Rich heir, former industrialist and historian Robert Laurent-Vibert (1884–1925) settled in Lourmarin in 1920, where he acquired its delapidated castle and set about having it restored. Years before, after his studies at the ENS, he visited Rome and, impressed by the Villa Médicis, was inspired enough to think of the existence of a 'Petite Villa Médicis de Provence' which would welcome creative boarders in the summer. In 1923 he willed the Château de Lourmarin and his collections to the Académie des Sciences, Agriculture, Art et Belles Lettres d’Aix-en-Provence. He died in a car crash in 1925, and the Fondation de Lourmarin Robert Laurent-Vibert was created. Laurent-Vibert's publications include Les Affaires et la pensée (1921); Le sophisme de la compétence (1922); Voyages, routiers, pèlerins et corsaires aux Échelles du Levant (1923); L'Orient en mai 1923 (1923); Ce que j'ai vu en Orient : Mésopotamie, Palestine, Syrie, Égypte, Turquie, notes de voyage, 1923-1924 (1924).