The Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence (Chapel of the Rosary), often referred to as the Matisse Chapel or the Vence Chapel, is a small Catholic chapel located in the town of Vence on the French Riviera. It was dedicated to the Dominican Order. The church was built and decorated between 1947 and 1951 under a plan devised by Henri Matisse. It houses a number of Matisse originals and was regarded by Matisse himself as his "masterpiece". While the simple white exterior has drawn mixed reviews from casual observers, some regard it as one of the great religious structures of the 20th century.
In 1941, Matisse, who lived most of the year in Nice in the south of France, developed cancer and underwent surgery. During the long recovery he was particularly helped by a young part-time nurse, Monique Bourgeois, who had answered his advertisement seeking "a young and pretty nurse". Matisse asked her to pose for him, which she did for several drawings and paintings. In 1943 Bourgeois entered the Dominican convent in Vence, a nearby town, and became Sister Jacques-Marie. Matisse eventually bought a home at Vence, not far from the convent where the young nun was stationed. She visited him and told him of the plans the Dominicans had to build a chapel beside the girls' high school which they operated in Vence. She asked Matisse if he would help with the design of the chapel. He had never done anything like it, but Matisse agreed to help, beginning in 1947. Father Marie-Alain Couturier, who collaborated on several artistic Catholic churches after World War II, was also involved in the project.
|Tuesday||10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 2:00 – 5:00 PM|
|Wednesday||2:00 – 5:00 PM|
|Thursday||10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 2:00 – 5:00 PM|
|Friday||10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 2:00 – 5:00 PM|
|Saturday||2:00 – 5:00 PM|
Xiaoxi Zhang | Apr 2, 2018
To truly appreciate this place, some knowledge of the art style and concept of Matisse's final years can be very helpful. I visited this beautiful chapel with a school group, and we had a charming lady who worked there giving us a very nice introduction of the chapel with great passion. It's a pity no photos are allowed inside, but it allows you to truly immerse in the atmosphere. It's also very interesting to see Matisse's different designs for the chapel's wall paintings. The view from the garden is beautiful.
mark williams | Apr 20, 2018
Having visited the Matisse museum yesterday it was great to see the implementation of his work. The simple line drawings on the ceramic tiles on the chapel walls are excellent.
David Kenny | Dec 3, 2017
The Rosary Chapel designed by Henri Matisse is a most beautiful and tranquil place to pray/reflect and meditate. The combination of colours and shapes create a calm and soothing atmosphere. The Chapel can be found on the road out of Vence about ten minutes walk. From the Chapel you get a good view of Vence
Robert Lockwood | Apr 11, 2018
Please see my latest novel: "Murdering Matisse," available via Amazon.
chance w | Dec 8, 2017
Come here only if you know matisse's life story and how he ends up creating this chapel.
Harvey Mains | May 13, 2018
Well worth a visit. The art is stunning in this fantastic setting. We spend a wonderful two hours here exploring every aspect of the museum and chapel. You can attend services here. Check the website for details. Parking can be difficult.
Monique Könning | Jul 18, 2018
Beautiful chapel by Matisse and amazing views of the old town of Vence. If you are lucky you might find a parking spot in front of the chapel or nearby. If not, it's a 10-15 minute walk from Vence, depends where you are in Vence. It's a quite straight level walk. Before you'll arrive at the actual chapel. You'll be guided along original drawings by Matisse. They are studies for the chapel. It's beautiful. When you'll get at the chapel you'll be amazed. It's bright and delightful. It was bigger than I had guessed. That was a bonus. After the visit of the chapel you'll be guided along more of Matisse's drawings and even two scale models of the chapel. There's also a small terrace with a view of Vence. The visit is well worth the price you'll pay. I loved every minute of it.
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