A heart condition drove French painter Majorelle to the warmer climes of Morocco, where he finally settled in a home just outside Marrakech in 1923. The artist built an Art Deco studio on his property, but it was the surrounding gardens that would become his life’s work. Majorelle spent four decades tending the land, often sourcing exotic plants from across the globe—some 300 species in total, from Texas’s agave cactus to China’s black bamboo. He also painted the walls of his studio with “Majorelle blue,” the brilliant color he trademarked in the 1930s, its hue inspired by Moroccan tiles.
Following a car accident, Majorelle was forced to return to Paris in 1962 and died months later. His magnificent garden fell into disrepair, and by 1980 it was slated for redevelopment—that is, until Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé stepped in. The pair purchased the property and restored Jardin Majorelle to its former glory for the 700,000 people who now visit each year.