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Vence, France: The Rosary Chapel

About the Matisse Chapel:

The formal name for this Chapel is the Rosary Chapel, although it is often referred to as the Matisse Chapel since it was designed by the famous artist Henri Matisse. In 1948, at the age of 77, Matisse began to prepare designs for the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence, having lived in the town since the German occupation of World War II.  Matisse (who had been baptized Catholic, but no longer practice the Faith) developed a close friendship his former assistant, who later became Sister Jacques-Marie, despite his being an atheist.  They had met again in Vence and started the collaboration, a story related in her 1992 book Henri Matisse: La Chapelle de Vence and in the 2003 documentary “A Model for Matisse”.

At the age of 77, Matisse began the project that took four years:  He designed the architecture, stained glass windows, interior furnishings, murals, and the priests’ vestments. While Matisse had been baptized a Catholic, he had not practiced the religion for many years.

The small building, very simple in appearance from the outside, but when you are inside, the reflections of the windows on the marble floor and the three wall paintings representing the Way of the Cross, the Virgin and Child, and Saint Dominic create a beautiful & moving scene.

On the first floor, you can admire the chasubles created by the artists especially for the chapel and contemplate the breathtaking view of Vence. You will also discover the preparatory works of Henri Matisse for the design of the chapel : sketches and model.

Mass for the public takes place on Wednesdays at 6:15 pm and on Sundays at 10 am.

Traveling to the Matisse Chapel in Vence:

Located about 22 Km (14 miles) north of Nice, there is bus service from Nice.  Get bus schedules and fares here.

Address:  466 avenue Henri Matisse, 06140 Vence, La France

Tel: +33 (0)

email: dominicaines@wanadoo.fr

Click here for the official website of the Matisse Chapel in Vence.

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