roosevelt.