Claire Basler portraitTalk art with Claire Basler, and the experience is just as dynamic as the murals that cover the walls of her 13th-century château, the paintings that animate her massive canvases. She laughs a deep, throaty laugh with a glass of white wine in one hand, a linen scarf cinched nonchalantly yet chicly around her neck, and an unstudied elegance that’s utterly French. She breathes in the conversation. At one moment she discusses her most recent project, covering the surface walls of a small vaulted room in the South of France. Then she segues into her own château, and then moves quickly to flowers, her passion for gardening, and the natural world. It’s a whirlwind of information and inspiration that leaves you wanting more.

Basler’s road to her current residence—the Château de Beauvoir in the heart of France—sounds as if destiny had a hand. The path may have been long and winding, but each stop lead her to the rescue, the transformation, and the magic that is now her home.

Explore Claire Basler’s Art, Studio, and Garden

“I’m very organized about my palette,” says the artist. “The same colors are in the same places always, so I know instinctively where to find them without looking.”

The dining room envelops guests in the walls of a forest. Ikea chandeliers in different sizes hang over a black lacquered table made by Claire Basler’s husband, Pierre Imhof. Tall glass vases hold blooms culled from the garden. “I like to see the stems,” says Basler.

The artist's 13th-century Château de Beauvoir is nestled deep within the French countryside.

The paths around the château include an old staircase that leads to a field where cows graze.

Basler and her husband, Pierre Imhof, often dine en plein air.

The artist’s arrangements from her gardens inspire her paintings, which are not realistic re-creations. Rather, she captures the flutter of a petal, the arch of a stem, and the colors of the sky.

Basler mixes and creates shades directly on canvas.

The first room Basler painted in the château, the salon, is about to get a facelift. “I see now that the room needs a green that links with the landscape,” she says.

Her Labrador poses in a doorway of the former ironworks factory in Montreuil.

A painting of anemones and irises was commissioned by a client on Martha’s Vineyard. | Photo by Claire Basler

A few of Basler’s favorite things—vases of daisies and buttercups, a canvas from the schoolhouse at Les Ormes, a bust that was a treasured find, and a marmite or pot.


By Frances McDougall | Photos by Mads Mogensen

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