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The famous French designer, Bernard Chenez, has chosen Panzano in Chianti as his retirement home together with his wife Arlette.

His house is next door to a castle with a breathtaking view of the valley of Greve facing Valdarno. Chenez has been visiting Panzano, ideal destination for artists, for almost 30 years. But he bought a house there just recently.

“We have been coming to Tuscany and Chianti on vacation”, he tells WeChianti, “every summer for 28 years. Finally, we decided to buy a house”.

Chenez’s work has circled the world. He worked for Le Monde for 10 years and L’Equipe for 25. As soon as he began, his designs became famous on the international scene.

The power with which he condemned the terrible murder of the Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the Munich Olympics in 1972 was unforgettable.

His cartoon showed the 5 Olympic Circles dripping blood. He continued with many biting political cartoons for Le Monde, and sports cartoons for the L’Equipe.

Over the years he created over 25.000 designs and cartoons that occupied the first pages of newspapers, magazines and TV, where he drew the Tour de France, the Olympics and the tennis tournament, Roland Garros live. He even illustrated the Italian Giro d’Italia for the French newspapers.

chenezdisegni6Chenez was friendly with four cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo, targeted by an attack of Islamic terrorism. The attack tragically opened a sad period for the French capital and for Europe. “They were my colleagues, from my generation. It was a grave and very painful event”.

“Years ago I met an important Italian cartoonist who also worked for important newspapers, Giorgio Forattini… . I met him at the Italian Institute of Paris. He was very good!”.

Chenez has been working for Japan for 30 years, both with the exhibition of his designs in cartoons and in collaboration with Japanese newspapers. From his pencil, Basile, the charactermascot known in half the world was created. He is a symbol for the language of Whatsapp.

Chenez after leaving L’Equipe, chose to work freelance. He edited 29 collections of his cartoons that had appeared in sports magazines, as well as political works. He designs, but above all he illustrates, and tells stories. Three of his “novelle” were published by the Heloise D’Ormesson publishing house.

Currently, his designs will serve as decorations for the walls of the auditorium of the La Tour Pacific in Paris: several floors of the new construction, made up of meeting and event halls and in the middle of the Parisian business neighborhood, la Defense.

And about Chianti? “I have made several sketches of Panzano and Chianti: in my garden, at dawn or dusk, and in the vegetable garden that I love to care for”.

Daniela Doddoli