This morning was the Vence brocante – antique (flea) market. It’s always fun to see what is sold in other countries at a place like this. There are always bargains! I got several beautiful books to make into sketchbooks for only 1 euro each. The zucchini blossoms were beautiful this time of year so I bought some. They graced the table, but alas, never got cooked. Afternoon was spent sketching while we waited for Matisse’s chapel to open.
In the afternoon we walked to the Chapelle du Rosaire. It was a long walk and very hot, but it was worth it. From the road all that can be seen of the chapel is its roof of blue and white tiles and its 42-foot wrough iron cross. Cool and calming inside (after the busload of students left). We could just imagine Matisse lying in his bed designing these windows, doors, ironwork, crosses, murals on the walls, even the priests’ robes – everything here was designed by him for the Dominican nuns. The colors of the glass windows – green, blue and yellow – bring the outside in as the sun shines through on the perfectly white interior. It was the last project of his life, and he said of it, “I regard it, despite all its imperfections, as my masterpiece… as an effort which is the culmination of a whole life dedicated to the search for truth.”
On the way home we could see the house Matisse stayed in while he was in Vence. It’s now a retreat for resident artists, and they wouldn’t let us visit.