Sister muse: the artist, the nun and the Riviera chapel

Matisse in his chapel

Henri Matisse was an atheist... or so everybody thought. In his old age he employed a beautiful nurse. When she decided to become a nun, Matisse was moved to design a chapel. It was to be 'the crowning achievement' of his career.

The master painter Matisse concieved a sacred art monument which remains unique in the world: the Rosaire Chapel of the Dominican Convent at Vence.

So did Matisse believe in God? In his work, he found an answer, as this short, moving film from the BBC reveals.

A new book on the subject explains that Matisse was no architect, but re-imagined the Vence chapel as a vast three-dimensional painting, where his materials encompassed light, glass, marble, wood and ceramics.

Read more here: Station to Station: Matisse's Chapel in Vence (The Architectural Review)

You can read more about this beautiful chapel and region at the Vence home page here: The Rosaire Chapel (

To view this video on YouTube, click here:

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